December 23, 2020
Issue: Fighting Bigotry
National Civil Rights Group Calls for Firing of Chicago Police Union President who said Muslims “All Deserve a Bullet”
WASHINGTON, DC — Today, Muslim Advocates called for Chicago police officer John Catanzara to be fired and asked for him to be removed from his position as president of the Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 7, the city’s largest police union. Catanzara is facing dismissal from the Chicago Police Department for saying of Muslims on Facebook, “Savages they all deserve a bullet.” In another post, he said, “Wtf its seriously time to kill these (expletives).” This week, Catanzara responded by deploying a false smear about Muslims and genital mutilation to defend his past anti-Muslim statements. The following is a statement from Muslim Advocates Public Advocacy Director Scott Simpson:
“John Catanzara said that Muslims should be shot, refused to apologize and even doubled down on his dangerous hate. A man like that walking the streets of Chicago with a gun and impunity is a threat to the safety of Muslims and all people. Chicago has a large, diverse community of Muslims and there is no way they can trust a man who smears them and has said they should be killed.
The Chicago Police Department already has a significant and troubling record of targeting and even committing violence against communities of color. All the while, the Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 7 has defended and encouraged the department’s indefensible acts. The police department and the union have a long way to go to staunch this torrent of hate, bias and violence but two bare minimum steps towards accomplishing that goal are firing Catanzara and removing him as president of the union. The safety of the public and the already-threadbare reputations of both institutions are at stake.”
Muslim Advocates is a national civil rights organization working in the courts, in the halls of power and in communities to halt bigotry in its tracks. We ensure that American Muslims have a seat at the table with expert representation so that all Americans may live free from hate and discrimination.