CHICAGO (CBS)– Gov. JB Pritzker has activated 125 personnel from the Illinois National Guard to support the Chicago Police Department, in preparation for the public’s response to the guilty verdict in the trial of Derek Chauvin in the death of George Floyd.
The city is preparing and businesses are getting ready too. Many downtown stores are boarded up. The jury reached the verdict on Tuesday afternoon. The jury found Chauvin guilty on all three counts, including second degree murder.READ MORE: Illinois Launches 'Time For Me To Drive' Tourism Campaign As State Prepares To Fully Reopen Next Month
— Chris Tye (@TVTye) April 20, 2021
Stores started boarding up windows because of last summer when the killing of George Floyd led to unrest in the city. The National Guard was called in then as well.
Just like last year, Pritzker says the National Guard’s role will be limited. This means helping manage street closures, and they will not interfere with peaceful protestors.
Mayor Lori Lightfoot said she asked Pritzker to activate the National Guard members to be “on standby” ahead of the Chaurvin verdict, in case they are needed to support Chicago police.
The mayor said she made at least two similar requests last year, though the public didn’t know it at the time.READ MORE: Chicago Bears Single-Game Tickets Go On Sale Wednesday Night
“You haven’t seen it for example when we knew that the grand jury was gonna be releasing information about the death of Breonna Taylor. We had the National Guard on standby. They were on standby during the time leading up to the federal election last year,” she said Tuesday morning.
Chicago police are preparing for unrest with extra patrols around the city. Officers’ days off are cancelled for key force members. Officials said CPD has effectively doubled its manpower on the streets to prepare for possible arrest.
The governor is also directing Illinois State Police to support CPD.
The Chicago Office Of Emergency Management is also monitoring the situation and already has several measures in place to protect people and critical businesses.
City officials said approximately 300 various “city assets” — garbage trucks, salt trucks, and other large city vehicles — have been stationed across the city to be used as moving barricades should they be needed.
The city also has assets in place to lock down retail corridors downtown and in the neighborhoods if needed, although city officials said they don’t expect to need to do so.
City officials are expecting a protest rally at Daley Plaza at 5 p.m., and have a plan in place to monitor the protest to make sure things don’t get out of hand.
Police said they have dispatched teams to make sure protesters can express their constitutional rights while also protecting public safety and preventing property damage.MORE NEWS: Free Beer With Proof Of COVID Shot
City officials expect more protests or other demonstrations are likely after the verdict, but are hoping a quick decision is a good sign that demonstrations will be peaceful.