It probably shouldn’t come as a surprise at this point in time, but Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot (D) seems to have lost the confidence of the fine men and women who make up the ranks of Chicago’s police force.
According to the New York Post, Chicago’s Fraternal Order of Police (FOP) issued the embattled mayor a vote of no-confidence this week, pointing to a deterioration in working conditions along with Lightfoot’s recent announcement of the cancellation of a march intended to honor fallen police officers, ostensibly due to COVID-19.
Chicago’s FOP is an influential police union that represents some 8,000 of the roughly 12,000 law enforcement officers who work in the city and its suburbs, reports note.
“The basis…it’s two-fold”
Chicago’s FOP issued the vote of no-confidence on Wednesday, as the Chicago Tribune reported. Reports from those in attendance indicated that the vote was unanimous, with some 200 active and retired rank-and-file officers voting “no confidence,” including First Deputy Eric Carter and David Brown, Chicago police superintendent.
John Catanzara, the FOP’s president, explained the overwhelming no-confidence vote in a video statement posted to YouTube Wednesday.
“The basis for this no-confidence vote is pretty simple, it’s two-fold,” Catanzara said. “It’s a lack of respect for the Gold Star families and the cancellation of the St. Jude parade.”
The St. Jude Memorial March is an event that takes place annually to honor fallen police officers. This year and last year, however, Lightfoot and her administration canceled the event citing coronavirus concerns. Catanzara referred to the event’s cancellation as a “slap in the face.”
In addition, reports indicate that Chicago police officers were unhappy with the city’s decision to — on several occasions — cancel officers’ days’ off while also extending their shifts from 8.5 hours to 12 hours. Representatives from the union say it has caused officers to be overworked.
“A badge of honor”
Following the vote of no-confidence, Lightfoot seemed unphased and issued a statement calling the humiliating vote a “badge of honor.”
“So frankly, getting a vote of no-confidence from that guy is a badge of honor,” Lightfoot said, referring to Catanzara.
Lightfoot went on to shift the blame from her to the Chicago FOP. She accused the large police union of costing rank-and-file police officers “literally tens of thousands of dollars” by dragging out negotiations for a new deal. Many of the officers have been working without a police contract for as long as three years.
Lightfoot has clearly lost what little respect previously existed from the police officers who do their best to protect the streets of Chicago. Her repeated leadership failures have led to a massive spike in shootings and other violent crimes, which continue to worsen by the week.