American News Oct 16, 2021 4:58 PM EST

Judge orders Chicago police union chief to stop encouraging officers to disobey vaccine mandate

"I cannot and will not stand idly by while the rhetoric of conspiracy theorists threatens the health and safety of Chicago's residents and first responders," Mayor Lori Lightfoot stated.

Judge orders Chicago police union chief to stop encouraging officers to disobey vaccine mandate
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A temporary restraining order was issued by a Chicago judge against John Catanzara, the head of Chicago's Fraternal Order of Police, barring him from discouraging his members from disclosing their vaccination status.

This order comes hours before a deadline for all public employees in the city of Chicago to disclose their vaccine status to officials. Unvaccinated employees will be required to undergo testing for the COVID-19 twice per week going forward.

According to Axios, the order against Catanzara, a vocal critic of the vaccine mandate, will be in effect through Oct. 25, when a formal hearing into the matter has been scheduled.  Employees who refuse testing will be placed indefinitely on unpaid leave until they either get vaccinated or agree to the testing.

"I cannot and will not stand idly by while the rhetoric of conspiracy theorists threatens the health and safety of Chicago's residents and first responders," commented Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot who is at odds with the city's police department and first responders. "If those who are sworn to uphold the law, act as if they're above the law, we're not going to tolerate that."

Catanzara responded, "I just want to be very clear: this union never called for a strike or a job action. We told our officers to continue to go to work."

"It was a city that was threatening to lock out our officers for not complying with an improper directive," Catanzara replied, ABC 7 Chicago reported.

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