Judge Blocks Chicago From Enforcing Police Vaccine Mandate

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U.S.|A justice blocks Chicago from enforcing its vaccine mandate for constabulary officers.


Chicago constabulary  officers and supporters listened arsenic  John Catanzara, right, president   of the Chicago Fraternal Order of Police, spoke past  week during a protestation  astatine  City Hall against a vaccination mandate for metropolis  employees.
Credit...Scott Olson/Getty Images

Mitch Smith

  • Nov. 1, 2021, 3:24 p.m. ET

CHICAGO — A justice successful Chicago blocked the metropolis connected Monday from enforcing a Dec. 31 vaccine mandate for constabulary officers until the contented tin beryllium addressed successful arbitration. The ruling was a stroke to Mayor Lori Lightfoot and a triumph for a constabulary national that has been engaged successful an progressively vitriolic conflict with City Hall implicit the rule.

Judge Raymond W. Mitchell of the Cook County Circuit Court said that arsenic unionized employees, constabulary officers had a close to person their objections to the mandate heard by an arbitrator earlier the request takes effect. If an arbitrator were to regularisation against the metropolis aft the vaccine mandate was being enforced, the justice wrote, determination would beryllium small recourse for officers who got vaccinated nether duress.

“An grant of backmost wage oregon reinstatement cannot undo a vaccine,” Judge Mitchell wrote. “Nothing can.”

Across the country, constabulary unions person fought requirements that their members get vaccinated, sometimes starring to fears of wide resignations, arsenic successful Los Angeles County, Calif., wherever the sheriff has warned of a imaginable exodus.

The absorption to vaccination mandates has travel adjacent though astir 500 American instrumentality enforcement officers person died from work-related Covid-19 since the commencement of the pandemic, according to the Officer Down Memorial Page  far much than person died from immoderate different work-related origin successful the past 2 years. On Monday, thousands of New York City employees, including constabulary officers, were placed connected unpaid permission for failing to get vaccinated by the city’s deadline.

In Chicago, Judge Mitchell’s ruling near successful spot a request for officers to study their vaccination presumption to the city, which the constabulary national has opposed, and to acquisition regular investigating if not vaccinated.

“The reporting work itself is simply a minimal intrusion peculiarly considering that constabulary officers are already obligated to supply aesculapian accusation to their employer,” the justice wrote.

About 71 percent of Chicago Police Department employees had reported their vaccination presumption to the metropolis by past week, by acold the lowest complaint of immoderate metropolis department. Around 7,300 constabulary employees said they were vaccinated, portion astir 1,700 said they were not. More than 3,000 others had not provided their status. John Catanzara, the president of the Fraternal Order of Police successful Chicago, which represents rank-and-file officers, had suggested that his members disregard the bid and hazard subject oregon nonaccomplishment of pay.

Ms. Lightfoot’s bureau said the politician would code the ruling aboriginal connected Monday. Mr. Catanzara did not instantly respond to a petition for comment.

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