Chicago Cop Union boss John Catanzara abruptly quits before he can be fired for lowly posts

Famous president of the Chicago police union, who once defended the Captiol riots was just an “inconvenience” violence-free and calling Muslims “barbarians” on social media, retired from the ministry on Tuesday morning – then announced that he was running for mayor of Windy City.

“Finally!!! Come on Brandon,” John Catanzara Written In retirement proceedings filed Tuesday, mention of the anti-Biden song has become a right-wing slogan.

The strategic maneuver may have rescued him from layoffs — and allowed him to continue as a union boss — after he largely shirked responsibility for his job. dozens of misconduct complaints in his career as a Chicago cop spanning more than two decades.

His resignation follows a grueling day of testifying before the Chicago Police Board on a series of allegations of false police reports and inflammatory social media posts that sometimes encourage encourage violence.

“I am about to leave my police job once and for all, and 27 years are over and done. It’s bittersweet but it’s the right thing to do,” he said on Monday night, according to Chicago Tribune.

The proceedings Monday related to allegations that Catanzara violated Chicago Police Department rules with violent social media posts, including one that called Muslims “” barbarians” and other articles that misrepresented high-ranking officers.

General Manager David Brown filed charges against him in January, describing a pattern of misconduct that had damaged the department. The Chicago Police Board hearing, which begins Monday, is expected to continue for a total of three days although disciplinary action is not expected until next year. Tribune reported.

In a 2016 Facebook post, Catanzara posted a link to an article about a police officer being shot, and wrote, “WTF, time to kill these bastards.”

Months later, in a January 2017 disparaging Muslim post, Cantanzara referred to a video of a woman being stoned and wrote: “Barbarians they all deserve a bullet. .”

Catanzara also shared an anaerobic meme on Facebook in 2019, depicting one crouching and reading: “When you get shot in the groin by a rubber bullet and your made up sex doesn’t protect your will your.”

In June 2020, a report by the Civil Police Accountability Office found that Catanzara’s social media behavior “has the potential to create problems with maintaining discipline and harmony.” in the Ministry”.

“The members of the Department are as diverse as Chicago itself and include many of the same groups. Catanzara officials openly disparage include Muslims, Blacks, and Homosexuals. Officer Catanzara’s speech demonstrates his inability to serve the public impartially and therefore COPA recommends segregation for Officer Catanzara,” the report states.

Defending his 2017 post about Muslims on Monday, he said he was referring to supporters of “Sharia law”.

That unrepentant attitude was evident throughout much of the hearing, as Catanzara told the board: “I do not deny that the language used would be classified as vulgar or vulgar to many people. people, but if it’s a fireable insult, our mayor will be fired.”

Explaining the decision to reporters on Monday night, Catanzara asserted that the cards had been stacked against him, telling Tribune: “It was very early on that this cake was baked.”

Instead of formally apologizing or reiterating his aggressive statements, Catanzara seems to see retirement as a golden ticket to avoid retaliation: “No one can touch me,” he said Monday. .

“This was all just a farce from the start,” he added. “It was never possible under God’s green earth that I would give this mayor the ability to utter the words ‘I fired him.

Catanzara, a veteran patrol officer who was elected president of the Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 7 last May, has suspend the police force in February.

Catanzara has been stuck in a long list of complaints against him since he became a Chicago police officer in 1995, but will continue in his role as FOP president, Chicago Sun-Times report.

After hours of cross-examination on Monday, lawyers for the union leader said that Catanzara wanted to present his own closing argument, which is when he announced his retirement.

“I informed them of my intention to retire tomorrow morning, first thing and end this game, we already know what the outcome will be,” said Catanzara told WLS-TV after the hearing. “It was never possible under God’s green earth that I would give this mayor the ability to utter the words ‘I fired him.’ It won’t happen. Period.”

Pointing to his long controversial relationship with Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot, Catanzara added Monday that he plans to challenge Lightfoot for the position in 2023.

“I’m fighting the mayor to change this damn city, because she’s really not just driving into an iceberg, she’s actually telling them to go ahead with bloating,” he told the door. row. “So something has to change.”

In recent months, Catanzara has criticized Mayor Lori Lightfoot over the vaccine requirements, while encouraging the roughly 17,000 current and former officers he represents as FOP president to “keep their positions of authority.” ” and did not comply with the duties of retain their immunization status.

“We’re in America, damn it,” he said in August when Lightfoot announced the October 15 COVID-19 vaccination deadline to city employees. “We don’t want to be forced to do anything. Period. This is not Nazi Germany [where they say], ‘Step into the damn bathroom. The pills will not harm you. ‘ What the hell? ”

In response to Catanzara’s announcement of her retirement plans, Lightfoot held that Catanzara was responsible for her own destruction.

“I want to make sure that our officers, especially those young officers, are the best trained and best protected and best support our police department throughout. water,” she told WLS-TV on Monday night. “That’s what we have to be about. Not someone who ruined his own career. “ | Chicago Cop Union boss John Catanzara abruptly quits before he can be fired for lowly posts


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