Sunday, October 2, 2022

Chicago police union head urges cops to defy vaccine mandate

CHICAGO (AP) – The head of the Chicago Police Officers Association has called on its members to defy the city’s requirement to report their COVID-19 vaccination status or be placed on unpaid leave by Friday.

In a video posted online on Tuesday and first reported by the Chicago Sun-Times, Fraternal Order of Police President John Catanzara vowed to take Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s administration to court if it decides to implement the mandate. Tries, which requires city workers to report their vaccine status. by the end of the work week. After Friday, non-vaccinated workers who do not submit for semi-weekly coronavirus testing will be placed on unpaid leave.

Catanzara suggested that if the city implements its requirement and many members of the union refuse to comply, “it’s safe to say that the city of Chicago will have 50% or less of a police force coming this weekend. “

A spokesman for the mayor said his office would not issue a statement in response to Catanzara’s remarks. Neither the mayor’s office nor the police department immediately responded to Wednesday’s requests for comment. The mayor had scheduled a press briefing later in the day.

In the video, Catanzara instructs officials to file for an exemption to receive the vaccine, but not to enter that information into the city’s vaccine portal.

He said that although he has clarified his vaccine status, “I don’t believe the city has the authority to give that information to anyone, about their medical history.”

First responders across the country have been hit hard by the virus but are opposed to the vaccination mandate. According to the Officer Down memorial page, more than 460 law enforcement officers have died from COVID-19, including four members of the Chicago Police Department. On Tuesday, Dean Angelo, who once held the position of Catanzara’s union, died of illness.

Catanzara has clashed with the mayor over several issues. After the city announced the vaccine mandate in August, the union chief likened it to something to do with Nazi Germany, telling the Sun-Times, “It’s not a Nazi … Germany is (saying) ‘step in’. The… showers, bullets won’t harm you.'”

Lightfoot blasts Catanzara for his “aggressive outburst” and Catanzara posted a video on Union’s YouTube. The channel apologized for its choice of words, saying it was not trying to link the vaccination to what happened during the Holocaust.

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Nation World News Desk
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