National Guard Reports to Chicago to Prepare for Potential Election Unrest

Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker answers questions from the media during his daily press briefing on the COVID-19 pandemic from his office at the Illinois State Capitol, Friday, May 22, 2020, in Springfield, Ill. (Justin L. Fowler/The State Journal-Register via AP, Pool)
Justin L. Fowler/The State Journal-Register via AP

Democrat Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker deployed the Illinois National Guard to Chicago in preparation for potential election unrest.

Pritzker was asked about the order at his daily coronavirus briefing, and he downplayed the measure and said the National Guard reported to Chicago in other cases of unrest this year during violent riots.

“We’ve made sure that our National Guard is simply in a state of readiness. We did this back during the few days before the ruling around Breonna Taylor,” Pritzker said, according to the Associated Press. “We want to make sure that cities, counties that call upon us for help from the state of Illinois, that we have those resources available to them.”

He did not elaborate on how many troops or what type of equipment were sent to Chicago.

Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot did not ask the National Guard for assistance. Chicago’s Office of Emergency Management and Communications (OEMC) confirmed this in a tweet Monday afternoon.

“The city has not made any calls to deploy the National Guard in Chicago,” Chicago’s OEMC said. “Similar to past emergency preparedness plans, the state has stationed personnel at McCormick Place to be ready to respond if needed, however, there are currently no plans for them to be deployed.”

The Democrat governor said the results from Illinois and other states across the country may not come in until “Wednesday, or Thursday or even Friday,” the Chicago Tribune reported.

Pritzker added that the Illinois State Police would also be at the ready to intervene should violence erupt because of the election results.

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