New York City’s largest police union filed a lawsuit Monday against Mayor Bill de Blasio’s mandatory COVID-19 vaccination order for all city employees.
The Police Benevolent Association, which represents about 24,000 rank-and-file officers, asked the state Supreme Court to block the mandate because it does not give officers the option of being tested weekly instead of being vaccinated.
The suit was filed in Staten Island, one of New York’s five boroughs, or autonomous districts, is home to many police officers and, according to The New York Times, has a vaccination rate that is short of the citywide average.
Mayor de Blasio issued an order last week that all of New York City’s 160,000 municipal employees show proof of having gotten at least one COVID-19 shot by Monday, November 1, or be placed on unpaid leave. At least 70% of New York City employees have already received at least one dose.
The city’s Law Department said the new mandates are “lawful and keep New Yorkers safe.”
“Every effort to stop the city’s vaccine mandates has failed in court, and we believe this suit by the PBA will meet the same fate,” a statement said.
Several hundred police officers, firefighters and other city employees marched across the iconic Brooklyn Bridge to City Hall Monday to protest the mayor’s vaccine mandate. Municipal employees in a handful of other U.S. cities and states have spoken out in opposition of vaccine mandates imposed by mayors and governors.
Some information for this report came from the Associated Press and Reuters.