Along with a spike in violence in Chicago this past weekend comes a new push by members of the police union to get officers on the street to stand down – and even stay home.
A text was sent telling officers not to volunteer to work on days off, to limit arrests, and to call in sick to make a statement to Mayor Lori Lightfoot and the City Council about how much officers are needed.
The head of the Fraternal Order of Police is not denouncing the move. But the mayor calls it stupid.
This weekend was one of Chicago’s bloodiest in years, with at least 104 people shot between 5 p.m. Friday and 5 a.m. Monday and 14 of them killed.
“The FOP Lodge 7 cannot advocate for it [a sickout] because of the contract,” the text message reads. But, it adds, “individual officers can.”
The end goal of the blue flu is to get the mayor and the command staff to support the rank and file.
John Catanzaro, the newly-elected president of the FOP Lodge 7 representing the CPD’s officers, didn’t come out in support the ‘blue flu’ but said in recent weeks, they’ve had canceled days off and mandatory 12-hour shifts stemming from protests and looting.
“We told people, if they’re canceling your days off this weekend, I would encourage you to consider not reporting to your canceled off-day,” Catanzara said.
The text said, “Just answer your calls and back each other up,” the text states. “Other than that, zero.”
Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s reaction was, “When something stupid like that happens to basically tell officers to abandon their post, that is the height of dereliction of duty.”
She is responsible for the mess her city is in but she’s great at slamming everyone else.
The police contract expired three years ago. The politicians have zero appreciation of the men in blue but are quick to demonize them.