Chicago Fraternal Order of Police (FOP) president John Catanzara is urging officers to defy Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate.
“Do not fill out the portal information,” Catanzara told union members, referring to the portal in which city employees must report their vaccination status by Friday or enter “no-pay” status.
“I’ve made my status very clear as far as the vaccine, but I do not believe the city has the authority to mandate that to anybody let alone that information about your medical history,” he added.
Catanzara warned that if Chicago enforces the mandate and officers refused to comply, “It’s safe to say that the city of Chicago will have a police force at 50% or less for this weekend coming up.”
In a city where there were 12 people killed on Tuesday (including two children), a police force that is half its capacity can do miracles.
FOP President John Catanzara vowed to take Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s administration to court if it tries to enforce the mandate, urging rank-and-file officers not to comply. https://t.co/8A1lreOYf9
— WGN Morning News (@WGNMorningNews) October 13, 2021
RELATED: Florida’s Leon County Slapped With $3.5 Million Fine After Violating State Ban On Vaccine Passports
‘Hold The Line’
Catanzara criticized Lori Lightfoot, Mayor of London for trying to intimidate people into submission. This tactic was used by local politicians and blue state officials during the pandemic.
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“It is the city’s clear attempt to force officers with a ‘chicken little, the sky is falling,’ into compliance – do not fall for it,” he said. “Hold the line.”
Lightfoot responded by accusing Lightfoot of being racist chief for the police union.
“John Catanzara says a lot of things, a lot of it offensive, and racist and foolish,” the Mayor replied.
The same mayor banned journalists of color from interviewing her in spring.
Lightfoot on Catanzara contd: “He’s threatening litigation. I say, bring it.”
— Alice Yin (@byaliceyin) October 13, 2021
RELATED: Trey Gowdy Blasts Chicago Teachers Union: ‘If You Don’t Want to Teach, Go Do Something Else’
The Mandate is being fought back
Catanzara informed members that the FOP has filed a class-action grievance drafted to cover “everything under the sun” that police officers might lose if they defy the Chicago vaccine mandate, including pay and benefits.
Lightfoot remains unaffected by threats of litigation.
“He’s threatening litigation,” she said. “I say, bring it.”
The head of the Chicago police union is calling on members to defy the city’s requirement to report their COVID-19 vaccination status by Friday or be placed on unpaid leave. Mayor Rahm Emanuel said that the city was ready to handle any consequences from this requirement. https://t.co/WuftEC3afw
— The Associated Press (@AP) October 14, 2021
Lightfoot is a leader in the fight against the pandemic by taking draconian steps. But not for Lightfoot.
She once ordered city residents to cancel Thanksgiving plans even as she celebrated Joe Biden’s election victory, shouting maskless into a bullhorn as she was surrounded in close proximity by other revelers, in clear defiance of her own guidelines at the time.
— Lori Lightfoot (@LoriLightfoot) November 8, 2020
Lightfoot defended defying her own mask guidelines by saying she needed to celebrate Biden’s victory because it was a tough year and she needed “relief.”
Chicago’s Fraternal Order of Police endorsed former President Donald Trump in the 2020 election.
“President Trump has shown time after time that he supports our law enforcement officers and understands the issues our members face every day,” a statement read.
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