Chicago judge orders police union head to stop criticizing city’s COVID vaccine mandate

In a disturbing move that violates any notion of free speech rights, an Illinois judge has ordered the head of Chicago’s police union to stop criticizing the city’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate.

According to a report from WTTW, Cook County Judge Cecilia Horan ordered the bizarre ruling on Friday after declaring that police union President John Catanzara Jr.’s statements posed a threat to public safety.

Attorney Mike Warner, who represents the City of Chicago, bizarrely argued that Catanzara’s public remarks represented “sedition and mutiny,” calling them an attempt to “hold this city hostage.”

However, Judge Horan turned down an additional request from Warner that she imposes an injunction against the police union itself. She also refused to order Catanzara to disavow his statements.

The consequences

The legal battle comes as Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot (D) is squaring off against police officers who object to her vaccine mandate that requires first responders to be vaccinated against COVID-19.

“We’re not having that,” WTTN quoted Lightfoot as saying on Friday in response to officers who refuse to state whether or not they have received the shot.

“If that’s the police department they want to be in, they should walk to another police department,” the mayor added. “It is an honor to be a Chicago Police officer.”

Lightfoot went on to argue that “the legitimacy of local policing” hinges on adherence to her COVID-19 vaccine mandate, and added that those who resist are undermining community relations.

“It is a new day”

Lightfoot claimed that an alleged history of officers deciding which rules to follow is “why our residents don’t trust the police,” but failed to mention her inability to get even the slightest grip on her city’s outrageous gang violence problems.

“That’s why we are in a consent decree,” Lightfoot declared. “That kind of mind set. We are not having that anymore. It is a new day in the city of Chicago.”

“I expect the police officers to honor their oath, not tarnish their badge and to follow lawful orders and directives as have been given to them,” the Democratic mayor concluded.

Those words lead to a heated response from Catanzara, who was quoted as saying, “We’re in America, G** ***nit. We don’t want to be forced to do anything. Period. This ain’t Nazi f*****g Germany, [where they say], ‘Step into the f*****g showers. The pills won’t hurt you.’ What the f***?”

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