The video was posted online Tuesday by the Chicago Sun-Times. It was the first time that John Catanzara, President of Fraternal Order of Police, stated that he would sue Mayor Lori Lightfoot's administration if they attempt to enforce the mandate. This mandate requires city workers to report their vaccination status by Friday. Unvaccinated workers who refuse to submit to semiweekly coronavirus tests will be placed on unpaid parental leave.
Catanzara said that if the city enforces its requirement and union members refuse to follow it, "It is safe to assume that Chicago will have a 50% or less police force for the weekend."
Catanzara instructs officers in the video to apply for exemptions from the vaccine, but not to enter this information into the vaccine portal.
He stated that he had made it clear that he was vaccinated, but that he does not believe that the city has the power to require that.
Lightfoot, who accused Catanzara Wednesday of spreading false information, dismissed many of his statements as untrue or patently falsified. She also stated that COVID-19 vaccines have been proven to be effective. This would help protect city workers and their families.
Lightfoot stated, "What we are focusing on is making sure we maximize the chance to create a very safety workplace." The data is clear. The FOP leadership chose to counter this narrative, which is regrettable. The fact is that if you don't get vaccinated, your life, your family's life, and the lives of your colleagues, as well as members of the general public, are at risk.
The city has seen a spike in violent crime this year. This includes expressway shootings and an increase in carjackings. Chicago police reported 629 murders in October 2018, compared to 605 in the same period last years and 402 in that time frame in 2019.
The virus has been affecting first responders across the country, but they have refused to comply with vaccine mandates. According to the Officer Down Memorial page, COVID-19 has claimed the lives of more than 460 law enforcement officers, including four members from the Chicago Police Department. Dean Angelo, who was once Catanzara's union representative, died from the disease on Tuesday.
Los Angeles police, county sheriff, and Seattle Police are just a few of the departments that have been placed under mandatory vaccines.
Catanzara and the mayor have clashed over a variety of issues. Catanzara and the mayor have clashed over a variety of issues.
Lightfoot attacked Catanzara's "offensive outburst", and Catanzara posted a YouTube video apologizing for his words. Catanzara also said that he wasn't trying to connect vaccinations with what happened during World War II.