Cop caught calling Black Lives Matter protestor a ‘f****t’ was just upset because a traffic cone was thrown at him, union says
The Chicago police union is fighting an official recommendation to fire an officer who was recorded hurling homophobic slurs at a Black Lives Matter protestor.
A video filmed during the May 30 protests in Chicago showed officer Matthew Drinnan shouting aggressively at a protester: “B***h! Wait ’till I turn my back, you f**king faggot!”
The clip went viral when a Chicago drag queen shared the footage on Twitter, urging the “white gays who’ve been silent so far” to join the protests.
Days later the Chicago Police Department opened an investigation and issued a statement saying that the officer’s “derogatory conduct” was “inexcusable”.
But it seems the Chicago Fraternal Order of Police (FOP) has found a way to excuse it, as they are now fighting a recommendation to fire the officer.
The recommendation to terminate Drinnan came after a four-month review of the incident by the Civilian Office of Police Accountability, which found that his homophobic behaviour had caused “significant discredit” to the force.
“Officer Drinnan’s use of a homophobic slur casts serious doubt on his ability to serve our community without bias or prejudice,” the independent body wrote in a letter seen by CBS Chicago.
White gays who’ve been silent so far, he said “wait till I turn my back, you f*ckin f****t”. If it takes you till this to be angry, shame on you, but hey come join. pic.twitter.com/73QszndmAw
— Kimberly Ann (@kimberlysummer_) May 31, 2020
COPA determined that in using the slur Drinnan had violated department policy on verbal abuse, as well as the department’s prohibition of bias in police activity.
However, Chicago FOP President John Catanzara has fiercely defended the officer and claimed the penalties he faces are too harsh.
“No one talks about the fact that he was the victim of an aggravated battery,” he said, referring to a traffic cone that was thrown in his direction.
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Catanzara insisted that Drinnan should “have never been stripped of his police powers” and suggested all he needed was “maybe a little training as far as keeping his emotions in check a little bit more”.
“[The case against Drinnan] is a kneejerk reaction to public sentiment. They’re trying to make a statement. They’re trying to push the needle even farther of what’s acceptable to fire an officer and make it even less and less of transgression,” he told CBS Chicago.
“Not acceptable. We’re never going to accept. We’re going to keep fighting.”
In the meantime, officer Drinnan has returned to work on Chicago’s streets.