National Guard troops on standby in Chicago, Philadelphia to quell possible unrest
Illinois Governor JB Pritzker requested the residents to be 'patient' with the election result and said it could take until Thursday, November 5, to find out
The day has finally arrived when Americans vote to elect their next president. While things were already intense prior to this day, the anxiety surrounding the elections seems to continue. A Daily Mail report states that National Guard troops are watching the streets of Philadelphia and Chicago, including Target parking lots. Some are anticipating strong reactions due to the elections in major cities across the country.
Illinois Governor JB Pritzker asked National Guard troops in his state to go to Chicago in anticipation of riots and looting, the Daily Mail reports. A National Guard spokesman informed that the troops have not yet been given any specific directions. “Obviously, people can see Illinois National Guard trucks and troops moving. This is to be ready to respond if needed, but we have not been given any missions. We, along with most other Illinoisans and Americans, hope we are not needed,” Barb Wilson, the spokesman, said.
Governor Pritzker said at a press conference on Monday, November 2, that they would be on standby. “We’ve made sure that our National Guard is simply in a state of readiness. 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 said. Pritzker also requested the residents to be “patient” with the election result and said it could take until Thursday, November 5, to find out because of the number of mail-in ballots that need to be counted.
In Pennsylvania, votes will be counted three days after the election. “We may very well not know who won the election on Wednesday, let alone Tuesday night,” he said.
Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot said on Monday, November 2, that she did not call in the troops. Chicago’s Office of Emergency Management and Communications (OEMC) tweeted that the city did not seek deployment. “The city has not made any calls to deploy the National Guard in Chicago. 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 City has not made any calls to deploy the National Guard in Chicago. 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. https://t.co/EoxZiw90Rs— Chicago OEMC (@ChicagoOEMC) November 2, 2020
The Chicago Police Department held an additional First Amendment training for officers. The department tweeted in a series of tweets, “Ahead of the upcoming election, #ChicagoPolice officers are receiving First Amendment roll call training to ensure any large gatherings and demonstrations are safely facilitated.” They added, “CPD continues to monitor all large gatherings and will work to peacefully resolve any tensions that may arise, in line with the Department’s mission to protect the lives and rights of all people in Chicago.”
CPD continues to monitor all large gatherings and will work to peacefully resolve any tensions that may arise, in line with the Department’s mission to protect the lives and rights of all people in Chicago.— Chicago Police (@Chicago_Police) November 2, 2020
According to Fox News, other states, such as Massachusetts, have initiated their National Guard in advance of any unrest. The Oregon National Guard was also asked to place its members on standby ahead of potential election unrest in Portland, Gov. Kate Brown announced.