CINCINNATI -- The leader of a group supporting black police officers blasted Cincinnati's police union president for a recent Facebook post addressed to "Black Lives Matter Protestors (sic)."
Officer Eddie Hawkins, president of the Sentinel Police Association, called Sgt. Dan Hils' recent Facebook post “inappropriate” and “absurd.”
Hawkins released a statement regarding the post, which Hils posted Saturday, when several groups marched from Fountain Square to The Banks demanding "justice for Sam DuBose." Ray Tensing, a former University of Cincinnati police officer, shot DuBose in the head during a traffic stop in July 2015. DuBose was black; Tensing is white.
A judge dismissed charges against Tensing Monday after jurors could not reach a unanimous verdict in two trials. DuBose didn't have a gun. Tensing claimed DuBose tried to speed away from the stop, causing him to fear for his life.
In the post, Hils said he wanted to help their “objective at the rally today protesting black lives lost.” He then listed the names of 32 black homicide victims, saying “...I wanted to let you know first how many of those black lives lost were in police interventions. Ok, get ready for it……………hold on and take a deep breath……………are you sure that you are ready?.................Ok, that’s right it is zero (0), not a one, zilch.”
Some commented on Hils' post, thanking him for bringing the information into the public sphere. Others were critical, saying Hils undermined police brutality by listing the victims of "black on black crime."
Hawkins said he was “disturbed” by recent events surrounding Hils, including the Facebook post and his recent withdrawal from the process of updating Cincinnati's landmark Collaborative Agreement on police-community relations.
“I reject Dan Hils' inappropriate post referring to black on black crime, which amounted to telling the black community that they cannot be upset about police involved shootings until every single homicide involving a black victim is resolved,” Hawkins said in a statement.
He said black police officers are often caught in the middle of “being blue and being black.”
“The fact is we are divided; not by race, but by right versus wrong, and what appears to be right for some is not necessarily right for others. Hils' comments ignores the plight and feelings of the black officers who he is supposed to serve,” Hawkins said.
Hils declined to comment over the phone, but he said he would issue a written statement Thursday.