Robert Rialmo

  • Recommendation Termination
  • Decision Termination
  • Length of process 11 months November 07, 2018 to October 17, 2019 Closed
  • Investigative Agency Not Specified

Charged with violating 5 rules on 14 counts

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Rule 38 3 counts

Unlawful or unnecessary use or display of a weapon.

Rule 11 3 counts

Incompetency of inefficiency in the performance of duty.

Rule 10 3 counts

Inattention to duty.

Rule 6 2 counts

Disobedience of an order or directive, whether written or oral.

Rule 2 3 counts

Any action or conduct which impedes the Department's efforts to achieve its policy and goals or brings discredit upon the Department.

Board Member Votes & Decisions

Majority Decision

0 disagreed

Disagreed with the final decision of the board

2 did not vote

Did not vote or were not present for voting

The Police Board has considered the facts and circumstances of the conduct of which it has found the Respondent guilty, and the evidence presented in defense and mitigation, including Respondent’s complimentary and disciplinary histories. The Board has further considered thoroughly the evidence offered in mitigation, which consisted of the testimony of Alderman Nicholas Sposato, who worked with Officer Rialmo’s father as a firefighter and has known Officer Rialmo his whole life; retired Lieutenant Stephanie Stuart, who was Officer Rialmo’s supervisor in 2015; and Detective Robert Gorzelanny, who went to the police academy with Officer Rialmo and became friends with him during their service with the Chicago Police Department. All testified to the excellent character and work habits of Officer Rialmo.

In addition, the Board recognizes that Officer Rialmo, who joined the Chicago Police Department in 2012, has a complimentary history of nine total awards: five honorable mentions, three emblems of recognition for physical fitness, and one unit meritorious performance award. He has no sustained complaints on his disciplinary history.

Nevertheless, after considering Officer Rialmo’s military career and work as a police officer, the Board finds that Officer Rialmo’s misconduct is incompatible with his continued service as a police officer and warrants his discharge from the Chicago Police Department. This case involves the killing of an innocent civilian who went out of her way to assist the police as they investigated a call at 4710 West Erie, in Chicago. Her death was entirely avoidable had Officer Rialmo, in reliance on his training and in compliance with the Department’s General Orders, acted reasonably in his use of deadly force. Officer Rialmo knew or reasonably should have known that Bettie Jones was in his line of fire and nonetheless chose to fire his weapon repeatedly in her direction. There were alternatives available to Officer Rialmo, including repositioning himself, as his partner had done, so that if Quintonio LeGrier increased his threat to the officers, the two officers could have fired at him without having Bettie Jones or other innocent bystanders in their line of fire. Officer Rialmo did not take any precautions to avoid killing Bettie Jones. His decision to place her in peril when he was at least eight to ten feet from Mr. LeGrier and had an avenue to reposition himself available, as well as his guilt on the other charges filed against him in this case, amounts to conduct that is sufficiently serious to constitute a substantial shortcoming that renders his continuance in his office detrimental to the discipline and efficiency of the service of the Chicago Police Department, and is something that the law recognizes as good cause for him to no longer occupy his office.

Minority Opinions