More Illinois National Guard Troops Activated

WBBM Newsradio Staff
June 01, 2020 - 4:37 pm

CHICAGO (WBBM NEWSRADIO) — Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker on Monday said he’s activating an additional 250 National Guard members to help communities across the state, as protests continue over the death of George Floyd.

This is on top of 375 troops activated Sunday to assist Chicago police tamp down violence and looting.  As with Chicago, the new wave of troops will support local law enforcement agencies, not take over policing, the governor said. Duties include assisting police with street closures, he indicated.

In addition, Pritzker said, 300 more Illinois State Police troopers would be coming online Monday to assist where needed across the state. 

The governor announced he was issued a disaster proclamation for several counties: Cook, Champaign, DuPage, Kane, Kendall, Madison, Macon, Sangamon and Will.

Pritzker said he understands the fear and anger legitimate protesters are feeling but said additional resources are necessary to help curb any violent behavior and property damage.

"It is difficult to put into words the damage that has happened to our communities over the weekend because there are small businesses and lives and jobs and public property to think of -- a difficult second rebuilding to ask of people on top the pandemic-induced economic strife that we're living in," he said.

Pritzker said he disagrees with President Trump, who on Monday urged governors in a conference call to "dominate" protesters or risk looking like "jerks." Pritzker pushed back at Trump on that call, saying people needed to hear a more calming message from their president. Trump shot back: "I don't like your rhetoric much, either."

"The truth is the president has fanned the flames instead of bringing peace and calm," Pritzker told reporters at a Monday media briefing.