Democratic Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot said the city’s police union is trying to “induce an insurrection” over the COVID-19 vaccine mandate during a Monday press conference.
Fraternal Order of Police Chicago Lodge (FOP) President John Catanzara advised the city’s police officers Tuesday to refuse the city’s vaccine mandate that orders all city employees to either upload their vaccination status or sign up for semiweekly testing by Friday, ABC News reported.
Lightfoot and the FOP filed dueling injunction lawsuits against one another to a local court Thursday, the Courthouse News Service reported. The mayor said Monday that the police unions are “not authorized to strike” and have made efforts to “induce an insurrection.”
“We believe that the FOP leadership is trying to foment an illegal work stopping strike, pure and simple,” she said at the press conference. “We’ve laid that out in the materials, and we’re not having that. The contract is clear. It’s been known for a long time. The police unions are not authorized to strike. It’s in their collective bargaining agreement. It’s in state law.”
“What we’ve seen from the Fraternal Order of Police and particularly its leadership is a lot of misinformation, a lot of half true and frankly flat-out lies in order to induce an insurrection, and we’re not having that.”
Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot says leadership at the Fraternal Order of Police are trying to “induce an insurrection” against vaccine mandates pic.twitter.com/TlKKqp9Uye
— Daily Caller (@DailyCaller) October 18, 2021
Catanzara said Tuesday that he never encouraged officers to strike, but only to go home without a paycheck, the outlet reported. He threatened that nearly half of the officers would chose to be on unpaid leave than receive the vaccine. (RELATED: Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot Posts Photo Of Herself Maskless At WNBA Game, Appears To Violate Mandates)
The mayor said Catanzara “destroyed his police career” and wants to prevent other officers in the union from losing their jobs over their refusal to comply with the city’s vaccine mandate. She said the city expects the officer’s to follow the “sacred oath” they vowed to uphold.
“Officers swear an oath to abide by the U.S. Constitution, the state constitution and the laws of this city. That is a sacred oath that separates them from civilian employees everywhere,” the mayor said at the conference. “That’s a sacred oath and we expect them to abide by it.”
As a result of the suit, Cook County Circuit Judge Cecelia Horan issued a temporary restraining order against Catanzara on Friday to prevent him from influencing officers to refuse the vaccine, according to the Courthouse News Service. Another hearing on the matter is scheduled to take place Oct. 25.
Officers breaking the city rules were originally set to be placed on unpaid leave, but Chicago Police Department (CPD) First Deputy Superintendent Eric Carter said Thursday that recent tensions may cause some to be subject to termination, the outlet reported.