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Peorians living in fear

This eye-witness account is from Paul Wilkinson, president of the Altamont Park Neighborhood Association:

Tonight, around 11 p.m., a group of at least 60-70 African American youth marched down one of the side streets (W. Thrush) to the 4 lane main drag (Sheridan). They were yelling threats to white residents. Things such as we need to kill alll the white people around here. They were physically intimidating anyone calling for help from the police. They were surrounding cars. Cars on the main drag had to slam on their brakes to either avoid the youth blocking not only all four lanes, but a large section of the side street as well. fights were breaking out among them. They were rushing residents who looked out their doors, going on to porches, yelling threats to people calling the police for help.

Cars were doing U turns on the streets just to avoid the mob, mostly male. One youth stated his grandfather was white and several assaulted him on the spot. One police officer answered the call. The youth split into two large groups, one heading north, the other south. They were also yelling racial threats to the police officer but he was outnumbered. Another police car did not show up until after the youth finally dispersed and the patty wagon (van) also eventually showed up.

Residents are very shaken, both black and white alike. This is the fifth large mob action in about a month with smaller groups of 10-12 are out threatening children and adults a few evenings a week or later into the night. The times vary, even occuring during the day. In talking to the police officer, they are short staffed. Residents were advised to simply keep inside and to lock their doors. In other words buckle down, it’s not even safe to sit on your porch or go into your yards.

“The fifth large mob action in about a month.” Wow. This is really outrageous. Why is this neighborhood having to put up with this? “Residents were advised to simply keep inside and to lock their doors”? Seriously? That’s the best we can do for our fellow citizens’ safety?

This needs to be addressed, and quickly.

131 comments to Peorians living in fear

  • bookgirl

    One more comment: We recently attended a Peoria Muni band concert in Glen Oak Park, on a Sunday evening, and were stunned at the number of young black men who were in what we felt like were menacing, threatening groups, roaming around the park. If this kind of behavior is not stopped, Peoria stands to lose a lot of business from those who live out of town but come to Peoria for shopping and cultural events.

  • Truthseeker

    If this is true why isn’t this reported on newscasts or in newspaper? Or is someone just being a fearmonger?

  • Want to blame a group? Then blame our lackluster city leaders who value hotel deals, museums, and civic center expansions before public safety. Was anyone laid off at the civic center when it was added onto at $55 million a few years ago? No. How about the big library push to remodel and build new libraries? They built one clean out off of Route 6. The only time I have seen a car in the lot was when they had their grand opening. Useless as is the new library on Lincoln. Who is going there?
    Our city council cuts the police to the point that they can’t even respond and document what happened on W Thrush the other night. That is why it isn’t in the papers nor no city official has come forward to explain the lack of response. Ignore it and it will go away. What’s even more sad? Two things. One: as a poster here has said, going to a concert in Glen Oak, they see groups of black men and are afraid. Stereotyping? You bet. Human nature. Not right maybe but this is what happens for you see, no large groups of Asians, or Mexicans, or whites are seen running through neighborhoods at late nights. Two: This city just had an at large election and we basically re-elected the same dolts back in office. Nothing changed and nothing will. Remember this when District seats come up. Vote the same absent reps in, this is what you get. I just hope Peoria isn’t as stupid the second time around otherwise the only police you’ll see is the ones protecting our new hotel and museum.

  • Boy Scouts

    Apparently some Americans do not understand the blessings of a multi-cultural society! it is not uncommon for large groups of multi-cultural Americans to gather together and sing endless midnight choruses of ‘Kumbayah’ to celebrate our diversity and love of it. Our community gatherings are safe and beautiful and our citizens gather in harmony to enjoy our multi-cultural heritage. Rainbows often spontaneously appear. We obviously must do a better job at letting these youth know it is not their fault. I suggest hugs. But in the meantime, I suggest you hand over your wallets, iPhones or whatever you have that they want and say, “You may feel free to stop beating me with that stick at any time so we can begin learning to appreciate each other.”

