Washington, DC — On Monday, Chicago police officer and Fraternal Order of Police President John Catanzara announced that he intends to resign from the Chicago Police Department. Catanzara’s announcement came at the end of a hearing held by the Chicago Police Board about anti-Muslim comments he made on social media and other offenses. Catanzara previously called Muslims “savages” who “all deserve a bullet” on Facebook. Muslim Advocates, CAIR-Chicago, the ACLU of Illinois, the Illinois Muslim Civic Coalition and the Council of Islamic Organizations of Greater Chicago (CIGOC) convened a letter signed by 78 religious, civil rights and community organizations calling on Catanzara to be fired.
The following is a statement from Muslim Advocates Communications Director Eric Naing:
“It is unambiguously good news for the Chicago Police Department and for the many American Muslims in Chicago that John Catanzara has said he intends to retire immediately. We hope he actually follows through on his promise. Monday’s hearing reiterated what was already obvious: Catanzara unapologetically disparaged Muslims on social media and endorsed committing violence against them. This is a clear violation of the Chicago Police Department’s social media policy and a threat to good relations between the department and Chicago’s many Muslim communities.
As long as John Catanzara remains on the force, we can’t be confident that the Chicago Police will treat Muslims with respect and fairness. We also call on Catanzara to step down as president of the Fraternal Order of Police. A man who spreads offensive, anti-Muslim conspiracies and endorses hate and violence against many of the people the Chicago police are supposed to protect should not be leading and representing the city’s police officers.”
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.