The Chicago FOP Head’s Remarks Underline Doubts About Police Loyalty

C.hicago – The ricochets of the mob attack on the Washington Capitol earlier this month have turned in many unexpected directions. Not all of them are terrible.

Here in Chicago, the President of the Brotherly Police Force, John Catanzara, is under fire for making comments in support of the raiders.

“There was no arson, there was no burning of anything, there was no looting, there was very little destruction of property.” Catanzara told WBEZ, the local NPR subsidiary, on the evening of January 6th when the Capitol was liberated by rioters. “It was a bunch of angry people who felt that an election was somehow stolen.”

The mob acted “out of frustration. There is no fighting. There is obviously no violence in this crowd, ”he said on tape. “They pushed past security and made their way to the Senate Chamber. Did you destroy something when you were there? No.”

Catanzara’s comments sparked a storm of anger among the public and city officials. Even the national fraternal police force reprimanded him, calling his comments a “gross misrepresentation”. Two days later Catanzara withdrawn and apologized for his remarks that said they were “poorly worded… I brought them with me negative attention to our lodge, the FOP family, and law enforcement in general. ”

Alderman Andre Vasquez took the initiative to get one City council decision calls on Catanzara to resign. By January 11, he had 35 co-signatories from the 50 councilors on the council.

Catanzara was a source of concern, in part, because his jerky statements suggested fears that police stations across the country might be infiltrated by right-wing extremists whose loyalty to the public and the constitutional order might be subordinate to their loyalty to the Trumpist agenda.

In the days following the uprising, police in cities in Pennsylvania, Texas, Washington, California, and other states revealed this Officers in their troops had attended the crowd at the Capitol. Suspicions have even been voiced that the failure to defend the Capitol, its lawmakers, and its workforce may have been an inside job that got by right-wing sympathizers in the Capitol Police Department and federal law enforcement agencies.

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