Bar fight trial begins for Chicago officer involved in fatal shooting of LeGrier

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CHICAGO -- A misdemeanor trial is underway today for Chicago Police Officer Robert Rialmo, who is charged with battery from a December bar fight that was recorded on surveillance video.

Security was unusually heavy at the courthouse at 5555 W. Grand Ave. because of the high profile of the defendant.

In Monday's proceedings, prosecutors said in their opening arguments that an off-duty Rialmo attacked two men last December at Moretti's in Edison Park without provocation.

Surveillance video of the incident appears to show Rialmo shoving one man and punching another before someone brushes him back. He's later seen apparently rushing out of the room.

Rialmo's attorney said he was defending himself against two drunk men.

The officer is facing two counts of misdemeanor battery.  Prosecutors have dropped a theft charge against him from the incident involving a coat which reportedly sparked the confrontation.

Eight witnesses are expected to testify in the trial which should take a day or two.

One of them is a woman, who allegedly heard Rialmo say during the incident at he wouldn't get arrested because he's a cop. It's unclear whether Rialmo will take the stand.

Rialmo was recently exonerated in a civil trial over the Dec. 2015 shooting deaths of Quintonio LeGrier and his neighbor, Bettie Jones, as he was responding to a domestic disturbance call.

The judge presiding over the wrongful death trial of LeGrier reversed a jury finding in favor of the teen's family last month.

The full police board still must decide if he should be fired.



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