Text messages between Mayor Lightfoot, Chicago FOP president show deteriorating relationship

WGN Investigates

CHICAGO – Text messages between Mayor Lightfoot and the man who represents 13,000 Chicago police officers show a deteriorating relationship.

Hours after Chicago police were pelted with frozen water bottles, fireworks and other objects, text messages starting flying between Chicago FOP Union President John Catanzara and Mayor Lightfoot.

While the mayor did speak out against violence that targeted police, Catanzara took issue with Lightfoot also encouraging people to report officers who may have crossed the line.

“It tells my members you care more about rioters than injured police” Catanzara texted the mayor Saturday.

Four minutes later she responded:

“I made a very strong statement about the planned attack on our officers. You are better than the cartoon character that you allow yourself to become.”

She also texted the police union president “apparently you are officially a clown.”

“Class act mayor,” he responded.

It’s not the first time Mayor Lightfoot has responded to a police union rep in that way. She was caught on an open mic calling former FOP President Pat Murray an “FOP clown.”

Lightfoot referred to police union president Catanzara as a “clown” three times in their Saturday text stream.

At one point he told her: “99.9% of the department has zero respect for you, what you say, what you stand for and even less confidence you give a rat’s a** for their well-being.”

Catanzara urged Lightfoot to allow police to respond in riot gear and shut down protests occurring without permits.

The texts ended just before 8 p.m. on Saturday night.

“Right back at you, clown. So sad you are so desperate for relevance and publicity that you are comfortable with lying. You will be exposed as the total fraud that you clearly are,” the mayor texted Catanzara.

The text messages also show Lightfoot told Catanzara she thinks he is “betraying” his members daily. She said she will support police because they “deserve far better than you are ever going to offer.”

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