Cook County Government Braced For Downtown Protests

Steve Miller
October 04, 2018 - 4:40 pm

File picture of a protest in December 2015 following the Laquan McDonald video release. (WBBM Newsradio/Steve Miller)

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CHICAGO (WBBM NEWSRADIO) -- The Cook County Clerk says there will be "dramatically heightened security" around the county administration building in the Loop, once a verdict comes in the trial of police officer Jason Van Dyke.

County officials are preparing for protests.

Clerk David Orr on Thursday said no matter what happens in the streets, the county building at 69 West Washington is taking steps and has sent a memo to employees about a lockdown on the lobby level and an elevator lockdown.

"I think there's a very likely chance that certain entrances will be closed and dramatically heightened security will be there, whether anything happens or not,” Orr said.

"Because, remember, we are immediately south of the civic center, or Daley Center, which is a highly attractive place for people to rally, march, protest."

Orr said some early voting is underway in the basement of the building.

Other precautions, according to the memo: "All heavy items (signage, wet floor cones) will be brought into the building to prevent being thrown."

The jury in Van Dyke's trial began deliberations Thursday.