Los Angeles firefighters and police officers are launching a campaign responding to City Hall’s new requirement that employees be vaccinated against COVID-19.
“Firefighters for Freedom,” a group founded by members of the Los Angeles Fire Department (LAFD), has teamed up with “Roll Call 4 Freedom,” an organization made up of members of the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD), to protest forced COVID-19 jabs for city employees.
A group of Los Angeles city firefighters called Firefighters 4 Freedom was established recently “to stop the mandated vaccinations for all city employees as well as the citizens of this great country,” according to its website. “We want to bring education and truth to the people without being censored,” Los Angeles Times reported.
At least 350 LAFD firefighters and hundreds of sworn officers and civilian members of the LAPD are preparing to file a lawsuit against the city of Los Angeles, represented by California attorney Kevin McBride.
The resistance is in response to the L.A. City Council’s unanimous approval of a COVID-19 injection mandate for all city employees. The mandate was approved by Mayor Eric Garcetti last month.
“I basically stated in the union meeting that I will not submit to this. I will come to work every day, as long as I’m healthy,” firefighter John Knox, one of the group’s leaders, said on “The Kate Dalley Show.” “I will not wear a mask. I’m not going to test. And I will not get a shot.”
The rule mandates all city employees who have not received a medical or religious exemption to be “fully vaccinated” by Oct. 5, affecting approximately 60,000 police officers, firefighters, and others. Employees with medical conditions or “sincerely held religious beliefs” are exempt from getting the shot, but they must submit to a test regularly.
According to the Daily Wire, LAFD employs approximately 3,350 firefighters, with about half of them agreeing to take the injection.
When asked about the criticisms, Mayor Eric Garcetti advised people to get the vaccine.
“The Delta variant continues to spread, and it is more important than ever that people get vaccinated right now,” Garcetti said. “This requirement is critical to protecting the health and safety of our workers and Angelenos.”
According to Life Site News, Roll Call 4 Freedom said the issue is more significant than just one department or one city when it announced on Sept. 2 that it was “joining LAFD’s lawsuit as a subgroup.”
“Our nation, city and department are in an unprecedented time, and OUR actions will define our future as Americans, because this is a FREEDOM issue,” Roll Call said. “It is much larger than a police issue, a department policy issue, or a city mandate.”
“If we give in to this mandate, think about what will be asked of us tomorrow. What else will you give up? Your children will be next. Your promotions, upgrades, transfers, and futures are at stake,” the group warned.
“This may cost our jobs and our family’s financial security,” Roll Call’s statement concluded. “It will be stressful, mentally and emotionally, on all of us and our families. But, we must be willing to die on this hill, otherwise there won’t be another to fight on!”
Captain Christian Granucci, a 31-year member of the Los Angeles Fire Department, called the impending COVID-19 vaccine mandate “tyranny” and declared that he was “done being silent.”
Granucci also suggested that he had joined together with hundreds of other city employees prepared to go to court to protect their right to refuse the vaccine.
“There is a large group of us, in the hundreds, and we have an attorney on retainer,” he said.
Kevin McBride, an attorney for Firefighters 4 Freedom, said the group intends to file a lawsuit against the city and county over the vaccination mandates. He said Firefighters 4 Freedom has about 350 members.
“They want a right to choose what goes into their own body,” said McBride, who also represents individual firefighters. He said he understands concerns by the public about unvaccinated first responders and wants to find a “middle ground.”
“We have to protect the public,” he said. “But we shouldn’t be forced to take a vaccine.”