CHICAGO (CBS)– A proposal by a group of aldermen to have Governor JB Pritzker declare a state of emergency in Chicago and to deploy the National Guard was referred to committee for further consideration.
The 30-17 vote at a special City Council meeting on Friday sent the idea to the public safety committee.
Mayor Lori Lightfoot welcomed further debate.
“These are important issues of public safety and are issues were are contending with on a daily basis,” Lightfoot said. “There will be a robust debate regarding the National Guard.”
Growing up in Ohio, Lightfoot recalled her personal experience as a child after the National Guard killed four students during anti-war protests at Kent State.
“That was a huge moment in my life,” she said. “I grew up with the memory deeply embedded in me. What I know from that experience, is that the National oanl Guard has a very different sets of training and perspective on force. They are military. “They are told, ‘If there’s a conflict, put down the conflict. And use all means possible to do so.’ ”
She also disagreed with claims that she is not listening to aldermanic proposals.
“I don’t agree with that.,” she said. “My administration has been more open and reached out to aldermen more often. We try to provide lots of opportunity for alderman to weigh in.”
NOW: During special city council meeting about the plan to combat ongoing violence, Chicago aldermen vote 30 to 17 to defer State of Emergency and National Guard discussions to the public safety committee. @cbschicago
— Dana Kozlov (@DanaCBS2) August 21, 2020
Because of COVID-19 restrictions, the meeting is being held virtually and started at 10 a.m..
Four aldermen, including Ald. Raymond Lopez and Anthony Beale are making these demands, saying Chicago has never seen more violence, unrest and organized looting across the city.
“We are here because we have not had a public discussion on what the plan is for the City of Chicago, this is not personal against anyone in this room, but it is personal for everyone who calls themselves a Chicagoan trying to save their city,” Lopez said during the meeting.
Ald. Beale spoke out about police and aid from the National Guard.
“Our police are working 12-hour days, their days off are being canceled, we need to give them some kind of relief and so we are just asking for the National Guard to come in and aid and assist, not patrol our communities,” Beale said.
Chicago police are hoping to track down some of these looters who caused millions of dollars in damages across the city.
Overnight police released these surveillance pictures of several people suspected breaking in and stealing from a nail salon on Huron Street.
For many of these businesses this is the second time this summer that they have been hit by looters. The first round of looting at the end of May prompted the governor to deploy nearly 400 National Guard troops.
More than 200 people were arrested and 20 police officers were injured in the violence and destruction.