National Guard reports to Chicago ‘in a state of readiness’ in case of election unrest – Fox News

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Troops from the Illinois National Guard are now in Chicago in the event of civil unrest in the wake of Election Day, as Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker said Monday it may be days until results are known. 

Pritzker said during his daily briefing the move to send the National Guard to Chicago was similar to actions his administration took in September for the controversial ruling in the police killing of Breonna Taylor in Louisville, Ky., which sparked protests.

“We’ve made sure that our National Guard is simply in a state of readiness,” the governor said.

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The governor did not say how many troops or what equipment was dispatched, and a spokeswoman did not respond to questions about additional details after the briefing.

Video from FOX32 showed National Guard troops arriving around the city’s McCormick Place Convention Center Monday night.

An undisclosed number of National Guard troops arrived in Chicago on Monday night in advance of any election-related civil unrest.

An undisclosed number of National Guard troops arrived in Chicago on Monday night in advance of any election-related civil unrest. (FOX32)

“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,” Pritzker said. 

An undisclosed number of National Guard troops arrived in Chicago on Monday night in advance of any election-related civil unrest.

An undisclosed number of National Guard troops arrived in Chicago on Monday night in advance of any election-related civil unrest. (FOX32)

The Democratic governor said it may take “Wednesday, or Thursday or even Friday” to get results from races in Illinois and across the country, according to the Chicago Tribune.

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“It is very important that we are patient with the presidential election,” the governor told reporters. “We may very well not know who won the election on Wednesday, let alone Tuesday night.”

Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot did not request assistance, spokesman Patrick Mullane told the Associated Press.

The city’s Office of Emergency Management and Communications (OEMC) tweeted Monday afternoon the city did not seek deployment.

“The city has not made any calls to deploy the National Guard in Chicago,” it 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.”

Pritzker noted that the Illinois State Police will be on hand, as usual, to intervene if violence erupts as a result of the contentious race for the White House between President Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden.

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The Democrat didn’t say whether state police would adjust patrols or make other changes for Election Day and its aftermath.

The deployment comes as the city and state officials have been preparing for the election for months after Chicago businesses have been hit by looters several times since the summer.

The Chicago Police Department held an additional First Amendment training for officers Monday evening. The department said the training emphasizes the department’s policy in regards to First Amendment rights, “including the rights to peacefully assemble and protest while continuing to emphasize de-escalation and force mitigation as a crowd management tactics.”

Authorities plan to monitor all large gatherings and “peacefully resolve” any tensions that arise.

OEMC Executive Director Rich Guidice told FOX32 the department is focused on coordination and communication in the days ahead, with plans focused on “details, structure and execution.”

“I think we’ve done a good job of letting people peacefully protest around Chicago for a number of years and we’ll continue to do so,” he said. 

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But some groups, like the ACLU, said any action by the city should not include curfews, blocking access to public plazas or thwarting access to public transit

“We think that not only is it important, but it is constitutionally required for governmental officials, including in the city of Chicago, to protect those fundamental rights,” ACLU Illinois Executive Director Colleen Connell told FOX32.

Other states, such as Massachusetts, have activated their National Guard in advance of any unrest. The Oregon National Guard was also directed to place its members on standby ahead of potential election unrest in Portland, Gov. Kate Brown announced Monday. 

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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