CHICAGO — The Chicago Police Board released multiple administrative charges made against combative Fraternal Order of Police President John Catanzara Wednesday which could lead to his termination, but he says he’s not backing down.
Chicago Police Department Supt. David Brown filed additional charges with the board, which was already considering other charges made against him, alleging multiple rules violations and recommending Catanzara be discharged from the department.
Originally put forth by former interim superintendent Charlie Beck, the charges allege Catanzara filed a false police report against now-disgraced former superintendent Eddie Johnson for his participation in an anti-violence march which partly took place on the Dan Ryan expressway in July of 2018.
Catanzara said he believes Johnson broke the law by allowing people to wrongfully march on the Ryan.
“All I was doing is calling out wrongdoing in the department which they claim is something they want,” he said.
This is the third time the department has tried to fire Catanzara. The board was already considering terminating him for previous charges which allege he made racial and other offensive remarks on social media while he was still in uniform.
Catanzara was also recently criticized recently for comments he made to a local radio station about the people who stormed the Capitol for downplaying their behavior. He has been a vocal Trump supporter, but he did walk back those comments later.
Catanzara has been clashing with police brass and City Hall since long before he took the reigns of the union.
As the head of the FOP his salary is paid by the union and he is considered on leave from the department. He says he plans on retiring when done as FOP president, so he believes the police board is just spinning bits wheels in its attempt to fire him as a CPD officer.
The charges include a dozen social media posts made between 2016 and 2018 which they say violate department guidelines. There was a photo the department said depicted him making a political statement in uniform. Several posts disparaged police bosses, one called them “spineless.”
In 2017, reacting to a story about mutilation by Muslim extremists, Catanzara wrote, “savages they all deserve a bullet.” A year earlier, Catanzara said he was responding to a story about the shooting of an officer when he wrote: “seriously time to kill these mother ——.”
“There’s nothing to defend. Anyone who is okay with the wonton murder of police officers is a piece of garbage to me if you think that’s okay. I have no regrets about that post,” Catanzara said. “Would I post that now? No, of course I’d be more tactful in my comments now. I wasn’t president then.”