Governor puts Ill. National Guard in 'state of readiness’ ahead of Ky.'s Breonna Taylor decision

A source said more than 100 Guard members are preparing as Kentucky's AG is expected to announce if he'll file charges against the officers involved in Taylor's death


By Jamie Munks and Jeremy Gorner
Chicago Tribune

CHICAGO — Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s administration said Tuesday night that it “is putting the (Illinois National) Guard in a state of readiness" to ensure members are available as Kentucky’s attorney general is expected to announce whether he’ll file charges in the controversial police killing of Breonna Taylor.

The Louisville woman’s death has been a central theme for protests in several U.S. cities this summer against police brutality. Pritzker and Mayor Lori Lightfoot met Tuesday morning and discussed the issue, the governor’s office said in a statement.

Gov. J.B. Pritzker speaks during a news conference at the Thompson Center on Sept. 22, 2020. (Photo/E. Jason Wambsgans/Chicago Tribune)
Gov. J.B. Pritzker speaks during a news conference at the Thompson Center on Sept. 22, 2020. (Photo/E. Jason Wambsgans/Chicago Tribune)

“As the governor has always said, all of the state’s resources are available to municipalities if needed; this includes additional Illinois State Police troopers and the National Guard,” the statement read in part.

A source said more than 100 Guard members are preparing.

If needed to respond, the Guard members would fall under the direction of the state police, just as they were when they helped during civil unrest in Chicago following the killing of George Floyd by Minneapolis police on Memorial Day.

The deaths of Taylor and Floyd sparked outrage in Louisville, Minneapolis and other U.S. cities, leading to protests and a renewed national conversation about systemic racism and law enforcement’s treatment of Black Americans. But cities including Chicago also endured looting and other civil unrest.

On Tuesday, Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer declared a state of emergency as the city awaits state Attorney General Daniel Cameron’s decision. The declaration gives the mayor the authority to impose curfews and other restrictions if necessary.

In March, Taylor was shot and killed by police in Louisville after officers rammed in a door to her apartment to execute a search warrant. Prior to her getting shot, Taylor’s boyfriend has said, he fired his own gun and shot an officer while mistaking the police as intruders in her unit.

Taylor was shot and killed in the ensuing barrage of gunfire. Officers also came under criticism for rushing to get medical attention for the wounded cop, but allegedly not doing so for Taylor, a 26-year-old emergency room technician.

Police at the time were executing warrants for Taylor’s ex-boyfriend, an alleged drug dealer who had been seen at her apartment on several occasions prior to her death, authorities have said.

Last week, the city of Louisville agreed to pay her family $12 million and enact police reforms. The city also passed “Breonna’s Law,” outlawing no-knock warrants, when police without warning force their way into a home or other building.

©2020 the Chicago Tribune

McClatchy-Tribune News Service

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