The union that represents Cincinnati police will hold a revote whether to pull out from participating in a "refresh" of the city's historic Collaborative Agreement that guided police reforms after the 2001 riots.
Sgt. Dan Hils, union president, made the announcement Wednesday amid criticism from the leader of a group that represents African American officers, Officer Eddie Hawkins - and about 30 minutes before Hawkins held a press conference.
Earlier this week, about 100 union members overwhelmingly voted to withdraw, Hils said.
But that was mostly retired police officers, Hawkins pointed out, not the ones currently protecting and serving Cincinnati.
"Collaborative policing has worked in Cincinnati and it is now in danger," Hawkins wrote in a lengthy statement. "All of us should be concerned - officers and citizens alike.
Hils said he and FOP Vice President Don Meece decided to hold another vote after meeting with the union's attorney, Steve Lazarus.
"Don and I have decided to petition the FOP Executive Board to order a special ballot vote of the membership," Hils wrote in a Facebook post.
"The entire membership will be given the opportunity to direct the union to participate, or not, in the Collaborative “Refresh”. We will also petition the floor at the next regular meeting with a motion that retired members abstain from this vote.
"In 2002 the entire active duty membership voted to enter the collaborative agreement. To be consistent, the entire membership should be included in this current decision.
"This is far too important for a small percentage of our members to decide. This decision does not negate the disappointment in the actions of some of the other partners in the collaborative."
The dates for the vote have not yet been set.
Hawkins also criticized Hils' Facebook post to Black Lives Matter on Saturday, just hours before the group and others held a large rally and march Downtown.
The demonstration took place four days after Hamilton County Prosecutor Joe Deters announced he would not seek a third trial on charges of murder and voluntary manslaughter against former University of Cincinnati Police officer Ray Tensing in the 2015 fatal shooting of Sam DuBose, a black motorist, at a traffic stop.
"Dear Black Lives Matter Protestors (sic), I wish to help your objective at the rally today protesting black lives lost," Hils wrote.
"I have the list of the homicide victims in the city of Cincinnati in 2017. As of July 17th, there have been 39 homicides. Of those homicides, 32 of the 39 homicide victims were black."
Hils received threats after he made the post, and Cincinnati police is investigating.
Hawkins said he was "disturbed by recent events involving the FOP."
"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 homicide involving a black victim is resolved."
But Hils said Wednesday his post was to Black Lives Matter, not the black community as a whole.
"There is nothing in it that mentions black on black crime," he said.
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