Illinois Governor J. B. Pritzker called out the Illinois National Guard at the request of Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot in anticipation of a verdict being reached in the trial of Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin for the killing of George Floyd.
The troops are from the Guard’s 33rd Military Police Battalion, who are trained in riot control. The battalion will not, however, “interfere with peaceful protesters exercising their First Amendment rights,” the governor’s office said Monday.
In a statement, Pritzker stated “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 protesters and keep our families safe.”
Here in the Fox Valley, no special precautions were announced by local authorities, although the Aurora Police Department tweeted the following on April 12:
“The Aurora Police Department is currently monitoring events nationwide. At this time, there is no actionable intelligence of demonstrations in our area.
“APD has been working proactively with local, county, state, regional, and federal law enforcement agencies to plan and monitor any potential concerns of civil unrest or threats. APD and our law enforcement partners are prepared to respond to any possible incident or threat.
“Out of an abundance of caution, resources have been staged citywide for the safety of our community. We are continuing to monitor any potential threats around the clock.
“If any concerns of public safety emerge in the near future, we will share that information with our #OneAurora community as soon as possible. Make sure you’re signed up for Aurora Alert for emergency notifications: “ aurora-il.org/AuroraAlert
Naperville Police Depart tweeted a similar message on April 15.
The case went to the jury last night. There is no indication as to when a verdict will be reached.