Police officers who want to kneel with protesters should do so on their own time, Chicago’s Fraternal Order of Police President John Catanzara said Wednesday.
“I’ve seen good cops, chiefs even, kneeling, marching, praying, crying. What do you think when you see that among these peaceful protesters?” WGN Radio’s Bob Sirott asked Catanzara during an interview.
“I’ve made it very clear to the members of Lodge seven that that has no place for our members,” the police union president responded.
That is contradicting to our constitution as a lodge. And it definitely deflates anything remotely associated with fraternalism. And as such, any member of Lodge seven who is going to take a knee and basically side with protesters while they’re in uniform will subject themselves to discipline in the lodge up to and including expulsion from Lodge seven.
What you do on your time, is your time. When you’re doing it in a uniform, you are representing the police department and as such you are representing yourself as a member of Lodge seven.
Later, Catanzara said protesters were pushing for policies that would ultimately hurt law enforcement, according to Fox 32.
“Specifically this weekend. This was about defunding and abolishing the police officers. And you’re going to take a knee for that? It’s ridiculous,” he stated.
When asked about Catanzara’s comments, Mayor Lori Lightfoot said people should not credit them, then added, “I’m not going to dignify them with any further response.”
According to page seven of the lodge’s constitution, members associated themselves to “encourage higher professional standards of conduct among our members,” and also to “foster true patriotism among all our citizens, and to educate and encourage them to respect and defend law and order.”
Friday on Twitter, the lodge reminded its members that they had not been forgotten by the community:
We would like to let all of our members know that you are very much appreciated by the communities you serve.Through all of this turmoil we have been receiving tons of calls and emails reminding us that you are not forgotten.
— FOP7Chicago (@FOP7Chicago) June 5, 2020