May 23, 2024

On Monday, the family of fallen Chicago police officer Luis Huesca laid him to rest at St. Rita of Cascia Shrine Chapel. While Chicago Mayor Brandon Johnson had initially had the funeral on his public calendar, plans changed after Officer Huesca’s family told him to stay away.

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Mayor Brandon Johnson was among those expressing condolences to the family of fallen Chicago Police Officer Luis Huesca on Monday.

But the mayor did not attend the funeral after learning that the officer’s grief-stricken mother said he was not welcome.

This decision by the family caused a bit of a political stir.

On Sunday night, the mayor in his public schedule said he would be attending the funeral despite being told earlier in the evening by two public officials, including Illinois Comptroller Susanna Mendoza, that the family did not want him there. On Monday morning, the mayor relented and stayed away.

It’s not the first time in recent history that a hapless Chicago mayor has drawn the ire of the Chicago Police Department.

The last time anything close to this happened was in 2021, when officers turned their back on Mayor Lori Lightfoot when she went to visit the family of wounded officer Carlos YaƱez at the hospital despite being asked to stay away.

On Monday, a number of other elected officials attended Huesca’s funeral. Chicago Police Supt. Larry Snelling chose to focus on his fallen officer, not the controversy.

Superintendent Snelling, at least, showed some class in this whole affair – and Mayor Johnson’s statement struck the proper tone.

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The mayor, without addressing the controversy, said in a statement, “As mayor, I vow to continue supporting our police and first responders, uniting our city and remaining committed to working with everyone towards building a better, stronger, safer Chicago. My heart is with the Huesca family today.”

The message sent by Officer Huesca’s family did not go unnoticed, Chicago’s ABC affiliate reported in the story linked above:

“It’s a powerful message. They’re basically saying that they do not want the most powerful, most prominent, most important member of the city, the mayor of the City of Chicago to participate in this very important event,” said ABC7 Political Analyst Laura Washington.

“It says that, you know, the appetite right now of the political movement against the police is noticed by citizens noticed by family members,” said 41st Ward Ald. Anthony Napolitano, who is also a former police officer.

A powerful message indeed, and one that is becoming troublingly common in our major cities. Low pay, increasing crime rates, perceived lack of support from city officials, especially those who support the “defund the police” movement, have contributed to the exodus.

This request from Officer Huesca’s family may well be another recognition of this problem.

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See Related: WATCH: Chicago Mayor Johnson Has an Astonishing Response When Asked About the Border 

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Officer Huesca was killed while off-duty, when he responded to a call of shots fired and found a wounded officer who had been carjacked; when Huesca confronted the carjacker the criminal shot him multiple times. The suspect has not yet been captured or charged.

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