WASHINGTON, DC — In advance of a status hearing on the charges facing Chicago police officer and Fraternal Order of Police President John Catanzara, Muslim Advocates is calling on the Chicago Police Board to move forward in its process to terminate the officer for a lengthy list of 72 violations of the police code of conduct. Catanzara has previously posted anti-Muslim content online, including a post calling Muslims “savages” who “all deserve a bullet.” He has since requested that the charges against him be dismissed. The Board is scheduled to have a status hearing on Thursday, June 3 at 10 AM CT. In February, a coalition of nearly 80 groups led by Muslim Advocates, CAIR-Chicago, ACLU of Illinois, Illinois Muslim Civic Coalition, Council of Islamic Organizations of Greater Chicago (CIOGC) sent a letter to the Board demanding that Catanzara be fired. A petition echoing the demand has received over 27,000 signatures. The following is a statement from Muslim Advocates Public Advocacy Director Scott Simpson:
“We urge the Chicago Police Board to stay the course and not allow Catanzara to escape accountability. A man who called Muslims ‘savages’ who ‘all deserve a bullet,’ among many other racist comments, is not fit to be an officer. Catanzara has been suspended and stripped of his pay because he is a danger to the people of Chicago. Now the Chicago Police Board must do their job and fire Catanzara as soon as possible.”
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.