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Chicago police union head urges officers to defy vaccine mandate

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FILE – On this Aug. 10, 2021, file picture, Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 7 President John Catanzara speaks to reporters on the Leighton Prison Courthouse in Chicago. Catanzara, the top of the Chicago cops union, has known as on its members to defy town’s requirement to report their COVID-19 vaccination standing by Friday or be positioned on unpaid go away. (Ashlee Rezin/Chicago Solar-Instances by way of AP, File)

CHICAGO (AP) — The top of the Chicago cops union has known as on its members to defy town’s requirement to report their COVID-19 vaccination standing by Friday or be positioned on unpaid go away.

Within the video posted on-line Tuesday and first reported on by the Chicago Solar-Instances, Fraternal Order of Police President John Catanzara vowed to take Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s administration to courtroom if it tries to implement the mandate, which requires metropolis employees to report their vaccine standing by the tip of the work week. After Friday, unvaccinated employees who gained’t undergo semiweekly coronavirus testing will likely be positioned on unpaid go away.

Catanzara advised that if town does implement its requirement and lots of union members refuse to adjust to it, “It’s protected to say that town of Chicago could have a police pressure at 50% or much less for this weekend developing.”

Within the video, Catanzara instructs officers to file for exemptions to receiving the vaccine however to not enter that info into town’s vaccine portal.

He stated that though he has made clear his vaccine standing, “I don’t imagine town has the authority to mandate that to anyone, not to mention that details about your medical historical past.”

Throughout a information convention Wednesday, Lightfoot accused Cantazara of spreading false info and dismissed most of his statements as “unfaithful or patently false.” She stated COVID-19 vaccines are confirmed to be efficient and that getting vaccinated would shield metropolis employees and their households.

“What we’re targeted on is ensuring that we maximize the chance to create a really protected office,” Lightfoot stated. “The info could be very clear. It’s unlucky that the FOP management has chosen to place out a counter narrative. However the reality of the matter is, in case you are not vaccinated, you might be enjoying along with your life, the lifetime of your loved ones, the lifetime of your colleagues and members of the general public.”

She stated town is ready to take care of any fallout associated to the vaccination requirement.

First responders across the nation have been hit arduous by the virus however have been resisting vaccination mandates. Greater than 460 regulation enforcement officers have died of COVID-19, together with 4 members of the Chicago Police Division, in keeping with the Officer Down Memorial Web page. On Tuesday, Dean Angelo, who as soon as held Catanzara’s union place, died of the illness.

Catanzara has clashed with the mayor over a number of points. After town introduced the vaccine mandate in August, the union head in contrast it to one thing that may occur to Nazi Germany, telling the Solar-Instances, “This ain’t Nazi… Germany (saying) ‘Step into the… showers, the tablets gained’t harm you.’”

Lightfoot blasted Catanzara for his “offensive outburst” and Catanzara posted a video on the union’s YouTube channel apologizing for his selection of phrases, saying he was not attempting to hyperlink vaccinations to what occurred through the Holocaust.

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Related Press author Sophia Tareen contributed to this report.

Copyright 2021 Related Press. All rights reserved.

https://www.newsnationnow.com/us-news/midwest/chicago-police-union-head-urges-cops-to-defy-vaccine-mandate/ | Chicago police union head urges officers to defy vaccine mandate

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