In Minnesota, the St. Paul Police Union is fighting back against the city’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate with a new lawsuit.

The Star Tribune reported that the union said in a statement that it is “not anti-vaccine, nor are we conspiracy theorists — we are reasonable and dedicated public servants who believe in personal choice.”

St. Paul Mayor Melvin Carter fired back through a spokesperson, saying that all city workers’ requirement to be vaccinated against coronavirus by December 31 will stand unless a court rules otherwise.

“COVID is currently the leading cause of death among police officers in the United States,” Carter said. “We will do everything in our power to protect our employees and the public we serve from this deadly pandemic.”

This comes a month after city officials announced that all city employees must get their shots by the end of 2021, without the option of getting tested for the virus frequently.

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“Since testing only provides a way to determine if someone has COVID after they’ve already contracted it, it offers no protection for an unvaccinated individual nor any individuals they interact with,” Carter said when announcing the mandate. He bluntly added those city employees who refuse to get jabbed would be terminated.

The St Paul Police Union’s statement continued:

“For the past 20 months, members of the St. Paul Police Federation have reported for duty every day and served our community with little regard for their own personal safety and in turn put themselves and their families at risk. For almost the first entire year of the pandemic when there was no vaccine, we were undeterred in our commitment to the City of St. Paul.”

The union felt that it had no choice but to file the lawsuit after the city shut down repeated requests for a testing option. The Union believes that around 20% of its officers are not vaccinated against COVID-19, with this equating to approximately 100 cops.

The union went on to warn that with violent crime spiking in St. Paul at a time when the city is already down 80 officers, losing 100 more because of this mandate would be dangerous for the public.

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“We know that an inadequately staffed police force is a much greater danger to our community than 20% of our officers not being vaccinated,” the union statement said. “We have no choice as a union but to do everything possible to work on behalf of our entire membership and the citizens of St. Paul.”

This piece was written by James Samson on November 26, 2021. It originally appeared in and is used by permission.

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