An advocacy group for Black police officers in Cincinnati unanimously voted this week that it had no confidence in local Fraternal Order of Police president Sgt. Dan Hils, Cincinnati.com reported.
After a meeting and subsequent vote on Thursday, Dec. 7, Sentinels Police Association President Sgt. Eddie Hawkins said Hils had “failed to equally represent African-American officers within the Cincinnati Police Department in matters ranging from discipline to promotions.” Hils, who is white, was elected president of the city’s FOP in 2015.
“We are unable to trust Sgt. Hils and, thus, the Fraternal Order Police, to represent African-American officers,” Hawkins said.
The sergeant is currently the subject of an internal equal employment opportunity suit filed by Black police lieutenant Danita Pettis, according to the news site, which is the latest in a string of complaints Hawkins said he’s received about Hils from Black officers. In her complaint, Pettis alleges that the sergeant undermined her authority by speaking to the third-shift roll call she supervised on her day off.
A witness statement from Sgt. Dan O’Malley claims Hils said working for Pettis made her officers’ job more difficult because “they already have it tough policing in an urban ghetto environment.” Hils later apologized for the comment.
Pettis also filed an EEO complaint with the Ohio Civil Rights Commission, accusing the sergeant of making “nasty, profanity-spewed, racially-negative comments that (have) resulted in national media attention.” She claimed Hils discriminated against her because of her race and gender.
The details of the roll call that Pettis was running on Nov. 25 were captured in an audio recording, Cincinnati.com reported. The lieutenant is heard discussing why she chose to wait to send back up after receiving a shots-fired call from another officer. She explained she wanted to be sure the officer had actually been shot at.
Pettis also speaks to another officer who reportedly questioned her authority and chain of command, asking if that officer was concerned about the safety of others, why that officer always “seemed to be behind a desk.”
Hils spoke to about 13 officers in Pettis’ command the following night.