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Civil rights groups condemn FOP president Dan Hils for 'rogue actions, divisive rhetoric'

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Posted at 7:00 PM, Jan 04, 2018
and last updated 2018-01-05 01:19:54-05

CINCINNATI -- A coalition of civil rights organizations including the Cincinnati NAACP, Black United Front and AMOS Project condemned Cincinnati Fraternal Order of Police president Dan Hill in a Thursday night letter demanding "accountability for (his) rogue actions and divisive rhetoric."

The letter accused Hils of expressing and enabling racial bias in his FOP position, obstructing efforts to secure more equitable treatment for black Cincinnatians at the hands of law enforcement and of attempting to compromise the career of a black colleague, Lt. Danita Pettis. 

"He has attempted to create a hostile work environment by telling officers to violate procedure while he was in the work place under the guise of union business," the letter reads. "He has violated state law by revealing details of expunged and sealed records. Dan Hils' abuse and misuse of his position is unacceptable."

The letter claimed Hils had made derogatory comments about Pettis in relation to a 20-year-old arrest, the records of which were sealed, in front of other officers. It also accused him of obstructing efforts to improve police relationships with black communities when he led a vote to withdraw from participating in a refresh of the Collaborative Agreement.

The agreement is a landmark document created to improve relationships among officers and civilians after the 2001 death of Timothy Thomas, a 19-year-old black man, at the hands of a Cincinnati police officer. After facing harsh criticism for abandoning the refresh, the FOP recommitted to it in September 2017.

The Sentinel Police Association, an organization comprising black Cincinnati police officers, cast a vote of no confidence in the Fraternal Order of Police in December 2017 in connection to the same incidents, saying in a statement Hils had "failed to equally represent African American officers within the Cincinnati Police Department in matters ranging from discipline to promotion."

At the time of the vote, Hils said he could not publicly comment on it due to an ongoing internal investigation.

The Thursday night letter ended by requesting that Hils receive disciplinary action and implicit bias training in response to his alleged actions.