Chicago, IL – The police driver who was out drinking with former Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson the night he was found passed out in his SUV filed a lawsuit against her former boss on Thursday that accused him of sexual assault and sexual harassment.
Chicago Police Officer Cynthia Donald, a 14-year veteran of the police force, appeared at a virtual press conference with her attorneys on Oct. 15 to announce the lawsuit, the Daily Mail reported.
Her attorneys said that Officer Donald had been subjected to “sexual and emotional torture” when she worked for former Superintendent Johnson.
The lawsuit claimed that the superintendent had victimized Officer Donald repeatedly by sending her nude photos of himself and that he sexually harassed her at work and forced her to engage in sex acts with him, the Daily Mail reported.
Officer Donald claimed in the suit that then-Superintendent Johnson intentionally put her on his security detail back in 2016 because he was attracted to her and wanted to have more physical access to her.
In the lawsuit, the officer claimed that three months after she joined the superintendent’s security staff, he pushed her back on the couch in his office, pulled down her pants, and performed oral sex on her without her consent, the Daily Mail reported.
The lawsuit claimed that afterwards, Superintendent Johnson ejaculated on Officer Donald and told her “now you belong to me.”
“Superintendent Johnson used his position of power and authority over Plaintiff to pressure her into engaging in these sexual acts by conditioning her employment and advancements within [the Chicago Police Department] upon her submission to unwanted and unwelcomed sexual activity, promising her promotions, and berating her whenever she summoned the courage to resist his advances,” the complaint read.
Officer Donald’s lawsuit also alleged that Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot had also mistreated her, the Daily Mail reported.
The officer claimed she was transferred to the records division after Lightfoot found out about the dalliance with the top cop when then-Superintendent Johnson passed out behind the wheel of his police SUV at a stop sign.
Officer Donald is one of five officers who are facing suspensions related to the cover-up that took place after the superintendent was discovered allegedly impaired behind the wheel.
Superintendent Johnson had been out drinking for hours Officer Donald on the night he was found slumped over in his police vehicle on the side of the road, but he told the mayor he’d had a bad reaction to a new medication.
The city’s Inspector General investigated and determined that the superintendent had been drinking with Officer Donald at a trendy bar called Ceres before he got in his car to drive home, the Herald & Review reported.
The report said investigators had determined that Officer Donald had also “consumed several large servings of rum while at a restaurant with the CPD superintendent” before driving home and surveillance footage from the bar showed the two kissing, according to the Daily Mail.
He dropped the officer off to pick up her department-owned vehicle and then proceeded to pass out behind the wheel a few moments later at the intersection of 34th Place and Aberdeen Street, the Herald & Review reported.
The investigation revealed that then-Superintendent Johnson was passed out behind the wheel at that intersection from 10:29 p.m. until officers woke him up at 12:33 a.m. after a passerby called 911.
The mayor fired the police superintendent when she found out he’d lied to her.
The inspector general’s summary of the investigation said that the officer who as out drinking with Superintendent Johnson that night is facing a seven-day suspension for drinking and driving a police department vehicle, the Herald & Review reported.
Officer Donald has claimed that the superintendent forced her to go out drinking with him the night of the incident, the Daily Mail reported.
She said she came forward in the hope that it would help other women who had been abused by former Superintendent Johnson, the Daily Mail reported.
“My hope is that other women who are also survivors will have the courage to come forward and speak out,” Officer Donald told reporters at the virtual media availability. “The stories of abuse of other cops gave me the courage to speak.”
“For more than three years, I was subjected to unwanted, uninvited sexual abuse, and intimidation in a hostile environment by my boss,” the officer said. “He referred to me by derogatory names and in demeaning ways. He referred to me as his girl. At times I was able to avoid his advances, he would tell me “you got away this time.’”
“He made it clear I had to follow his orders, which included engaging in unwanted sexual acts with him in order to keep my job,” she alleged.
Officer Donald’s attorneys have called the mayor complicit in her abuse, the Daily Mail reported.
“After that night, Lori Lightfoot was updated as to what happened and instead of speaking with Cynthia, she told Eddie to ‘dump’ Cynthia and put her in the records department at a desk job,” the lawsuit alleged.
Her attorneys said Officer Donald never reported what happened because she feared retaliation from the city’s top cop, the Daily Mail reported.
“At no time was it consensual it was always under duress,” the officer’s attorneys told reporters. “She was always in fear that if she didn’t comply she’d be terminated or demoted.”