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'We Are Ready'

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The Illinois National Guard is on the ground in Chicago, but not yet activated because of the Derek Chauvin verdict. CBS 2's Chris Tye reports from the Loop where the city has updated its plans, including how included business owners and are preparing for a complicated few days.

Video Transcript

BRAD EDWARDS: Today is about this man, George Floyd. The 46-year-old Minneapolis man whose videotaped death changed everything.

IRIKA SARGENT: Floyd died in May of last year after Chauvin placed his knee on Floyd's neck while Floyd said he could not breathe. His death sparked protests across the country and here in Chicago. The Illinois National Guard is on the ground but not yet activated in Chicago because of that verdict.

BRAD EDWARDS: Yeah, the city says they have fine tuned response plans since two major flash points last year. Chris Tye, live in the loop with how they've updated plans, included business owners, and are preparing just in case for a complicated few days. Chris.

CHRIS TYE: Brad and Irika, those that advise cities on how to handle unrest say it's a different landscape in this country than a year ago when we first saw unrest after George Floyd's death. We've had an insurrection at the capital, another year of pandemic, and more cases of police accountability and misconduct. It makes cities really kind of change up how they follow up in these next couple of hours. And the city of Chicago says their message is clear.

LORI LIGHTFOOT: We've got a very robust plan in place. Really honed through our experiences last summer.

CHRIS TYE: Since last summer the city has run through live drills, and tabletop exercises that experts say game out everything from crowd size, to levels of unrest, to weather.

STEVEN CRIMANDO: To mapping out people, places, and things. You know, what we anticipate, the behavior of the crowds would be on-- on lessons learned, and what we know about the psychology of that group.

CHRIS TYE: These often give way to new policies like when to raise bridges, or fly security camera drones, or deploy added personnel. This as just today 126 members of the Illinois National Guard on the ground in Chicago on standby on a limited mission they say to manage street closures, in much the same role as previous deployments.

But experts say much has changed since their last deployment here. Namely, what's on the mind of protesters and counter protesters.

STEVEN CRIMANDO: Very charged on their feelings about the George Floyd situation, police brutality and such. There are people in the other camp who are very supercharged still about the election, about COVID.

CHRIS TYE: This as other groups try to capitalize on these moments. Take these umbrellas shielding attackers. They provided protesters projectiles to throw at Chicago Police last summer. Groups using the same tactics stirred up chaos around the globe in 2020.

STEVEN CRIMANDO: So yes, there are these other sort of opportunists who sweep in and piggyback along, but more worrisome for police and authorities are the potential of counter protesters.

CHRIS TYE: A city that says it's prepared for multiple scenarios has a singular message for anyone considering violence and looting.

LORI LIGHTFOOT: We are ready to arrest and bring to prosecution anyone who would dare try to take the dreams of our small businesses by looting. Don't test us because we are ready.

CHRIS TYE: And a temperature check here. It is a pretty normal Tuesday afternoon here in the loop. Not a huge police presence. A little bit here behind us. We saw some groups of police on bicycles. And I just checked with the Office of Emergency Management. They still have not activated those Illinois National Guards Members who are in Chicago, but they can't activate them at a moment's notice. Live in the loop, Chris Tye, CBS2 News.

BRAD EDWARDS: Chris Tye, thank you.