Last week it was open season on police.
Now there may come a price to pay.
That’s if Chicago police union boss John Catanzara, the new president of the Chicago Fraternal Order of Police, has anything to say about it.
Catanzara is going on the offensive, saying Mayor Lightfood should resign and any police kneeling with protestors risk being thrown out of the police union.
Take a look:
The NY Post had more on the story:
The head of Chicago’s powerful police union said any cop in the city who takes a knee during George Floyd protests will be booted, according to a report.
John Catanzara, the new president of the Chicago Fraternal Order of Police, said the gesture, seen throughout the nation during protests over Floyd’s death in police custody in Minneapolis, is tantamount to betrayal of the uniform, he told Fox32 Chicago.
“I don’t believe it’s the time or place to be doing that,” Catanzara told the station. “If you kneel, you’ll be risking being brought up on charges and thrown out of the lodge.”
“Specifically this weekend,” he said. “This was about defunding and abolishing the police officers. And you’re going to take a knee for that? It’s ridiculous.”
Floyd’s May 25 death sparked worldwide calls for racial justice and denouncing police brutality, and has spawned a strong “defund the police” movement over two weeks of clashes between police and protestors.
Last week, one NYPD lieutenant issued an apology to the rank and file over his “horrible decision” to take a knee during the protests.
Asked about Catanzara’s comments, Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot said she wouldn’t “dignify” it with a response.
NYPD cop apologizes for 'shaming uniform' by kneeling with protesters
“I don’t really think that we should credit those kinds of really unfortunate comments, and I’m not going to dignify them with any further response,” she said.
Cops in the Second City who are kicked out of the union can still remain on the job, but will not be guaranteed the contractual benefits negotiated between the city and the fraternal order, Fox32 said.
Catanzara, who took heat in 2017 for posting a Facebook photo in uniform with a sign supporting President Donald Trump and gun rights, said cops now kneeling for protestors are doing the same thing — just on the other end of the political spectrum.
And from local Fox32:
The new president of Chicago’s powerful police union has issued a stern warning to officers. He says any officers showing sympathy to police protesters while in uniform could be thrown out of the union.
Mayor Lori Lightfoot isn’t happy about it.
“I don’t believe it’s the time or place to be doing that,” said Fraternal Order of Police President John Catanzara.
In office for only a month, Catanzara is laying down the law for his members.
“If you kneel, you’ll be risking being brought up on charges and thrown out of the lodge,” Catanzara said.
It has become a common scene over the past week, seeing police officers around the country kneeling with protesters as a symbolic show of support for the Black Lives Matter movement.
But Catanzara says it is essentially an act of treason for police officers, because those protesters are pushing for policies he says will hurt the police.
“Specifically this weekend. This was about defunding and abolishing the police officers. And you’re going to take a knee for that? It’s ridiculous,” Catanzara said.
When asked about Catanzara’s threat, Mayor Lightfoot – who has been extremely critical of the FOP – took a hard pass.
“I don’t really think we should credit those kinds of really unfortunate comments. I’m not going to dignify them with any further response,” the mayor said.
Anyone kicked out of the FOP will still be able to work as a Chicago police officer, but they will not have all the benefits and protections afforded by the union contract.