Cynthia Donald, a veteran policewoman with the Chicago Police Department (CPD), has filed a sexual assault against former CPD Superintendent Eddie Johnson. In the lawsuit, she alleged that Johnson and other officers within the department subjected her to a series of unwanted sexual harassment, advances, and a hostile work environment.
In December 2019, Johnson was relieved of his duties by the Mayor of Chicago after he was found sleeping behind the wheel after a drinking spree with one of his security details. After investigations by the authorities, that officer turned out to be Cynthia Donald.
Some revelations in the lawsuits include allegations that Johnson performed forced sexual acts on Donald, sent her nude photographs, and threatened her with demotion and fewer responsibilities if Donald did not give in to his advances. She said the first time that the former top cop assaulted her in his office; he forced her to perform a sexual act on him and subsequently told that she belonged to him now. When Mayor Lori Lightfoot became aware of these allegations, she ordered Johnson to demote her, Donald stated in her lawsuit.
Donald said she and other members of the CPD had been victims of a culture of sexual harassment in the department. She alleged that this culture has gone on for long and that the department has turned into a club of abusers emboldened by the silence of superior officers who are quite aware of everything that is going on within the department.
Donald alleged that at no time was her affair with Johnson consensual. She claimed she was always forced to engage in sexual acts that were performed under threats. She said if she didn’t give in, she would have lost her job.
The former top police officer has, however, denounced the claims, insisting that none of such happened.
“The allegations of sexual assault and harassment made by Ms. Donald never happened,” Johnson stated. “Her accusations are not only patently false, they are egregiously dehumanizing towards true victims who have truly suffered sexual assault and harassment in the workplace. The claims are an affront to everything I believe in and stand for. I pray for Ms. Donald’s well-being and look forward to the opportunity where the facts can be presented.”
During the late-night drinking incident that happened nearly a year ago, which eventually led to losing his job, Donald was with Johnson in a bar drinking alcoholic beverages. After their evening outing, Johnson dropped Donald off at the police headquarters and headed home. However, on his way home, he came under the influence of alcohol and slept off in his car on the streets, with the engine of the car left running.
A bystander eventually had to call in the police, who came and found Johnson behind the wheel. He was allowed to go with a sobriety test carried on him
The CPD released a statement saying that they cannot comment on the matter at that point in time. It said that if Donald’s claims turn out to be true, then Johnson’s actions would have been “inexcusable.”