Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot is placing police officers who refuse to get the COVID-19 jab on unpaid leave during the Windy City’s raging crime spree.
While the “defund the police” Democrat claimed on Monday that only a “very small number” of officers were demoted to no-pay status, CNN reported on Friday that “up to half of Chicago’s rank-and-file police officers” were at risk of losing their pay over the shot mandate. By Monday, a third of the officers were still not in compliance. When The Federalist inquired about the actual number of officers who were cut off from their paychecks over the weekend due to the vaccine mandate dispute, the Chicago Police Department (CPD) deflected to the mayor’s office, which said the number would not be made public.
This decision to shun an unknown number of officers comes as the city tries to fend off a crisis of deadly and violent crime against Chicago citizens, including children and police officers. Lightfoot framed the vaccine mandate as the “only way that we can maximize safety in our workplace,” but the dozens of daily shootings and violent offenses in the Windy City are alarming Chicagoans concerned about their safety.
Lightfoot’s order currently forces all Chicago city employees to get the shot or comply with weekly testing. Beginning Jan. 1, 2022, however, Chicago workers will have to get vaccinated or be approved for an exemption to keep their jobs. The CPD warned officers who did not comply by the arbitrary Thursday, Oct. 14 at midnight deadline that they would “become the subject of a disciplinary investigation that could result in a penalty up to and including separation from the Chicago Police Department.”
Despite growing threats and pressure from the mayor’s office and CPD for officers to get the jab, the president of the Chicago Fraternal Order of Police John Catanzara spoke out against the mandate. After the city filed a complaint against Catanzara and the union for publicly opposing their medical coercion and “encouraging a work stoppage or strike,” a Cook County Circuit judge ordered Catanzara, whom Lightfoot accused of trying to “induce an insurrection,” to shut up and silenced him from offering any dissidence to the mandate until an Oct. 25 hearing on the matter.
“I think that the City has alleged a public interest in precluding Mr. Catanzara from making further comments encouraging his members to refuse to comply with the City’s policies so for that reason, I’ll enter a temporary restraining order requiring that Mr. Catanzara be precluded from making additional public comments,” Judge Cecilia A. Horan said. “Mr. Catanzara, you can talk to your friends, you can talk to your family, but I am talking about the YouTube things, and the various media things.”
Catanzara denied that he has ever “engaged in, supported, or encouraged a work stoppage,” but the union filed a lawsuit against the city for overlooking their bargaining power and instead “implement[ing] their unilateral changes.”
Chicago’s decision to get rid of police officers amid a crime spike follows an alarming trend where institutions that are essential to public health, safety, and travel are sacrificing their staff and ability to serve Americans on the altar of medically coercive vaccine mandates.
"We're experiencing something that you don't see a lot in Washington DC, but you're seeing across the country where there are pilots at Southwest or police officers or every day the protests in New York City…people say 'no, I'm not going to do this and this.'" @CBedfordDC pic.twitter.com/yGqUo0ZlJ7
— The Federalist (@FDRLST) October 19, 2021