Cincinnati Mayor John Cranley made an emotional apology after his office “mistakenly” issued a proclamation honoring a man who killed a city police officer.
“This was a huge mistake,” Cranley said at a Thursday evening press conference, according to The Cincinnati Enquirer. “It’s not done intentionally. It’s human error, but the buck stops with me. I love our police department. I would never do anything to hurt them.”
The proclamation reportedly deemed June 1, 2017 “Tre Day” to commemorate Trepierre Hummons, a 21-year-old man who fatally shot Cincinnati Police Officer Sonny Kim in June 2015.
According to Cincinnati’s WLWT News, officers were dispatched to Madisonville on June 19, 2015, to investigate a report of a man carrying a gun and acting “belligerent.” When Kim arrived on the scene, Hummons ambushed him and shot the 48-year-old father of four three times. A second responding officer shot Hummons.
Both Hummons and Kim died of their injuries at a local hospital. At the time of the shooting, authorities called it a case of suicide-by-cop, The Cincinnati Enquirer reported.
Cranley was alerted to the mistake after Hummons’ father shared a copy of the proclamation on Facebook. The mayor said the man had submitted the request without mentioning his son’s full name. He made the request intending to honor his commitment to helping those with mental illness, which he says led to his son’s actions. After his son’s death, the father founded the Trepierre Foundation with the goal of battling the stigma of undiagnosed mental illness.
A new staff member, unfamiliar with the case, reportedly granted the proclamation, which was then given to a communications director who approved it using a stamp with Cranley’s signature. The mayor said he’s since retracted the proclamation and ordered that all future applications must be approved by himself or his chief of staff.
“I got into public life to make the city better and to support law enforcement and to support the people that make our city better and our streets safe,” a tearful Cranley told reporters. “I love our police department. I walk with them, I ride with them and I would never do anything to hurt [them]. I’m sorry.’
Cincinnati Fraternal Order of Police President Dan Hils told Cincinnati’s WCPO-TV he is disappointed by the mistake, which occurred during Police Memorial Week, but is glad the mayor took responsibility.
“This was a breakdown in his office,” Hils told WCPO-TV.” I’m very glad that he said he was taking responsibility for it. I believe real leaders do that even in the worst of times.”