An LAPD officer said in an Instagram video watched by tens of thousands of people this week that he would lose his job rather than meet the COVID-19 vaccination requirement for city workers.
Officer Michael McMahon, a 14-year-old LAPD veteran who founded Roll Call 4 Freedom against the mandate, is the first officer to publicly reject the new demands since the final compliance notices began to be posted this week.
In a post on Roll Call 4 Freedom’s Instagram page, McMahon said he had been notified that he would be dismissed from office unless he agreed to a city mandate by Friday, which requires city employees to either get vaccinated by December. .18 or get an exemption for medical or religious reasons, in the meantime pay for regular COVID-19 testing from a city contractor.
“Today I was informed that if I refuse to sign the department’s prescribed form regarding COVID and testing with Bluestone, I will have 48 hours to reconsider, and I will arrive on Friday at 4 pm and I will be dismissed,” he said. … McMahon said in the video. Turn in my pistol, my badge, my ID, and 14 years of service to Los Angeles citizens are ultimately over.
“I AM NOT COMPLIANT,” he wrote under the video.
McMahon did not respond to a request for comment on Friday.
Captain Giselle Espinoza, a spokesman for the LAPD, said the department was “looking into the person on Instagram videos.”
Medical experts say vaccines are safe and effective, especially in preventing the worst symptoms of COVID-19 and helping to contain the spread of the virus, which has killed more than 5 million people worldwide.
Legal scholars said vaccination was legal and had previously been confirmed in the courts. Police chiefs say officers must already be vaccinated against a number of other diseases as a condition of their work.
City officials said the COVID-19 vaccination requirement for city employees is designed to ensure the safety of people, including employees, but also members of the public with whom they come in contact, and promoted this mandate despite warnings from opponents of the mandate that it could lead to … to the reduction of police and fire forces and a decrease in public safety.
The dire warnings of a mass exodus of public security personnel have not materialized in other cities.
Police officials said about 75% of the Los Angeles Police Force, of more than 12,000 people, had been vaccinated. However, hundreds of employees did not inform the department of their vaccination status this week, and thousands of others requested exceptions.
Los Angeles Police Chief Michelle Moore said the notices will be delivered to most unvaccinated officers this week, giving them 48 hours to sign terms or be suspended from duty pending disciplinary action to separate them from the forces. …
“I still hope that all of these employees will be vaccinated or enter into an agreement with those who intend to apply for tax exemption,” said Moore.
Neither police nor city officials were able to immediately provide data on the number of officers who received or rejected notifications this week.
The reasons for McMahon’s rejection of the mandate were not entirely clear.
In an Instagram video, McMahon called the mandate “unfair, illegal and immoral.”
He argued that the mandate was somehow linked to the “money” of Mayor Eric Garcetti and the city council, and somehow linked to the billions of dollars in federal aid the region received as part of a recovery package aimed at mitigating the financial impact of the pandemic and related outages.
McMahon said Los Angeles “is entering a massive crisis that probably has no way out,” and added that “a critical-minded officer, a hard-working officer, those days are almost over and we are entering a dark phase of American policing. … “
Roll Call 4 Freedom’s website says the group prioritizes testing requirements over a vaccination mandate, but only on the recommendation of a lawyer.
“While many of us are reluctant to get tested, and we don’t feel like it is necessary, our attorney believes that requesting a REASONABLE screening and testing will give us a better chance of success in litigation and mandate revocation,” the group’s website says. … …
In a recent radio interview, McMahon said some in the group are already sick with COVID-19, believe they still have natural antibodies, and want to be able to prove it to the department instead of being vaccinated or regularly tested.