A battle pitting the mayor of Chicago and the superintendent of the police department against some officers defying a vaccine mandate for all city employees has ended up in court where the police union is asking a judge for a temporary restraining order.
A court hearing over the union's request for a temporary restraining order was delayed Wednesday, but that did little to ease tensions over the city's attempt to get all police officers vaccinated, ABC reports.
Police Superintendent David Brown said compliance with the COVID-19 shot mandate by officers and civilian employees of his agency went up to 67% on Tuesday from 64% a day earlier.
As of Tuesday, about 2,000 officers had yet to upload their vaccine or testing status on a city online portal and, so far, 21 officers have been stripped of their police powers and sent home without pay, Brown said.
With Chicago in the midst of a surge in violent crime with shootings up 9% this year over 2020, some city leaders said they fear Lightfoot and Brown are playing with fire by taking officers who don't comply with the vaccine mandate off the streets.
"We are simply not in a position to fire 2,000 police officers right now," Second Ward Alderman Brian Hopkins told ABC station WLS in Chicago. "We can't do that. That is not in our best interest."