Chicago police union takes fight against vaccine mandate to court as some hold-out cops sent home without pay

ABC News Corona Virus Health and Science

About 2,000 police officers haven’t complied.

A battle pitting the mayor of Chicago and the superintendent of the police division against some officers defying a vaccine mandate for all metropolis workers heads to a courtroom on Wednesday the place the police union is asking a choose for a brief restraining order.

The courtroom showdown comes even as police Superintendent David Brown stated compliance with the COVID-19 shot mandate by officers and civilian workers of his company went up to 67% on Tuesday from 64% a day earlier.

“I’ll say and do something to save an officer’s life,” Brown stated throughout a news convention on Tuesday. “If it takes going by way of a counseling session, going to a no-pay standing, going to inside affairs or a direct order, if that is what it takes, I’m keen to do it.”

As of Tuesday, about 2,000 officers had but to add their vaccine or testing standing on a metropolis online portal and, up to now, 21 officers have been stripped of their police powers and sent home without pay, Brown stated.

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Brown stated “a number of hundred” hold-out officers have been summoned to police headquarters this week and given an opportunity to change their minds and listen to of the results they face for refusing.

“I do not know if we have modified their minds or in the event that they’ve made the choice themselves to get within the portal,” Brown stated.

City officers launched an update on the vaccine mandate on Monday exhibiting that 79% of all metropolis workers had complied and registered their vaccine standing on the online portal. Officials stated 84% are absolutely vaccinated.

The police division has the bottom degree of compliance, officers stated.

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The mandate set a deadline of final Friday for workers to comply.

The Fraternal Order of Police, the union that represents officers, has requested Cook County Circuit Court Judge Cecilia Horan to difficulty a brief restraining order against the mandate. A listening to on the difficulty is scheduled for Wednesday.

At the identical time, the union is asking Horan to recuse herself from the case after she granted town a brief restraining order on Friday barring FOP President John Catanzara from publicly telling union members to defy the mandate.

Mayor Lori Lightfoot stated Catanzara’s statements are allegedly placing the general public in peril.

“By doing so, and by predicting that fifty% or extra officers will violate their oaths and never report for obligation, Catanzara is encouraging an illegal strike and work stoppage which carries the potential to undermine public security and expose our residents to irreparable hurt, significantly throughout an ongoing pandemic,” Lightfoot wrote in a court submitting.

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Following the ruling, Catanzara posted a video on the union’s YouTube channel informing members that he has been silenced.

“Everybody has to do what’s of their hearts and minds, no matter that’s,” Catanzara stated within the video. “But I’ll simply depart you with this: coverage begins on the high on this metropolis and it has confirmed time and time once more that the highest of this metropolis’s coverage wants to change.”

Holding up an indication bearing a so-called “Thin Blue Line” flag with the phrases “John Catanzara for Mayor 2023,” he stated “sufficient is sufficient.”

With Chicago within the midst of a surge in violent crime with shootings up 9% this yr over 2020, some metropolis leaders stated they worry Lightfoot and Brown are taking part in with hearth by taking officers who do not adjust to the vaccine mandate off the streets.

“We are merely not able to hearth 2,000 police officers proper now,” Second Ward Alderman Brian Hopkins informed ABC station WLS in Chicago. “We cannot do this. That will not be in our greatest curiosity.”

What to know about the coronavirus:

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