Chicago Police Union Boss Retires Instead of Being Fired After Calling Muslim People ‘Savages’ in Social Media Posts
Adriana Diaz, Daily Mail, November 16, 2021
The Chicago police union boss announced his retirement from the force – and bid to run for mayor – on Tuesday, a day after his first disciplinary hearing for controversial social media posts and other actions that allegedly discredited the department.
John Catanzara, who was an officer for 27 years, officially submitted his paperwork to retire from the police department early Tuesday morning, cutting his discipline hearing short to avoid being disciplined or fired.
The head of Chicago’s largest police union faced charges of violating 11 CPD rules in connection to 18 allegations involving controversial posts on social media made to his personal Facebook page before he became police union president. He intends to remain in his post as union boss.
In the social media posts, he compared the city’s employee vaccine mandate to Nazi Germany, called Muslims ‘savages (who) deserve a bullet,’ and appeared in police uniform to promote former President Donald Trump.
Catanzara said he believed he would not get a fair hearing and that he would almost certainly be fired – as recommended by Police Superintendent David Brown – and he did not want to give Mayor Lori Lightfoot that satisfaction.
‘It was pretty evident very early on that this cake was already baked,’ Catanzara said on Monday, ‘I am going to be at HR first thing in the morning, and I am going to be retiring. I will no longer be a Chicago police officer. … No one will be able to touch me, not you, not this police board.’
The former officer said he would remain president of the Fraternal Order of Police (FOP) Lodge 7 and that he plans to run for mayor against Lori Lightfoot, with whom he has engaged in a bitter war of words over a host of issues.
‘I will have my vindication when I tell her to get the hell out of my office and give me the keys in 2023,’ he told the Chicago Sun-Times.
He faced harsh criticism earlier this year for initially downplaying the violence during the January 6 riot at the U.S Capitol and more recently comparing the city’s employee vaccine mandate to Nazi Germany.