Disciplinary charges against John Catanzara filed with the Police Board
The Superintendent of Police has filed with the Police Board charges against Police Officer John Catanzara alleging multiple rule violations stemming from statements on social media and other delineated acts. The charges recommend that Officer Catanzara be discharged from the Chicago Police Department.
The role of the Police Board is to serve as an impartial body that makes decisions based on the evidence presented at a disciplinary hearing. The Board takes final action on all cases in public at its monthly meetings, where each Board member’s vote is announced and recorded, and the Board posts on its website its written decisions, which include detailed explanations of the reasons for the Board’s findings.
The Board’s process for handling disciplinary cases includes an initial status hearing followed by discovery, a pre-hearing conference, and then presentation of witness testimony and evidence at a hearing, which will be open to the public. The initial status hearing of this case is scheduled for Tuesday, February 23, at 10:00 a.m. (the status hearing will be held via audio conference due to the COVID-19 outbreak; it will be open to the public, and information on how to listen to the status hearing is available from the Board’s office).
The charges filed by the Superintendent and information about the Board’s process for handling disciplinary cases are available at ChicagoPoliceBoard.org.
The Police Board does not comment on the substance of pending disciplinary cases. The Board’s final written decision will include detailed explanations of the reasons for the Board’s findings.
The public is reminded that the filing of charges is not evidence of guilt. The accused officer is presumed innocent and is entitled to a fair hearing at which the Superintendent has the burden of proving guilt by a preponderance of the evidence.