21 officers placed on ‘no pay’ status amid Chicago vaccine standoff
Twenty-one Chicago police officers have been placed on “no pay” status for refusing to comply with the city’s order to disclose their COVID-19 vaccination status amid a standoff between officials and the department.
Chicago Police Department Superintendent David Brown said Tuesday that the refusals have not affected staffing for the department, The Associated Press reported.
Brown reassured he wants to protect his officers and the public from harm, noting that three of his family members who are unvaccinated died from the virus in the past few weeks, according to the AP.
“This virus is no different than the gunfire we take as cops…” Brown said. “It would go against our oath to take this virus into (residents’) homes.”
This comes as Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot (D) has accused local Fraternal Order of Police (FOP) President John Catanzara and his union of spreading misinformation about the reporting process.
The reporting process asks for employees’ vaccination status, allowing employees to submit regular COVID-19 testing until vaccines are administered.
Catanzara argues that the order to provide information to the portal is a violation of officers’ constitutional rights and their union’s rights with the city of Chicago.
Brown noted that 67 percent of the force have entered their vaccination status through the portal and 82 percent are fully vaccinated against the virus, the AP noted.