The ACLU of Illinois today issued the following statement in response to threats from the CPD and their union to ignore the City vaccine mandate:
It is a breach of the public trust that Chicago police officers – led by Mr. Cantanzara – are threatening to flagrantly ignore the City’s vaccine requirement. Police officers routinely initiate contact, including close contact, with residents across the City. These contacts are especially prevalent in Black and Brown neighborhoods across Chicago that are over-policed and where we see the most frequent use of traffic stops and stop and frisks. That officers would eschew vaccinations and further the risk of spread of a deadly disease that already has taken the lives of thousands of Chicagoans, particularly Black and Brown people, furthers the mistrust between the police and the community they are supposed to serve.
Throughout this pandemic, we have called on law enforcement to limit contacts to mitigate the spread of COVID in our neighborhoods. We also have called on police to appropriately mask up and use social distancing whenever possible. Many of these calls have gone unheeded.
Police officers are public servants. If “protect and serve” carries any meaning, every CPD officer who is medically able to be vaccinated should be rolling up their sleeve.