Chicago police union chief to retire amid board listening to

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The pinnacle of Chicago’s largest police union stated Monday he’ll retire from the division amid a disciplinary listening to that might have ended along with his firing.

John Catanzara, president of the Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 7, stated he felt the result of the proceedings in opposition to him was predetermined, the Chicago Tribune reported. The Chicago Police Board listening to centered on his previous conduct, together with allegedly making offensive statements on social media.

“It was fairly evident very early on that this cake was already baked,” Catanzara stated, “I’m going to be at HR very first thing within the morning, and I’m going to be retiring. I’ll now not be a Chicago police officer. … Nobody will be capable of contact me, not you, not this police board.”

Earlier, throughout his testimony, Catanzara had stated: “I don’t deny that the language used can be categorized as crass or vulgar to many individuals, but when that was a fireable offense, our mayor can be fired.”

The listening to was anticipated to final three days. However the Chicago Solar-Occasions reported that if Catanzara retires, Lauren Freeman, the listening to officer overseeing the case, stated the case can be closed.

Catanzara has usually clashed publicly with Mayor Lori Lightfoot He confronted harsh criticism earlier this 12 months for initially downplaying the violence throughout the Jan. 6 riot at the usCapitol and extra just lately evaluating the town’s worker vaccine mandate to Nazi Germany

Catanzara apologized after making these statements, saying he expressed sympathy for individuals who stormed the Capitol earlier than he knew the extent of the injury. He additionally apologized for the Nazi reference and stated that he was not making an attempt to check “pressured vaccinations to the atrocities of the Holocaust.”

Earlier than he was elected FOP president final 12 months, he was stripped of his police powers after he filed a report in opposition to former Police Supt. Eddie Johnson.

Extra just lately, Supt. David Brown filed costs in opposition to Catanzara for a collection of statements on social media and different actions. In keeping with the charging doc filed with the town’s police board, Catanzara posted quite a lot of offensive and profane statements, expressing help of killing individuals and referring to Muslims as “savages (who) all deserve a bullet.”

The doc additionally alleged that Catanzara, a vocal supporter of former President Donald Trump violated division coverage by expressing his political opinions whereas on responsibility — one thing he did in 2017 in full uniform. His help caught the eye of Trump, who tweeted his congratulations when Catanzara was elected president of the union.

As a police officer, Catanzara, since he joined the division in 1995, has been the topic of 50 misconduct complaints — 10 of which have been sustained — in line with a database maintained by the Invisible Institute, a journalism manufacturing firm in Chicago.