    Only believe large groups of young black men and boys are taking over our streets if you read it in the Peoria Journal Star. If it isn’t in print, then it must not be happening. Everyone here is making it up along with people in Chicago, Boston and every large city across the United States. These youths are only gathering to sing barbershop!

  • Martin Palmer

    Journal Star=Newspaper, not! No news just lame articles and ads. News reporting in Peoria is lacking.

  • shay

    The gerund that come to mind when wolf packs of threatening youths behave in this fashion is wilding.

    The mentality of those participating in this type of threatening mob behavior could perhaps embrace acts such as those seen in New York Central Park’s little darlings. It’s not much of a stretch.

  • shay

    And I’m glad to see so many posts from people who appear to have graduated from the Agatucci School of Law Enforcement & Sidearm Control. Does cop training really take into account homeowners standing on porches with live weapons or running around their yard with stun guns in each hand crackling. Read Eye in The Sky blog on how he got handcuffed for a laugh.

  • Truthseeker

    Still wanting some truth… Really was it 60-70? or just 5-10 maybe headed for a night basketball game? and not “taking over our streets” or “wilding”
    Come on now, can we say hyperbole…
    Maybe it isn’t enough for a police report?
    Young adults going to play basketball?
    Newsworthy?

    Just the facts please.

  • Sure would like to hear another witness’ side to this before we all look like asses. Or is it too late?

  • Maddy

    I think that a big part of the problem for many of our youth today is a lack of connectedness. Sadly, many do not feel connected to their families. Some may have near 20 half siblings while others may not ever know who their father is. Some feel that their mothers may prefer the current boyfriend to the child. Gangs give the youth a sense of connectedness. Gangs fill a void for many.

    Therefore, I think that we should applaud the efforts of Mount Zion which is trying to provide a safe haven for the youth in their neighborhood! It would be wonderful if nearby churches would join them in this effort and not act as territorial as gangs. Perhaps even some churches located north of this area could offer support. What happens in one area of the city impacts the entire city. We should all support any effort (i.e. Elite) that benefits the youth of our city.

  • Leslie Smith

    Truthseeker – are you calling Paul a liar? A little late night basketball game? Really? Then why the need to block the cars in the street? Here’s a newsflash for ya…the Journal Star does not cover everything. So many things are left out. We had a shooting in the North Valley a few weeks back that did not make the news either. Never mind that there were multiple guns shots and a lot of police. Didn’t hear one word about it on the “news”. How, then, did I know? Ummmm maybe getting woke up by gunfire? And then hearing about it from multiple neighbors. These kids DO take over the neighborhoods. Happens all the time. We have to dodge large groups in the street every day. Never mind that I pay good taxes to provide sidewalks for them to walk on.

  • mortified

    The problem ..in my opinion..lack of eduation….

  • suburbanite

    Mortified: do you mean eduCation….lol

  • Truthseeker

    Leslie, no I am not calling Paul a liar, just trying to deal with facts and not use such inflamatory remarks… you know, like the word liar. It seems that those writing about this situation were using emotionally charger words when I just want to know what really happened. And apparently I dont know where to go to find the truth. It appears that I need to drop my subscription to the Journal Star because it is worthless. And not count on the news stations to report the news. So how do I know what is going on in my community, this site?
    If that is the case, then I am calling the National Guard because things are out of control.

  • dh

    I think we need to be asking what would cause a group of people to feel the need to congregate in such a fashion (assuming these events are accurate)? Is there some sort of message that we are missing ? Who would be the responsible party(ies)that would cause such an inflamatory event? Are these the “kids” that have shown up at various events in the past few years? If they are in the streets in this area, how is it that no one knows who they are? Are they young people & if so where are their parents? Or where are their guardians? I don’t buy these same old excuses for bad behavior. I come from a single parent & never knew who my father was; my mother was on welfare in between husbands. Her husbands ran from one extreme to the next. I’ve lived in some very shoddy environments through my youth & my mother is a prescription drug addict today. Amazingly enough, I have three wonderful children, & a great husband ; own my own business and do very well… Life is about choices & its about time people put down the stereotypes, the soap boxes, the “poor me” and get busy living their lives the way they see fit …its all about choices – nobody is holding anybody back in this day and age, and its bull when thats the excuse offered up for bad behavior or poor choice making!

