The president of the Chicago Fraternal Order of Police said Thursday he will not tolerate officers kneeling with George Floyd protesters.
President John Catanzara of the FOP said police officers who kneel with protesters will “be risking basically being brought up on charges and thrown out of the lodge,” he told Fox 32 news Thursday.
Catanzara was installed president last month, according to the New York Post.
Police have been widely criticized in general since George Floyd died in police custody after former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin knelt on his neck for nearly nine minutes. Since Floyd’s death, many have called to defund and abolish the police altogether.
“Specifically, this weekend, this was about defunding and abolishing the police department. And you’re going to take a knee for that? It’s ridiculous,” Catanzara said.
Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot was critical of Catanzara’s comments, according to Fox 32.
“I don’t really think that we should credit those kinds of really unfortunate comments, and I’m not going to dignity them with any further response,” Lightfoot responded. Lightfoot is part of the United States Conference of Mayors, who have been recently calling for police reform.
Now is the time to act on licensing for police officers once and for all. pic.twitter.com/GmNrpLiwxk
— Mayor Lori Lightfoot (@chicagosmayor) June 11, 2020
Catanzara was criticized in 2017 for posting a picture in uniform of his support for now President Donald Trump, the New York Post reported, citing Fox 35. The FOP did not respond to the the Daily Caller News Foundation in time for publication.
Chicago police officers may still be police officers if “thrown out” of the FOP, but won’t be allowed benefits the FOP offers, Fox 32 reported.
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