Chicago aldermen call on Lightfoot to request National Guard assistance

A group of Chicago aldermen are asking Mayor Lori Lightfoot to call in the National Guard.

That demand was made Friday at a rare special session of the City Council called by those aldermen.

Anthony Beale is one of four aldermen who called the special meeting to demand Governor JB Pritzker send National Guard troops to downtown Chicago, so that police officers can be freed up to do their jobs in the neighborhoods.

"I implore each and every one of you. This is not personal. This is not grandstanding. This is a Hail Mary to save our community from the things that are happening every single day,” Beale said.

"All of you are losing police in all of your wards due to the point we have to secure the downtown area, which is much understood. But at the same time we are leaving the rest of this city open for anything to happen," said Alderman Anthony Napolitano.

Mayor Lightfoot downplayed the idea, noting she grew up not far from Kent State University where National Guard troops killed four students in 1970.

"My own view is the National Guard, despite the conversation, is not a panacea. And what I've seen over the course of the summer is that if it's not deployed in the right way it can go disastrously wrong," Lightfoot said.

After a very short debate, the City Council sided with the mayor and voted to send the proposal to the public safety committee, which its sponsors say is essentially burying it.

"Simply brushing this aside to a committee that won't report out until Labor Day, next month or even later, is not satisfactory for me. It's not satisfactory to the people I represent," said Alderman Raymond Lopez.