* When I listened to the audio of Gov. Pat Quinn’s Chicago press conference yesterday, I was a bit surprised at the number of questions he received from reporters about the situation in Ferguson, MO. He was asked what his thoughts were about the unfolding drama, he was asked whether Missouri’s governor had asked for assistance from Illinois’ National Guard and then was asked whether he would “entertain” a request from our neighboring state for National Guard deployment.
* That last question was by far the weirdest. Are reporters (or editors) really that eager to find an Illinois angle to this story? Apparently so…
Speaking at a bill-signing event on Monday, Gov. Pat Quinn weighed in on the unrest in Ferguson, Missouri, that has gripped the nation, saying all of America is vested in unearthing the facts behind the police-involved shooting of 18-year-old Michael Brown.
The Aug. 9 shooting of the unarmed black man by a white police officer has torn apart that St. Louis suburb, with Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon on Monday calling in that state’s National Guard to help calm increasingly violent nightly protests.
“I know Gov. Nixon. I have not talked to him,” Quinn said at the Wesley Place, a rehab facility at 1415 W. Foster, where he signed into law two bills addressing standards and accountability at Illinois nursing homes and long-term care facilities.
“I think it’s very, very important that the people be allowed to voice their feelings. It’s part of the First Amendment of our country. I think that law enforcement has to respect that,” Quinn said. “But we also believe in order, and in making sure that everyone has a chance to be safe. I do think it’s important that the governor there did deploy his highway patrol — what we call state police in Illinois — to help local law enforcement get a handle on the situation. It was clearly well-needed.”
When there’s an extreme emergency, Illinois National Guard units have gone to other states to help. Thousands of troops were sent to New Orleans, following Hurricane Katrina, for example.
But Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn says Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon has not requested help from Illinois’ troops to aide with the Ferguson situation, and he doesn’t expect him to.
Except we’re not talking about a major American city being destroyed, we’re talking about riots in a small St. Louis suburb.