Calls for Chicago police union president be fired grow after Capitol attack comments

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.

"It is particularly shameful that a member of law enforcement would defend their actions against the US Capitol," said 40th Ward Alderman Andre Vasquez.


"We don't take this lightly," said Illinois SEIU Healthcare President Greg Kelley. "The stakes in our city and this country are too high to remain silent.
There was no comment from Catanzara Monday.

RELATED: Chicago police union president defends pro-Trump protesters at US Capitol riot

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."


RELATED: Chicago police union president apologizes for defending pro-Trump protesters at US Capitol riot
By Friday he apologized, posting on social media that the comments to WBEZ were "poorly worded."

"I don't think anybody anticipated the events to unfold as they did," he told ABC7 Eyewitness News on Friday.

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.
Copyright © 2021 WLS-TV. All Rights Reserved.