Seven Denver Police Department officers are fighting back against their city’s vaccine mandate by suing Mayor Michael Hancock, the chief of police and the executive director of Denver’s department of public health.
Filed on behalf of Dewayne Rodgers, Bart Stark, Rich Ziegler, Nick Elliott, David Curtis, Les Tucker, and Jonathan Christian, Denver Mayor Michael Hancock, and Denver Department of Public Health and Environment executive director Bob McDonald do not have the legal authority to require city employees to get vaccinated against COVID-19 by the end of this month.
“There are hundreds of Denver Police Officers who reached out to undersigned counsel to be included in this litigation,” the complaint stated, according to The Denver Channel. It went on to say that many of the officers are considering rendering their resignations once the September 30 deadline arrives.
“Undoubtedly, the public would be adversely affected by a sudden mass migration of police officers,” the complaint read.
The lawsuit claimed that Denver Chief of Police Paul Pazen had issued a guideline stating that unvaccinated employees will be subject to an immediate ten-day non-paid suspension. If they still do not comply after ten days, they will be fired, the complaint alleged.
Lawyers representing the seven defendants said that employees who were fired for failing to get vaccinated would not be able to work with the department for five years.
“The clear, immediate threat of irreparable harm to Plaintiffs regarding compliance with an unlawful public health order which mandates a medical procedure, including the punitive nature of the ‘reasonable accommodations’ – coupled with the strong public interest of retaining adequate numbers of police officers – weigh heavily in favor of the requested injunctive relief,” the lawyers said in the lawsuit.
Mike Strott, a spokesman for Hancock, responded to the lawsuit by saying that the administration is proud of how city employees have stepped up to “keep themselves, their co-workers and their community safe and healthy.”
“We’re still in a pandemic, and through this public health order, we’re doing what is necessary to save lives. We’re incredibly proud of how our employees have stepped up to keep themselves, their co-workers, and their community safe and healthy,” Strott told The Denver Gazette. He added that 82% of the Denver Police Department has been vaccinated against COVID-19.
Americans everywhere should be free to make their own decisions about whether or not to get the vaccine without having to worry about losing their jobs. We applaud these officers for fighting back against their city’s unfair and unethical vaccine mandate, and we hope their efforts here are successful.