Chicago's police union president says officers who kneel with Black Lives Matter protesters could be kicked out of the organization
Police at the Chicago protests for George Floyd on May 30, 2020 during a protest against the death of George Floyd, an unarmed black man who died when he was arrested and held on the ground by a Minneapolis police officer knee.
Jim Vondruska / NurPhoto via Getty Images
In an interview with Fox32 Chicago, John Catanzara, the new president of the Chicago Fraternal Order of Police, criticized the officials' decision to kneel with protesters at Black Lives Matter demonstrations.
He said now was not the "time or place" to kneel with demonstrators and officials would "risk being charged and kicked out of the lodge" if they did so.
The Mayor of Chicago, Lori Lightfoot, called his comments "really unhappy".
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The Chicago Police Union president said any official kneeling with Black Lives Matter protesters could be excluded from the organization.
John Catanzara, the new president of the Chicago Fraternal Order of Police, told Fox32 Chicago that he did not believe the current protests against Black Lives Matter that broke out after George Floyd's death were "time or place." that you can kneel on.
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"If you kneel, you risk being charged and kicked out of the lodge," Catanzara, who has been in office for a month, told Fox32. "This was about defusing and abolishing the cops. And you're going to take a knee for that? It's ridiculous."
Police have been photographed kneeling with demonstrators in demonstrations in the United States in recent weeks when tens of thousands of people took to the streets daily to demand police reform and an end to police violence. There were also reports of police officers driving patrol cars into the crowd, attacking people with pepper spray and truncheons, and shooting rubber bullets at journalists and demonstrators.
In New York, a NYPD lieutenant apologized for kneeling with demonstrators and other members of the police department.
"The conditions before deciding to take one knee were very difficult because we were the center of attention and the whole crowd sang," he wrote in his apology seen by the New York Post. "I know that I made the wrong decision. We didn't know how the demonstrators would have reacted if we hadn't, and we tried to reduce additional violence."
When asked about Catanzara's comments, Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot said they would not "appreciate" an answer.
"I don't really think we should credit this kind of really unfortunate comment, and I won't honor it with any further response," she said.
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