CHICAGO (CBS) — The International Association of Chiefs of Police’s conference kicked off at McCormick Place Saturday.
As law enforcement from across the world make their way to Chicago, local controversy over a major guest to the conference greets them.
Local leaders welcomed all the visitors — some of law enforcement’s best and brightest.
President Donald Trump is expected to speak at the conference on Monday, but Chicago’s top cop will not be in attendance.
“With some of our communities under siege it just doesn’t line up with our city’s core values along with my personal values but I will tell you this, I still have given approval for officers to attend if they so choose to so it’s not about the department it’s really about me,” said Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson.
Johnson is standing by his decision to not attend President Trump’s speech next week, saying — in part – “I can’t in good conscience stand by while racial insults and hatred are cast from the Oval Office.”
This is on the heels of Chicago’s police union issuing a vote of no confidence against Johnson for his decision not to attend.
Johnson welcomed and gave opening remarks Saturday to law enforcement’s top brass.
Mayor Lori Lightfoot also offered opening remarks but did not interview with media.
Last week, Johnson was found falling asleep behind the wheel of a car. He told the mayor he had been drinking at dinner before then, but said he had pulled over after feeling faint due to a medication mixup.
Johnson has had a series of previous health issues.
He has since requested an investigation of what happened, with the Inspector General’s Office looking into the incident.
Johnson only commented briefly about his health.
“I feel great, thanks for asking. I got everything kinda straightened out now,” he said.
The international conference boasting leaders from 160 countries runs through Tuesday.
The visit Monday will be President Trump’s first to Chicago in his presidency. He is set to appear at the chiefs conference at 2 p.m. Monday.