In Chicago, a standoff is brewing between the city government and the police in one of the nation’s deadliest cities for violent crime. In the Windy City, the head of Chicago’s Fraternal Order of Police, John Catanzara, has called on his fellow officers to defy the ‘improper directive’ to get vaccinated being imposed by Mayor Lori Lightfoot.
On Friday, Mayor Lightfoot announced the city was filing a lawsuit against the Fraternal Order of Police and Catanzara, alleging he sought “to induce an insurrection” by encouraging officers not to disclose their vaccination status. Employees who had failed to comply by the vaccine directive by the October 15 deadline were to be put on no-pay status.
Catanzara made it clear that the vaccine mandate was improper and warned that police staffing could be reduced by half over the weekend if the city followed through with it. As many as 6,500 Chicago police officers could be placed on unpaid leave due to the directive, the Daily Mail noted.
“I do not believe the city has the authority to mandate that to anybody, let alone that information about your medical history,” Catanzara argued in a video reported by the Chicago Sun-Times. “It’s safe to say that the city of Chicago will have a police force at 50% or less for this weekend coming up,” he added.
The city argued in its complaint filed in Cook County Circuit Court that this was “a clear instruction and command to engage in an unlawful strike.” The Fraternal Order of Police subsequently countersued, arguing that the city did not properly negotiate with the union over the vaccine mandate. If police officers choose not to be vaccinated for Covid-19, they will be subject to twice weekly testing requirements.
Mayor Lightfoot, in typical blunt fashion, dismissed the police union president’s concerns outright and urged people to obey the directive.
“What we’re focused on is making sure that we maximize the opportunity to create a very safe workplace,” Lightfoot argued. “The data is very clear. It is unfortunate that the FOP leadership has chosen to put out a counter-narrative. But the fact of the matter is, if you are not vaccinated, you are playing with your life, the life of your family, the life of your colleagues and members of the public.”
In the meantime, a judge has ordered Catanzara to stop encouraging police officers to obey the unlawful vaccine mandates. The temporary restraining order, which bars him from making statement that discourage members from reporting their COVID-19 vaccine status to the city, was reported by the Chicago Tribune.
Baltimore’s police union is similarly advising its officers not to disclose their vaccination status to the city until there is more clarification surrounding the city’s vaccine mandate, the Hill reported.
“It is understandable that our members have questions about a policy with so little information being provided by the city,” Sgt. Mike Mancuso, president of the Fraternal Order of Police, said in a letter to his union members. “Until the city responds to our right to bargain these issues, or the courts intervene, I suggest you do nothing in regard to revealing your vaccination status as it is outlined in the city’s policy.”
In Seattle, which has been ravaged by rioting and protests, the police chief has issued a letter to officers imploring them not quit over the vaccine mandate. The letter was reported by Jason Rantz.
“I am going to tell you – I do not want to lose any of you. In the past almost two years, we have lost too many,” Chief of Police Adrian Diaz argued.
Los Angeles County sheriff Alex Villanueva, who runs the largest sheriff’s department in the nation with approximately 18,000 employees, has made it clear he has no intention to enforce the county’s vaccine mandate.
“The mandate was issued by executive order in August and allows only for religious and medical exemptions,” NPR reported. “Villanueva said his employees are willing to be terminated rather than get vaccinated.”
“I don’t want to be in a position to lose 5, 10% of my workforce overnight on a vaccine mandate,” the sheriff said.
Even in cities where the police unions are not standing up for officers, there are rumblings behind the scenes that indicate relations are heating up to a boiling point. In San Diego, ‘hundreds’ of police officers who oppose the unlawful mandate are not getting the public sipport of the union president Jack Schaeffer. The officers are now planning to strike on October 22nd at 3:30PM, outside of San Diego City Hall, Net Breaking reported. And in Raleigh, North Carolina, firefighters, police officers and first responders are threatening to sue over the vaccine mandate.
While New York City has not formally issued a vaccine mandate for the NYPD, socialist Mayor De Blasio has said he is exploring ‘all options.’
“We’re looking at all options,” Mayor Bill de Blasio said on Brian Lehrer’s WNYC radio show.
“In the coming days I’ll speak about additional steps for different parts of the city, our workforce and beyond, different things we’re going to be looking at, different things we’re going to be doing,” de Blasio added. “But that’s still several days away because we’re doing a very meticulous analysis of what is the next step that makes sense.”
“De Blasio has floated a potential vaccine mandate for the NYPD, the nation’s largest police department, for several weeks, the AP reported. “The department’s vaccination rate has lagged behind the rest of the city, with some officers flat out refusing to get the shots.”
One of the most dangerous aspects of the breakdown in police-city government relations is that it may not be perceived as an ‘unfortunate side effect’ of unlawful vaccine mandates in the eyes of Democratic Party leaders who advocated Defund the Police. The vaccine mandates appear to be an extension of the Democratic Party’s intention to purge the military, police and society of Americans who are willing to stand up for the rights of Americans in the face of tyranny. The new agenda is not just Defund the Police, but also Purge the Police.