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Chicago Police Union president urges cops to ignore city's vaccine mandate

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Posted at 11:14 AM, Oct 14, 2021
and last updated 2021-10-14 12:14:43-04

The president of a Chicago police union is urging police officers in the city not to report their vaccination status, despite a mandate from Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot that requires all city employees to do so by Friday.

In a video posted earlier this week, Chicago Fraternal Order of Police (FOP) President John Catanzara urged cops in the city not to enter any information into the city's online vaccine portal.

"Do not fill out the portal information," Catanzara said. "I've made my status very clear as far as the vaccine, but I do not believe the city has the authority to mandate that to anybody let alone that information about your medical history."

Catanzara clarified that he was not calling for "job action" or a strike. But last week, the Sun-Times reported that he estimated that as many as 50% of the force opposes the mandate.

Lightfoot has warned that any city employee who does not provide proof of vaccination against COVID-19 by Oct. 15 will be put on "no-pay" status.

The threats from the FOP have sparked concerns from city policymakers, including Aldermen Marty Quinn and Matt O'Shea. According to WLS-TV, the pair said in a letter to Lightfoot that they were "concerned" that if a large number of officers choose not to comply, it will put their communities in "serious danger."

Lightfoot thus far has not given any indication that she plans to provide a vaccine exemption to law enforcement.

Catanzara indicated in his message earlier this week that he intends to file a class-action lawsuit on behalf of the union, though nothing has been filed as of Thursday.

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