Chicago police union chief says dethrone Lightfoot over COVID-19 mandates

Chicago police union chief says dethrone Lightfoot over COVID-19 mandates

Immediately after a judge ended the gag order on Chicago’s police union president, he went right after Mayor Lori Lightfoot again about her COVID-19 vaccination mandate and reporting policy. Some aldermen joined his crusade.

Chicago Fraternal Order of Police President John Catanzara called on City Council members to stand up to Mayor Lori Lightfoot on her COVID-19 vaccine and reporting mandates.

A judge Oct. 25 ended a gag order on the union leader, allowing him to make public statements about the city worker mandates to get vaccinated and report their vaccination status. He spoke up right away.

“It is not a queen on that throne, it is a mayor,” Catanzara said.

Ward 23 Ald. Silvana Tabares and Ward 41 Ald. Anthony Napolitano introduced an ordinance that would void Lightfoot’s vaccine mandate and require City Council approval on future vaccine rules for city employees.

The ordinance was sent to thecuncil’s Rules Committee, infamously known as the place where legislation goes to die. Lightfoot went after Tabares for giving life to Catanzara’s request.

“It’s really stunning to me that a woman of color would carry the water for a guy like that, who every single day spews hatred against people who look like her and have her background,” Lightfoot said.

But Tabares contended it was a matter of safety, saying, “We’re already in the public safety crisis and this mayor is just making it worse and so I’m very concerned about the city.”

Catanzara was muzzled earlier in October after telling union members to defy Lightfoot and not report their vaccination statuses.

Police Superintendent David Brown has said 23 Chicago Police employees were on leave without pay for not complying with Lightfoot’s orders.

As of Monday, over 70% of the police department’s members had disclosed their vaccination statuses in compliance with the order. That puts 3,735 officers at risk of discipline and possible termination.

Lightfoot’s deadline for reporting vaccination status was Oct. 15. She said city workers can get tested twice a week, on their own time and at their own expense, until the end of the year. After that, they must get COVID-19 vaccinations or risk being put on unpaid leave.

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