FOP leader calls for Cincinnati detective to be reinstated after saying ‘n-word’
CINCINNATI (WXIX) - The president of the union that represents Cincinnati police is calling on department leaders to immediately reinstate a police detective suspended for saying a racial slur while working an off-duty detail at a nightclub, according to a news release from a crisis communications firm.
This is the third time in the past year a Cincinnati police officer has said the n-word.
Detective Joehonny Reese, who is Black, was one of two officers at Energy Nightclub in Longworth Hall at 700 W. Pete Rose Way on Friday, Sept. 2, reads the release, sent by Ryan Stubenrauch with Communications Counsel.
“Late in the evening, bar security brought out “a highly intoxicated, underage white teenager,” the release states.
“The drunk teenager was physically threatening and berating the bar’s security staff as well as the off-duty officers. When the officers politely asked the drunk teenager to leave the premises, the teenager continued shouting at the officers, threatening them as well as repeatedly calling them ‘fake n-words.’
“As the drunk teenager continued to refuse to leave, the officers activated their body cameras,” the release continues. “The teenager continued to scream at officers and refused to leave the bar. Finally, the drunk teenager attempted to assault the officers. That caused the officers to use a taser and arrest the teen for disorderly conduct.
“During the confrontation, as the drunk white teenager threatened and demeaned two Black police officers repeatedly with the n-word, one of the officers, veteran Cincinnati Detective Joehonny Reese, used the same word when he told the drunk teenager that he wouldn’t be an n-word.
“Both officers showed remarkable restraint in the face of repeated racial slurs and gave the drunk teenager numerous chances to leave without being arrested.
“Only after the teenager decided to try to physically assault them did the officers use a taser and arrest the man,” the release states. “The next week, Detective Reese had his gun and badge taken away by internal investigators solely for the word he used.”
“Police officers shouldn’t use racial slurs,” FOP President Dan Hils said in the release. “But it is the absolute height of stupidity to suspend Detective Reese who kept his cool so well in the face of a drunk, white teenager screaming threats and repeatedly calling him and another Black officer the n-word.
“The circumstance of every incident has to be considered and this idiotic decision from the department must be reversed. Detective Reese must be immediately reinstated immediately.”
The city released the following statements:
“As the Chief for the Cincinnati Police Department, it is my duty and responsibility to ensure that every allegation of misconduct by any member of this organization be investigated,” Interim Police Chief Teresa Theetge said.
“Regardless of the circumstances, a complete and thorough investigation will be conducted by our Internal Investigations Section (IIS). Under my leadership, it is standard practice to temporarily suspend police powers until an investigation into the use of a racial slur is complete.”
City Manager Sheryl Long said: “I fully support Cincinnati Police throughout this disciplinary hearing process, as expressly defined in the collective bargaining agreement between the FOP and City. We hold our sworn officers to a high standard, which is why it’s very important that the disciplinary process proceeds.
“Every case must go through the same, thorough investigation and critical review in order to avoid undermining the legitimacy of the process. I expect any decision will strictly adhere to the City’s disciplinary procedures.
Last month, some members of Cincinnati City Council proposed a “zero tolerance policy” for any police officer who used a racial slur, no matter the circumstances.
The policy has yet to be adopted by council members or implemented by CPD.
More recently, a veteran Cincinnati police officer, Rose Valentino, was put on desk duty with suspended police powers and then fired after saying the racial slur on duty following an incident with a teenager outside Western Hills High School on April 5.
Another veteran officer, Kelly Drach, served a 56-hour suspension on May 20 to May 28 after admitting to using the racial slur on duty twice on two separate occasions in late 2021 after talking on the phone to fraudulent telemarketers.
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