Chicago Cop Posts Facebook Photo Saying 'I Stand For The Anthem' & 'I Support My President'

By Rachel Cromidas in News on Sep 27, 2017 8:52PM

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Just days after two cops were chastised for taking a photo of themselves kneeling while in uniform in support of NFL players' decisions to kneel during the National Anthem, another Chicago Police officer has weighed in on the controversy with a new photo.

The officer posted to Facebook a photo of himself in uniform, standing in front of his police car and holding the American flag with a sign that says "I stand for the anthem, I love the American flag, I support my President and the 2nd Amendment." The officer, who appears to be named John Catanzara according to Facebook, captioned the photo "2 sides to a story," Tuesday afternoon. The post has since been shared over 140 times, including by the Facebook group Chicago Code Blue, "A coalition of law enforcement supporters whose mission is to support the efforts of our brave men and women of our Chicago BLUE," which also weighed in on the controversy in several different posts. The most recent one, directed at Catanzara, reads: "We commend you for your courage... Will the mayor?" (The post on Catanzara's page has since been removed.)

Chicagoist has reached out to Catanzara and will update this post if we hear back.

The officer's photo post was posted the same afternoon Mayor Rahm Emanuel released a statement saying he supported the decision to reprimand the three officers who kneeled for a photo, citing a department policy prohibiting officers from making political statements while in uniform.

Though Emanuel acknowledged in his statement Tuesday that officers needed to be reminded to follow the department policy, he also noted that the two officers who kneeled for a photo were caught in a tough spot—while officers should follow the rules, he said they also are working to build "better community relation." Their willingness to engage with the activist who walked into their police station and asked them to kneel for a photo could be seen as an example of this effort.

News Affairs sent a statement to Chicagoist on Wednesday afternoon saying that the department's policy against political statements applies to this instance, too:

"As we have said before, the rules prohibiting officers from making political statements while in uniform will be applied consistently. This will be no different. The Department will remind all officers about the department's prohibiting political statements while on duty through a roll call training."

[H/T DNAinfo]

This post has been updated.