The battle between Chicago Police officers and mayor Lori Lightfoot has intensified as we head into what will likely be another deadly, crime-filled weekend. Lightfoot announced Friday the city filed a complaint against the Fraternal Order of Police (FOP) and its president, John Catanzara.
The complaint, which was granted by the judge, asked to stop police from “engaging in, supporting, and encouraging a work stoppage or strike.” The temporary restraining order was handed down Friday evening.
Chicago’s Fox 32 reports “the ruling means he cannot make comments on social media or in the media that encourage union members not to comply with the city’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate until at least the next hearing on Oct. 25”
Catanzara has publicly supported police officers who choose not to get the COVID-19 vaccine, saying the city cannot lose nearly 50% of its officers for defying the cities mandate. CharlieKirk.com reported Thursday Catanzara posted a video to Facebook and YouTube advising officers not to enter their private information and vaccine status into an online portal demanded by the city to enter by midnight Friday.
“This is very clearly not a job action, not a call for a strike, none of that illegal stuff that I’m sure the city is going to try and make it out to be” said Catanzara in the video.
In a statement, the mayor’s office said, “ Today, the court granted the City’s request for a temporary restraining order against FOP president John Catanzara which prohibits him from making public comments to the media and on social media platforms encouraging all Chicago police officers to refuse to comply with the City’s vaccination policy.”
“The information we’re requiring employees to provide is very basic. Not intrusive” said Lightfoot on Thursday. “It’s a simple yes or no. Yes you’re vaccinated. No you’re not vaccinated. If yes, then you provide you’re vaccination information. If no, then you’re able to go to a different portal and sign up to say that you will take the weekly testing option. Pretty straight forward” she added.
Friday’s statement reads, “As Chicago’s Mayor, I cannot and will not stand idly by while the rhetoric of conspiracy theorists threatens the health and safety of Chicago’s residents and first responders…President Catanzara has time and again deliberately misled our police officers by lying about the requirements of the policy and falsely claiming that there will be no repercussions if officers are insubordinate and refuse to follow a City and Department directive order.”