LAPD Officers Sue Department, City Over Vaccine Mandate

LAPD Officers Sue Department, City Over Vaccine Mandate michal moore speaks to the media with the lapd shield on the podium Los Angeles Police Chief Michel Moore (Stefanie Dazio/AP)

By Charles Kim | Monday, 13 September 2021 11:10 PM

Six Los Angeles Police Department officers filed a federal lawsuit Saturday challenging the city's COVID-19 vaccine mandate for workers.

According to the Daily News, the lawsuit claims an ordinance passed by the city last month requiring employees to get vaccinated violates their rights to privacy and due process.

The City Council unanimously passed the ordinance 13-0 with two members absent during its Aug. 18 meeting, requiring all city employees to be fully vaccinated by Oct. 20 unless they have medical or religious reasons to be exempt, the report said.

The ordinance comes after complaints against the department were lodged about officers not wearing masks during interactions with the public.

"We have a city that overall believes in vaccinations and believes in wearing masks, and we have first responders that don't," William Gude, an L.A. activist who has filmed police without masks and filed complaints said in a Monday story in The Guardian. "The lawsuit reflects the culture of the department."

A spokesman for the department would not comment on the suit to the Guardian but said just 47% of the LAPD staff were fully vaccinated and 54% had at least one dose of the three available vaccines.

According to the story, that number is substantially less than the 76% of Los Angeles County residents with at least one shot.

An investigation by the publication found a similar result with the state's largest law enforcement agency, the California Highway Patrol that had 47% percent of its force vaccinated in mid-August.

In San Diego, 45% of its police force would rather be fired than get vaccinated.

"Myself and another God-fearing Patriot on this Department are building up a coalition of cops who will stand up for our God-given freedoms and are willing to risk it all," one author wrote on an online forum, adding that they refused to get vaccinated or be tested.

The lawsuit also claims the officers in the department were not given enough time to apply for religious or medical exemptions by today's deadline.

L.A. City Attorney Mike Feuer told The Guardian he is "confident" the city will win the case.

"It cannot be the case that the health of anyone's child, anyone's grandma, anybody in our city could be put at risk because they come into contact with a first responder who hasn't been vaccinated," he said in a statement.