Lawsuit Filed Against City Exposing Firefighters’ “Code of Silence”

The Blake Horwitz Law Firm currently represents a Chicago firefighter with more than 20 years of experience who was assaulted by his superior for going against the Chicago Fire Department’s “code of silence.”  On March 25, 2018, the firefighter and Lieutenant Leonard Johnson, were responding to a burning building. During the response, Johnson ordered the firefighter to enter the building, which he did so despite the danger this posed to himself and others.

Later that week, a mandatory meeting was held at the fire station to discuss why the firefighter entered the burning building. When the firefighter disclosed that the Johnson ordered him to, Johnson turned physical. He punched the firefighter in the face multiple times, which rendered him unconscious. As reported by the Chicago Tribune, the firefighter was transported to Little Company of Mary Hospital to receive medical assistance,.Johnson was then charged with misdemeanor battery.

The Blake Horwitz Law Firm filed suit on behalf of the firefighter against Johnson and the City of Chicago, alleging that Johnson assaulted the firefighter for going against the “code of silence”—an underground yet widely understood expectation within the department that firefighters don’t report misconduct on the job.

If you or someone you know share a similar story, contact The Blake Horwitz Law Firm at (312) 676-2100 or

Read more about the case below:

  • Chicago Tribune, “Chicago fire lieutenant charged with misdemeanor after fistfight at fire station, authorities say”