Catanzara: A 23 Year History of Misconduct

Chicago police officer John Catanzara has a history with the police accountability system in Chicago that is exhibit number one in why the system is broken. The failure of the system to remove him from the Chicago Police Department (CPD) has allowed Catanzara to ride a Trumpian movement within the Fraternal Order of Police and win election to be their president. It is like the membership of the FOP was proud to vote for someone that quite literally could be one of the worst officers within the CPD.

Catanzara in his 23 years with the CPD managed to rack up 50 complaints from a mixture of complaints filed by everyday people and his fellow officers and superiors within the CPD. In 2007 he managed to rack up 7 complaints within a single year. In 2008 in two separate cases within the same year Catanzara managed to save his job as the CPD sought to termination his employment. Instead the weak Chicago Police Board both times found him guilty of some of the charges but reduced the discipline for Catazara from termination to a suspension of 20 days in each case.

Catanzara is the ultimate hypocrite in that he has spent his 23 years on the CPD holding people to account for brekaing rules set by our legislators. Yet, during his entire career he has done nothing but break the rules, dis-obey authority, and show complete disdain for anyone in a position of authority besides himself. This is on full display in the range of social media posts that show his deep seated hatred for a whole range of minorities. The one theme that runs through his social media posts is his strong misogyny.

On today’s show we talk with intern Lauren Cole who authored our recent report about John Catanzara.

On today’s show we also cover:

  • Supt. David Brown under fire
  • City / CPD lie about minority hiring

Images from today’s show

Tracy has nearly two decades of experience researching and working within criminal justice systems. When Tracy began pursuing a career dedicate to system reform, he found that no single organization existed to promote evidence-based discussions among law enforcement agencies and the communities they serve. Recognizing that citizens in Chicago deserved the right to demand transparency in their criminal justice system, Siska established the Chicago Justice Project. He received his Master of Arts degree in Criminal Justice at the University of Illinois at Chicago.

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