SAN DIEGO (KGTV) — The City of San Diego is facing a new lawsuit over its vaccine mandate. The nonprofit "PERK," which stands for the Protection of the Educational Rights of Kids, filed this lawsuit on behalf of city employees and first responders.
Those on the front lines, shared Friday that their vaccination status should not hold this much weight, and potentially be the reason why many leave their departments.
"We are not just robots, we are not numbers, we are people, citizens just like all of you," shares Jonathan Wiese.
The San Diego Police Officer has served the department for more than 25 years according to PERK. He shared Friday that he is waiting to see if his vaccination exemption will be approved.
"Ask yourself when a criminal is threatening you or your family, does the vaccination status matter to the officer coming to help you?" asks Wiese.
It is a sentiment that is shared by supporters of this lawsuit. It claims that the City of San Diego does not have the authority to issue its COVID vaccine mandate for city employees. It further claims that the mandate itself is unconstitutional due to privacy rights.
PERK shared that this lawsuit is the sixth that they have filed. The other suits were filed against schools, LA county, and the City of Beverly Hills regarding the vaccine.
"The City claims these people are a threat to public health now. Really?," said Attorney John Howard. "Well, they were double a threat in 2020 when there were no vaccines. And did the City out of concern for their citizens tell them to stay home? No, they told them to come to the station, the office, every single day and put their lives on the line."
Currently, more than 1,000 city employees have filed for exemptions. Both San Diego's Police and Fire Departments are facing staffing shortages as many are leaving. Others are still awaiting their approval of exemptions.
"It should scare you," explained Wiese. "Because as a citizen it scares me, I am potentially one of them."
The City Attorney's Office told ABC 10News that they will review the complaint and respond through the court.