High-ranking cop lied to slain officer’s grieving mother, hoping to get mayor admitted to fallen cop’s funeral: report

Chicago Mayor Brandon Johnson and Police Supt. Larry Snelling walk in Lincoln Park in February 2024 (@chicagosmayor)

CHICAGO — A high-ranking Chicago police executive lied to the mother of slain CPD Officer Luis Huesca, telling her that it was mandatory for Mayor Brandon Johnson to attend Huesca’s funeral, according to a damning report by the Chicago Sun-Times.

The executive lied to Huesca’s grieving mother after family members made it clear that the mayor, Gov. J.B. Pritzker, and other politicians they consider unsupportive of police were not welcome at the officer’s funeral, the paper said.

“A flurry of conversations ensued, one including CPD Supt. Larry Snelling on speakerphone with other police brass, one of whom told Huesca’s mother, in Spanish, it was ‘mandatory that the mayor had to show up,'” veteran City Hall reporter Fran Spielman wrote.

While Pritzker immediately honored the family’s request, Johnson and his team did not. Huesca’s funeral remained on Johnson’s public schedule until about an hour before the ceremony began. According to Spielman, some of Johnson’s top aides and the mayor’s “advance team” showed up at the service.

“At one point, there was an implication that the honors funeral is tied to the mayor’s attendance. That was the guilt trip that we’re laying on this family,” John Catanzara, head of the union representing front-line CPD officers, told the paper.

There is no such requirement. Huesca’s sister, according to Catanzara, vowed to “make a scene” and personally eject Johnson from the funeral if he showed up.

Catanzara told the paper that Huesca’s family wanted him to expose the administration’s efforts to manipulate them in their time of grief. Spielman reported that CPD and Johnson’s office refused to comment for her report.

Xavier Tate Jr., the 22-year-old accused of murdering Huesca, remained at large as of Tuesday evening. Rewards totaling $100,000 are being offered for information that leads to his arrest and conviction.

In another development, a relative of Tate’s remains in the Cook County jail after he was allegedly caught tossing Huesca’s firearm over a fence as police investigating the murder entered his home. The officer’s gun was missing when first responders found him lying in the street near his Gage Park home on April 21.

Caschaus Tate, 20, had a burglary case pending when police arrested him and recovered the gun on Friday afternoon. Yesterday, Judge Luciano Panici ordered him to remain in jail for violating pretrial release conditions in the burglary case. Caschaus Tate is due in court again on May 15.

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CWBChicago was created in 2013 by five residents of Wrigleyville and Boystown who had grown disheartened with inaccurate information that was being provided at local Community Policing (CAPS) meetings. Our coverage area has expanded since then to cover Lincoln Park, River North, The Loop, Uptown, and other North Side Areas. But our mission remains unchanged: To provide original public safety reporting with better context and greater detail than mainstream media outlets. Our editorial email address is news@cwbchicago.com