Chicago police union head John Catanzara resigns amid hearing, eyes run for mayor

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Chicago police union head John Catanzara resigns amid hearing, eyes run for mayor

The head of Chicago’s largest police union resigned Tuesday as he faced possible firing over controversial social media posts, but said he’s considering running for mayor, according to reports.

John Catanzara, president of the Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 7, shared his retirement papers on Facebook, which included the comment “Finally!! Let’s go Brandon,” code for flinging the F-word at President Joe Biden.

The outspoken president, who made national headlines for telling union members to defy vaccine mandates, was in the midst of a disciplinary hearing over 18 allegations of inflammatory statements and false police reports, including a comment after the shooting of a Wayne State University police officer where he said “Its seriously time to kill these (expletives),” the Chicago Tribune said.

Catanzara, a supporter of former President Donald Trump, has clashed publicly with Democratic Mayor Lori Lightfoot but he said he wasn’t joking about continuing their fight in an election battle in 2023.

“They said I was joking when I said I was gonna be FOP President too and here I am,” Catanara said, according to ABC 7 Chicago. “I don’t know what else to say.”

Catanzara had said he planned to resign on Monday, according to the Tribune, but told reporters he’d keep his union job.

Catanzaro was facing 18 counts of inflammatory statements and false police reports.
Catanzaro was facing 18 counts of inflammatory statements and false police reports.
AFP via Getty Images

“There was never a possibility under God’s green earth that I was ever going to give this mayor the ability to utter the words, ‘I fired him,’” he said, according to the Tribune.

Rival Lightfoot criticized Catanzara’s resignation, NBC Chicago said.

“Not a surprise that a man of hate – as John Catanzara has demonstrated over and over that he is – would run away from accountability,” Lightfoot said in a statement, according to NBC.

“The evidence of his guilt was overwhelming as set forth in the hearing, and he clearly sought to avoid the eventual reckoning by resigning, under investigation, and then divesting the Police Board of jurisdiction.”

Mayor Lori Lightfoot criticized Catanzaro's resignation, saying he ran "away from accountability."
Mayor Lori Lightfoot criticized Catanzaro’s resignation, saying he ran “away from accountability.”
REUTERS

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