CHICAGO (WLS) — Calls for Chicago Fraternal Order of Police President John Catanzara to be fired have grown louder after comments he made last week defending Trump supporters who were part of the attack on the U.S. Capitol.
There was no comment from Catanzara Monday, but 40th Ward Alderman Andre Vasquez called it “particularly shameless,” and Illinois SEIU Healthcare President Greg Kelley said they do not take the comments lightly.
A letter was sent to the Chicago Police Board Monday demanding Catanzara be terminated. It’s signed by several aldermen, religious leaders and labor union leaders.
After Wednesday’s siege on the U.S. Capitol building, Catanzara told Chicago radio station WBEZ “There was no arson, there was no burning of anything, there was no looting, there was very little destruction of property,” and continued, “Evidence matters… Until that appears, shame on them for what they did, but it was out of frustration. There’s no fights. There’s no, obviously, violence in this crowd. They pushed past security and made their way to the Senate chamber. Did they destroy anything when they were there? No.”
By Friday he apologized, posting on social media that the comments to WBEZ were “poorly worded.”
“The handful of 200 to 300 idiots that broke the law should be prosecuted whether they entered the building or not,” he told ABC7 Eyewitness News on Friday. “If they even pushed police out of the way, that’s a felony. They need to be charged and prosecuted.”
A resolution is expected to be introduced to the full Chicago City Council later in January demanding Catanzara resign, and that CPD’s Internal Affairs Department investigate.
Catanzara currently has a case pending before the Police Board regarding social media posts he made before he was FOP president. The board is expected to hold a hearing on that in the coming months.