The National Guard is here to perform a “limited mission” including helping Chicago police with street closures but will not interfere with peaceful protestors.
Members of the National Guard have arrived in Chicago today at the request of Mayor Lori Lightfoot. With a verdict expected in the Derek Chauvin trial, Governor JB Pritzker yesterday announced that he had activated “125 personnel from the Illinois National Guard to stand by to support the Chicago Police Department.”
According to the statement released by Gov. Pritzker’s Press Office on Illinois.gov, “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.”
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
With the safety and security of the public her primary concern, Mayor Lori Lightfoot expressed how though “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.”
According to the Governor’s statement, all soldiers have been tested for COVID-19 prior to deployment, they will also be offered a COVID-19 vaccine and will be outfitted with personal protective equipment, including masks and face shields.
[Featured image from Unsplash]