Chicago’s rank-and-file police officers issued a vote of “no-confidence” against Democratic Mayor Lori Lightfoot and her chosen head of the city’s police force, David Brown.
The Chicago Fraternal Order of Police (FOP), the city’s largest police union, voted Wednesday against Lightfoot, Brown, and Brown’s first deputy, Eric Carter. The FOP said the vote was unanimous among the 150-200 officers who showed up to the meeting, according to the Chicago Tribune.
The vote comes as the FOP continues to hold out against Lightfoot’s administration amid disagreements over the union’s next collective bargaining agreement. The FOP has gone without a collective bargaining agreement for the past three years.
The FOP says that the “no-confidence” vote, which is symbolic with no official ramification, is a rebuke of recent orders by the administration curtailing officers’ days off and increasing their shifts from 8 ½ hours to 12 hours.
Lightfoot also canceled the Chicago Police Department’s annual St. Jude Memorial March for fallen officers over COVID-19, according to the Tribune.
“It was a slap in the face to every member, especially the Gold Star Families who have paid the ultimate sacrifice, and deserve that respect annually, period, no excuses,” FOP President John Catanzara said, according to CBS Chicago.
The increased pressure on Chicago’s cops comes as the city is experiencing a spike in crime. “Through May 2, homicides in the city were up 22% over the same period last year, going from 160 to 195, official CPD statistics show. The 195 slayings were also a 35% jump over the last two years. Total shootings through May 2 were also up over the last two years by 58%, the statistics show,” the Tribune reports.
Lightfoot dismissed the union vote against her on Thursday, taking a shot at Catanzara. “Frankly, getting a vote of no confidence from that guy is a badge of honor accepted,” she said, according to the local CBS affiliate.
“The current administration of the FOP has decided that the best strategy is to do nothing. Why? Because they don’t want to face the realities that we are in,” Lightfoot continued, referring to the ongoing collective bargaining fight between her and the police union. “We’ve got monumental reforms and accountability in the supervisors’ contracts. The state law has changes to make sure that there’s more reform and accountability, but what does the FOP president say? He says that his strategy is to do nothing, to drag it out, so that he doesn’t have to face the reality.”
On Thursday, hundreds of protesters demonstrated outside of Lightfoot’s house to express disapproval with her job as mayor. As The Daily Wire reported:
More than 300 demonstrators swarmed the area around Lightfoot’s residence, many of them hoisting signs giving her an “F” grade on issues such as education, COVID-19, police reform, housing, and other things, according to Fox News.
Many of the attendees posted footage of the event to social media under the the hashtag #2Years2Much, which is a reference to the two-year anniversary of her mayoral inauguration as the city’s first female black mayor.
“It’s not enough to be black, it’s not enough to be female, you gotta be right,” said Tara Stamps, who works for Chicago Public Schools.