CHICAGO (CBS) — Already facing the prospect of being fired over several inflammatory social media posts, embattled Chicago Fraternal Order of Police President John Catanzara is now facing additional disciplinary charges.
The new charges made public by the Chicago Police Board on Wednesday accuse Catanzara of filing a false police report against then-CPD Supt. Eddie Johnson on July 12, 2018, accusing Johnson of breaking the law five days earlier by joining an anti-violence march on the Dan Ryan Expressway.READ MORE: Funston Elementary School Briefly Locked Down In Logan Square After Two Shootings Near Campus
Johnson joined Rev. Michael Pfleger, Rev. Jesse Jackson, and thousands of anti-violence protesters in blocking traffic on the Dan Ryan for more than an hour on July 7, 2018.
“At the end of the day, they’re marching against violence. And that benefits this entire city,” Johnson said at the time.
According to disciplinary charges filed against Catanzara, he filed a police report “falsely and/or misleadingly listing Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson as an offender for Criminal Trespass to State Supported Land.”
Another charge accuses Catanzara of filing a separate false police report on Nov. 25, 2018, listing a Chicago Police Commander as an offender for “Interference with Public Officer; Obstructing Justice.” The charge does not provide any specifics of Catanzara’s claim.
Both of the new charges also accuse Catanzara of falsely identifying himself as “Beat 0801,” a designation reserved for a district station supervisor, while Catanzara is a patrol officer.
Catanzara already faced 16 other disciplinary charges over a series of offensive and inflammatory posts on social media between November 2016 and February 2018.
Records show the posts include statements suggesting killing people and suggesting officers stop chasing offenders.READ MORE: Dixmoor Sends Plea For Help As Water Pressure Down To A Trickle In Parts Of South Suburb
In one post Catanzara referred to Muslims, saying, “Savages they all deserve a bullet.”
Catanzara declined to comment on the new disciplinary charges. His first hearing on the disciplinary charges is scheduled for Feb. 23.
He is currently stripped of his police powers over the investigation into his report against Johnson.
Catanzara has been suspended multiple times since joining the department in 1995. According to the Invisible Institute, a public website that contains all police misconduct records, Catanzara was disciplined at least eight times for misconduct between 2003 and 2013:
- He was once suspended for 30 days following an investigation into allegations of domestic abuse in 2003.
- He was reprimanded following an investigation into an allegation of excessive force in 2003.
- He was suspended for six days following an investigation into allegations of conduct unbecoming an officer by associating with a felon while off-duty in 2003.
- He was suspended for 20 days following an investigation into allegations of conduct unbecoming by associating with a felon while off-duty in 2004.
- He was suspended for 10 days for insubordination in 2005.
- He was suspended for 15 days following an investigation into an allegation of a personnel violation at an Old Town tavern in 2007.
- He was suspended for 20 days after the Chicago Police Board found him guilty of violating department rules by working as a private security guard while on medical leave for a back injury in 2008. Supt. Garry McCarthy had sought to fire him.
- He was suspended for 10 days following an investigation into miscellaneous personnel violations in 2013.
According to the Chicago Tribune, then-Police Supt. Jody Weis sought to fire Catanzara in 2008, accusing him of failing to follow orders to complete a psychological exam, but the Chicago Police Board cleared Catanzara of wrongdoing.
On Wednesday, a group of 38 aldermen introduced a resolution urging Catanzara to resign over his comments about the storming of the U.S. Capitol earlier this month, or for the FOP board to force him out. In an interview on the day of the Capitol riot, Catanzara falsely claimed there was no violence from those who stormed the building.
Catanzara later apologized for what he called “a lapse in judgment,” after he defended the rioters in an interview with WBEZ public radio.
In that interview, Catanzara said he understood the motives behind the storming of the Capitol, which led to at least five deaths, including a U.S. Capitol Police officer who died a day after Catanzara falsely claimed “There’s no, obviously, violence in this crowd.”MORE NEWS: FDA Grants Emergency Use Authorization For Moderna And Johnson & Johnson's COVID Vaccine Booster Shots
Catanzara has declined to comment on aldermen’s call for him to step down as FOP president.