The Chicago Police Union president recently warned of a “mass exodus” of police officers if a Progressive-leaning mayoral candidate wins the election.
During a recent interview with the New York Times, John Catanzara, president of Chicago’s Lodge 7 of the Fraternal Order of Police, spoke about the upcoming mayoral election between Paul Vallas, who is seen as a more conservative Democrat, and current Cook County Commissioner Brandon Johnson. According to the New York Times, Catanzara and the police union have endorsed Vallas, while Johnson has received support from the Chicago Teacher’s Union.
“If this guy gets in we’re going to see an exodus like we’ve never seen before,” Catanzara told the New York Times in regard to Johnson. According to the New York Times, Catanzara predicted that up to 1,000 Chicago police officers could leave their positions if Johnson was to win the election.
The comments by Catanzara come ahead of the upcoming runoff election for Chicago’s mayor. According to a recent poll conducted by WGN-TV/Emerson College/The Hill Vallas currently leads Johnson 46 to 41 percent.
Among different age groups, the poll found Vallas receiving more support from older voters, while Johnson received support from younger voters. According to the poll, 58.2 percent of likely voters between the ages of 18 and 34 sided with Johnson. On the other hand, 53.4 percent of voters between the ages of 50 and 64 sided with Vallas.
In addition to the endorsement by the Chicago police union, Vallas is also supported by Bobby L. Rush, a former member of the Black Panthers who now serves as an Illinois state Representative. According to the New York Times, Rush previously criticized Chicago’s Fraternal Order of Police calling them “the most rabid, racist body of criminal lawlessness by police in the land.”
“It stands shoulder to shoulder with the Ku Klux Klan then and the Ku Klux Klan now,” Rush previously told Politico in regard to the Chicago Fraternal Order of Police.
However, while speaking with the New York Times this week, Rush said he has no patience for the leadership of the Chicago Fraternal Order of Police but noted past violence involving his son.
“I had my son killed by street violence. I cannot be antipolice,” Rush told the New York Times.
On the other hand, during a recent debate, Johnson said that Vallas is involved with people in the “extreme Republican Party who did not believe the pandemic was real.”
Newsweek reached out to the campaigns for Vallas and Johnson for comment via email.
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