LAFD firefighters file court papers challenging vaccine mandate

Court papers were filed Friday on behalf of hundreds of Los Angeles Fire Department firefighters who want a judge to set aside the city's COVID-19 vaccine requirement.

The still-unofficial Los Angeles Superior Court lawsuit was brought on behalf of 529 firefighters who are members of the nonprofit Firefighters4Freedom Foundation. They seek a temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction prohibiting the city from demanding that firefighters receive a COVID-19 shot as a condition of continued employment.

"As will be shown at the time of trial and during preliminary hearings, the city does not have the constitutional authority to force anyone to take an experimental vaccine against his or her will without considering, and granting where possible, reasonable accommodations for those who (choose) not to take the vaccine," the plaintiffs' court papers state.

Coronavirus data as of Sept. 11 shows a steep decrease in the number of cases and hospitalizations, according to the plaintiffs' court papers.

"There is no basis for the city's rushed and ill-conceived mandate," the firefighters' court papers state.

In addition, firefighters are acting reasonably when they object to a coronavirus injection before the serum's long-term effects are known, the plaintiffs' court papers state.

Los Angeles City Councilman Mark Ridley-Thomas released a statement disagreeing with the firefighters' legal action and saying he was "shocked" by their objections to the vaccine mandate.

"It is simply not right for City employees, who should be setting an example for the general public, to resist what is in the best interest of themselves, their families, their communities and the workforce," Ridley-Thomas stated.

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