The Chicago Police Department said Catanzara violated department rules when he posted the image, since it appears as though he's taking a stance on "a partisan political campaign or activity while on duty," the Chicago Tribune reported. Two other officers were recently reprimanded for violating the same rules by kneeling for a photo with an activist on the other side of the NFL national anthem debate.
"The rules prohibiting officers from making political statements while in uniform will be applied consistently," Guglielmi told the Tribune.
>> Related: Police officers reprimanded after kneeling against police brutality
In a Facebook post, Cantanzara denied that the photo was political.
"What is political about my pic? It's patriotic," Cantanzara wrote to a critic, according to the Chicago Sun-Times. "There is a difference but clearly not everyone understands that."
The newspaper noted that Catanzara, who has received more than 20 department honors or awards during his time with CPD, was recommended for firing in 2012. Investigators determined that he had worked as security for a bar while on medical leave from the police department.
Officials decided instead to suspend him for 20 days, the Sun-Times reported.
Protests were launched across the NFL last week after President Donald Trump said that football players who refuse to stand for the national anthem should be fired.
>> Related: Roger Goodell calls Trump’s attack on NFL players’ protests 'divisive'
“Wouldn’t you love to see one of these NFL owners, when somebody disrespects our flag, you’d say, ‘Get that son of a (expletive) off the field right now. Out! He’s fired,’” Trump told a crowd gathered in Alabama, to resounding applause.
Former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick first started kneeling during the anthem last year, to protest police violence against minorities. The protest got mixed reactions, but other NFL players -- and players in other sports -- have since followed Kaepernick’s lead.
The NFL Responds to Trump’s ‘Divisive’ Remarks