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At mayor’s request, Pritzker activates National Guard ahead of Chauvin verdict

Monday, Apr 19, 2021

* Press release…

At the request of the City of Chicago, Governor JB Pritzker is activating 125 personnel from the Illinois National Guard to stand by to support the Chicago Police Department with a verdict expected in the trial of Derek Chauvin. Members of the Guard will deploy to Chicago beginning tomorrow, April 20, to pre-position and support the Chicago Police Department as needed.

The Illinois National Guard will carry out a limited mission to help manage street closures and will not interfere with peaceful protestors exercising their First Amendment rights, much the same role as Guard members played in previous deployments.

“At the request of Mayor Lightfoot, I am activating members of the Illinois National Guard to support the city in keeping our communities safe,” said Governor JB Pritzker. “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. Members of the Guard and the Illinois State Police will support the City of Chicago’s efforts to protect the rights of peaceful protestors and keep our families safe.”

“Our greatest priority at all times is ensuring the safety and security of the public,” said Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot. “While there is no actionable intelligence at this time, we want to be fully prepared out of an abundance of caution. Our city has a long history of peacefully expressing its First Amendment rights and I encourage residents to exercise their rights to free speech this coming week thoughtfully, respectfully and peacefully.”

“The Illinois National Guard Soldiers assigned to this mission are trained, equipped and prepared to assist law enforcement authorities with protecting lives and property of Illinois residents,” said Maj. Gen. Rich Neely, the Adjutant General of the Illinois National Guard.

Governor Pritzker also directed the Illinois State Police (ISP) to support the Chicago Police Department with additional troopers. The troopers will work closely with the Chicago Police Department and other local law enforcement, supporting efforts to keep the community safe.

“The Illinois State Police will work closely with Chicago Police Department, other local law enforcement and the Illinois National Guard to protect peaceful protests and keep the community safe,” said ISP Director Brendan F. Kelly. “We appreciate the assistance of these agencies in our continuing mission to protect people, peaceful protests and property.”

The State Emergency Operations Center is monitoring operations throughout the state and is poised to fulfill requests from local governments, if they arise. All Soldiers will be tested for COVID-19 prior to deployment and they will be offered a COVID-19 vaccine. Additionally, Soldiers will be outfitted with personal protective equipment, such as face shields and masks, to address the threats of our current COVID environment.

Soldiers assigned to this mission are from the Illinois National Guard’s 33rd Military Police Battalion. These individuals are specially trained in riot control operations. The 33rd Military Police Battalion is comprised of Headquarters and Headquarters Detachment, based in Machesney Park, the 233rd Military Police Company, based in Springfield, the 333rd Military Police Company, based in Freeport, and the 933rd Military Police Company, based in Fort Sheridan. The battalion is drawing Soldiers from each of these companies.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

11 Comments
  1. - Candy Dogood - Monday, Apr 19, 21 @ 4:37 pm:

    I 100% would rather protest police brutality under the watchful eye of the Illinois National Guard instead of the Chicago Police.

    Only one of those organizations has a documented history of murdering black activists.


  2. - Huh? - Monday, Apr 19, 21 @ 5:46 pm:

    Is 125 National guards going to be enough? Would have expected something closer to 1,000.


  3. - Amalia - Monday, Apr 19, 21 @ 5:52 pm:

    I’ve seen wooden horses positioned near a shopping center for some days now. much more than about the Minnesota trial.


  4. - DuPage - Monday, Apr 19, 21 @ 5:57 pm:

    Speaking of police protection, the other day on TV news I saw some local spokesman in the “Little Village” area saying they want a local police station and bilingual police to help counteract gangs in the area. He pointed out that during last summer, local residents had to repel outsiders who tried to start looting, police were busy elsewhere. Also he pointed out the 26th street corridor is 2nd only to the Mag Mile in revenue generation to city sales tax generation.
    I lived there when I was a kid. It was a very safe area. There was a police station there at Lawndale and 27th street. Cops patrolled on foot as well as the police cars and 3-wheel motorcycles.
    Cops would go to lunch or coffee break on foot on 26th street. Store owners and workers felt safe.
    Then someone downtown decided to save money by reducing police presence in the area by closing the police station. To ensure no one could reverse the decision, they sent over a wrecking ball and reduced it to a pile of bricks. I remember walking home from school and finding it and playing mountain climber with other kids. (it was either the 58-59 or 59-60 school year). Anyway, the police moved out, gangs, drugs, and crime waves moved in. Stores were robbed, people murdered, no one felt safe anymore. Within a couple years, a lot of families moved out to places like DuPage county.
    Mayor Lightfoot should re-establish the Lawndale police district and give Little Village bilingual police officers. That area has been shortchanged for many decades.


  5. - Candy Dogood - Monday, Apr 19, 21 @ 7:49 pm:

    ===it was either the 58-59 or 59-60 school year===

    I’m going out on a limb here, but white folks going on about how great stuff was in the 1950s with no acknowledgement of that being the height of Jim Crow and the hey day of redlining, and Chicagoland had it’s share of violence directed at blacks and non-whites by institutions in that same period. Even so casually referring to white flight without acknowledging the roots of it is sort of amazing to read.

    I think it’s important for everyone to consciously dwell on the fact that it was so routine in Illinois to frame innocent black people for murders and other crimes that the state had to stop executions because we were routinely killing innocent people for crimes that they did not commit.

    Things weren’t as rosy as you think they were “back then.”


  6. - @misterjayem - Monday, Apr 19, 21 @ 8:44 pm:

    Thanks, I hate it.

    – MrJM


  7. - Captain Obvious - Monday, Apr 19, 21 @ 8:51 pm:

    From 1940 - 1962, 28 people were executed in Illinois. I doubt they were all innocent, if any were. So the state was not routinely killing anyone for crimes they did not commit. It is a stretch to say they were “routinely” killing anyone.


  8. - DuPage - Monday, Apr 19, 21 @ 9:03 pm:

    Ms. Dogood, I was referring to what happened when the police station was removed from the Little Village area.
    Crime increased, people felt unsafe and moved to places that had low crime rates. I was not referring to race. The 26th street corridor is a cash cow for the city, and I agree with the residents their who want their police station back and for police officers who are bilingual.


  9. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Apr 19, 21 @ 9:07 pm:

    === I doubt they were all innocent, if any were.===

    Lemme guess, you’re pro-life too.

    It’s an odd way to begin where you eventually land, but if it’s fine that some or one innocent person is put to death…


  10. - Masker - Tuesday, Apr 20, 21 @ 6:50 am:

    - Huh? - Monday, Apr 19, 21 @ 5:46 pm:

    Is 125 National guards going to be enough? Would have expected something closer to 1,000.

    Guilty verdict by noon…125 not needed


  11. - 17% Solution - Tuesday, Apr 20, 21 @ 7:58 am:

    Under Richard J.Daley homicides spiked to the highest it had ever been for the City of Chicag. From 1957 (earliest numbers I could find) Daley was mayor for two years, homicides were 297 to 1974, a year before Daley’s death in office, homicides were 970.

    Homicides had increased over three times.
    Somehow I don’t think it was all due to razing one police station.


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