Chicago, IL – Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker announced he will be sending 125 Illinois National Guard troops to Chicago in preparation for possible riots after the murder trial of former Minneapolis Police Officer Derek Chauvin.
Pritzker also ordered the Illinois State Police (ISP) to deploy additional state troopers to the city to assist the Chicago Police Department, the Chicago Tribune reported.
“It is critical that those who wish to peacefully protest against the systemic racism and injustice that holds back too many of our communities continue to be able to do so,” the governor said in a statement. “Members of the Guard and the Illinois State Police will support the city of Chicago’s efforts to protect the rights of peaceful protesters and keep our families safe.”
The deployment of the National Guard troops came at the request of Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot, according to the Chicago Tribune.
Lightfoot said there is “no actionable intelligence at this time,” but that she wants the city to be “fully prepared out of an abundance of caution,” WMAQ reported.
The Illinois National Guard’s 33rd Military Police Battalion will arrive in Chicago on Tuesday for a “limited mission” in order to assist Chicago police with tasks such as maintaining street closures, Pritzker’s office told the Chicago Tribune.
With a verdict expected in the Derek Chauvin trial, I'm putting @IL_Natl_Guard on standby at the request of @chicagosmayor. It's critical that those who wish to peacefully protest against the systemic racism and injustice in our communities continue to be able to do so. https://t.co/gb9BOCTZXK
— Governor JB Pritzker (@GovPritzker) April 19, 2021
The battalion has received special training in riot control, but the governor’s office assured the public the troops “will not interfere with peaceful protesters exercising their First Amendment rights,” according to the paper.
The Chicago Police Department has already canceled days off for its detective teams and several other police units, sources told the Chicago Tribune.
The Cook County Attorney’s Office has also asked its attorneys to volunteer to work extra hours in the felony review unit and bond court in anticipation of a sudden spike in cases.
Governor Pritzker is sending IL National Guard members to #Chicago ahead of the #ChauvinTrial verdict. We’re looking ahead at preps for protests and possible unrest on @nbcchicago this morning. pic.twitter.com/79ycI0GesG
— Lisa Chavarria NBC5 (@LisaChavarria) April 20, 2021
Meanwhile, an undisclosed number of Ohio State Highway Patrol (OSHP) troopers are being sent directly to Minneapolis to assist with rioters at the request of Minnesota Highway Patrol and Minnesota Governor Tim Walz, WBNS reported.
Chauvin, 45, was convicted Tuesday of second-degree manslaughter, third-degree murder, and second-degree murder in the May 25, 2020 death of 46-year-old George Floyd.