Chicago vaccine battle: Hundreds of cops expected to dare city to place them on 'no pay' status

Chicago's Fraternal Order of Police is threatening that as many as 1,000 officers will show up at headquarters on Tuesday, refusing to comply with the vaccine rules and daring the city to place them on a "no pay" status.

The union president, John Catanzara, also indicated Monday he would try to unseat 30 City Council members who voted to support Mayor Lori Lightfoot's mandate requiring all city workers report their vaccine status.

"Show up tomorrow at 35th and Michigan, Human Resources, at 10 a.m. tomorrow morning and we're gonna see just how many officers we're really talking about that this city can literally lose in a blink of an eye if this mandate doesn't change sooner rather than later," Catanzara said to cheers.

The police union president had applauded a dozen City Council members who co-sponsored an ordinance with Alderwoman Silvana Tabares that could allow them to cancel Mayor Lightfoot's mandate that city workers report their vaccine status.

In a showdown vote on the City Council floor, supporters failed to move the measure.

"The yeas are 20, the nays are 30. The motion fails," Lightfoot announced during the meeting.


Catanzara did not mince his words regarding the aldermen who voted in support of Lightfoot's mandate.

"To the alderman upstairs, we literally are going to be taking a report card and we are coming for your chairs in ’23 — the same as we're coming for hers. Thank you," he said.

Catanzara says about 20 officers are on "no-pay" status right now, claiming the city's keeping that number low in an effort to keep most officers on the street and to divide the rank-and-file.

Also on Monday, a Cook County judge denied the city's request to extend the temporary restraining order placed against Catanzara that prevented him from making comments on social media or in the media that encouraged union members not to comply with the city's COVID-19 vaccine mandate.