Johnson addresses controversy over plans to attend Officer Huesca's funeral against family's wishes

Craig Wall Image
Friday, May 3, 2024
Mayor addresses controversy over plans to attend Ofc. Huesca's funeral
Mayor Brandon Johnson did not back off his plans to attend Chicago Police Officer Luis Huesca's funeral until the last minute.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Mayor Brandon Johnson expressed condolences to the family of slain Chicago Police Officer Luis Huesca on Friday.

For the first time since the funeral, Johnson addressed the controversy over his plans to attend the ceremony against the family's wishes.

Despite Johnson and his office being told numerous times in the days leading up to the funeral, including the night before, that Huesca's family did not want him to attend, the mayor did not back off his plans until the last minute.

Johnson took questions on Friday for the very first time about his initial plans to attend Huesca's funeral against the family's wishes. Those plans only changed the morning of the service after Johnson said he heard directly from the officer's mother that he was not welcome.

After court on Friday, the fallen officer's mother, Edith Huesca did not address the issue, but earlier, the mayor did.

SEE ALSO | CPD Officer Luis Huesca shot 10 times, prosecutors say, as murder suspect appears in court

"So, it was important for me to hear directly from the family, but once I had a direct conversation with Officer Huesca's mother, that's when we made the commitment to honor her request," Johnson said.

Johnson offered his deepest condolences to the family and the police department.

"I, along with the entire city of Chicago, we grieve together as we still struggle with this loss," Johnson said.

The mayor added that he is grateful to police for their service, and he voiced his support for the men and women in blue.

"Me and my administration, we are proud to support and stand with Chicago Police Department," Johnson said.

But multiple sources, including the Fraternal Order of Police John Catanzara, say the reason Johnson was not welcome at the funeral is because Huesca had made it clear to his family that he did not think the mayor had police officers' backs.

"These were all based on conversations Luis had with his brother and sister about his job, about the city, about the policies, about the excuses from the politicians for criminal behavior," Catanzara said.

Catanzara says this unfortunate situation should provide an important lesson.

"It just goes to show you the need for a clear and black-and-white protocol about these funerals and who gets invited and who does not. Should be the family's wishes. Period," Catanzara said.