Cincinnati police detective who used racial slur at night club reinstated

City officials defended the temporary suspension as standard practice at the department.
Published: Sep. 20, 2022 at 9:13 PM EDT|Updated: Sep. 20, 2022 at 9:14 PM EDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

CINCINNATI (WXIX) - A Cincinnati police detective has been reinstated to active duty after he was suspended in early September for saying a racial slur while working an off-duty detail at a nightclub.

FOP President Dan Hils confirmed the reinstatement of CPD Det. Joehonny Reese Tuesday night.

Reese, who is Black, was working off-duty at Energy Nightclub in Longworth Hall on Sept. 2 when bar security brought out a drunk, underage white teenager, Hils described previously.

The teenager physically threatened the bar security staff as well as Reese and another off-duty officer, according to Hils.

The officers allegedly asked the teenager to leave, but they remained, continued to threaten the officers and repeatedly called them “fake n-words,” Hils explained.

Bodycam allegedly shows the teenager’s attempt to assault the officers, which prompted the officers to tase and arrest the teenager.

During the encounter, Reese allegedly used the n-word when telling the teenager that he, Reese, wouldn’t be an n-word, according to Hils.

Reese was suspended a week after the incident.

In their conclusion, CPD’s Internal Investigation Section wrote that Officer Reese never used the racial slur “as an expression of prejudice or to degrade the teen’s character or race.”

Interim Cincinnati Police Chief Teresa Theetge noted it is standard department practice to temporarily suspend police power’s until an investigation into the use of a racial slur is complete, no matter the circumstances.

City Manager Sheryl Long voiced support for the temporary suspension, which she said is “expressly defined in the collective bargaining agreement between the FOP and City.”

Long continued: “Every case must go through the same, thorough investigation and critical review in order to avoid undermining the legitimacy of the process.”

Hils railed against the suspension last week.

He offered a statement Tuesday night that reads in part, “I appreciate the city manager for insisting that the police department quickly provide a resolution. Detective Reese was issued a notice of verbal counseling for coarse language. Even that minor documentation was unjustified.”

Members of Cincinnati City Council last month 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 or implemented.

Prior instances of CPD employees using racial slurs have resulted in more serious punishments.

Former CPD Officer Rose Valentino was suspended and later fired after using the slur in an incident with a teenager outside a Western Hills High School.

CPD Officer Kelly Drach served a 56-hour suspension May 20-28 after admitting to using a racial slur on duty twice in late 2021 after talking on the phone to fraudulent telemarketers.

See a spelling or grammar error in our story? Please include the title when you click here to report it.