Chicago Police: Fire Bigot Union Prez
In 3rd attempt Chicago PD trying to dismiss controversial union President
The controversial police union President in Chicago Illinois is once again making headlines for all of the wrong reasons. While previous headlines have included his support for Trump and derogatory statements against a host of different groups in the city, this time he is facing departmental charges that could lead to his firing.
In May of 2020, UCOMM reported that the Chicago Police had elected John Catanzara to be their new union President. Catanzara had a long history of disciplinary charges that had been brought against him and he had made headlines with his bombastic social media that included his support for Trump. However, that social media is coming back to bite him.
The case, which is being brought by the Chicago Police Board, is part of an investigation that began before he became union President, with much of the evidence looking into inflammatory statements posted on his social media accounts in 2016. In the document being reviewed by the police board, Catanzara is accused of using offensive language, advocating the killing of people, making statements that were biased against Muslims and making disrespectful statements about his department’s management.
One of the comments that Catanzara posted in reference to Muslims said "Savages they all deserve a bullet. This is the reason MANY Americans are very leary (sic) of a large segment of Muslim’s (sic) especially those who support Sharia law. … This is the life many want to bring to this country.”" In total the FOP President is facing 11 counts of violating CPD rules.
According to the Chicago Tribune, the Chicago Office of Police Accountability's chief administrator had recommended Catanzara be fired, but Chicago Police Supt. David Brown instead called for a one-year suspension. However, Police Board member Andrea Zopp has said that there is not enough evidence to overrule the Police Accountability chief’s recommendation. This means that the hearing’s decision could lead to Catanzara being fired from the Chicago Police force.
This is the third time that the Department is trying to fire him. Two former Chicago police superintendents have independently tried to fire him for separate violations but both times he was ultimately restored to his position by the Chicago Police Board.
Catanzara is expected to testify at his hearing. In a message to his membership, he said that time will tell if he continues to be employed by the department. "The mayor has decided that she wanted a circus," he said. "She’s made it very clear that I’m not going to win this case, that I will never be in a police uniform again. I guess we’re going to see if the members of the police board will do the right thing, time will tell."
The hearing will begin this week with a verdict expected early in 2022.