  • Eye in the Sky

    You wanna know why this doesn’t make the news its quite simple NOBODY DIED! As far as making a stand what would you rather do go cower in your house and hope the bad people don’t fill it full of bullets. Thats the whole problem nobody wants to be bothered with it until it comes to there front door. In the East Bluff we get some of this ALL the time kids running around acting like they own the area. I have gone out and watched them. Yes I am prepared to defend my HARD earned property. I won’t tell you what the cop told me while I was handcuffed. I am happy to report nobody has come around my house causing problems. Now the thugs know BATMAN lives here.

  • mortified

    Suburbanite-oops!!! Sorry for the typo! Lol

  • Mick Rolling

    This is what happens when you live in a state and have no right to defend yourself. The Urban youth know this. Change your elected officials, change your rights.

  • alex

    Excellent Ramzpaul video – he covers this type of topic often. Some adult language: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GH9VA5F4AF4

  • mike

    is shooting rioters against the law now?

  • Bill

    They were celebrating diversity! Isn’t it wonderful how ‘enriched’ we all are thanks to wonderful ‘yoothful’ and diverse movements like this. What we need it more ‘diversity’ education to make things like this more prevalent, and all those that refuse to celebrate such marvelous and culturally enriching celebrations are just racist and bigoted and uneducated. I mean any intelligent and liberally indoctrinated , ahemm, I mean “educated and demoralized” , uhmm , I mean “cowed and intimidated and isolated” , uhh I mean “enriched and diversified and open minded” , person would love to be cooped up in their home with no police protection, no outrage from the mayor and council, and no consideration from the federal police offices that are so anxious to protect us from those crazy Tea Party people with the flags with that snake one it.. Hmmm, yeah, that’s what all ‘educated’ and ‘enriched’ people want – to be terrified of the wonderful and glorious mutlicult parades of such diverse and multicultural ‘yooths’.

  • Robot

    I am telling this to everyone now. Any “group” surrounds my car, they will be a pancake, I will flatten them.

    Flash mob at my home.. and I will defend myself.

  • Dennis in Peoria

    I never defend bad behaviour of young people, no matter what race. And I have seen white boys wearing saggy pants, and trying to act ‘urban’, in places away from Peoria.

    But IMO, the reason it is not in the TV news or PJS, is because these youth, did not a commit a crime (other than disturbing the peace). If the police responder didn’t file a report, PJS and the TV news won’t know about it. And then, how would our city leaders know about it, unless a resident contacted them?

    In working in the black community for almost 25 years, I have see these perceptions evolve:

    2-4 white youth together, walking around, maybe acting foolish, but not threatening…seen as nothing serious.

    2-4 black youth together, walking around, maybe acting foolish, but not threatening…seen as thugs, probably gangbangers with guns/drugs, and
    threatening. 2-4 black youth walking home from church activities are even
    viewed like that.

    I also agree with previous posters, that the economy is a factor. 2-3 years ago, laid-off Caterpillar Middle managers couldn’t find a full-time living-wage job, and ended up getting the entry level jobs that teens usually are hired for. Unless these managers have been recalled, those jobs are still unavailable to teens. One exception is Carl Cannon’s ELITE program, where about 150 teen members were hired by HyVee.

  • Celebrate Diversity

    What a multicultural city. The people of Peoria are blessed to experience this. Instead of paying thousands in airfare to witness this in a third world country, Peorians get to experience it in their own neighborhoods.

  • jd

    Sounds like you guys could use a concealed weapon law like we have in TX. I guarantee this BS would never happen here. Take care of what the government will not. I assume most of you work hard for your homes and families….don’t you deserve to live in peace?

  • big-n-italian

    “This is what happens when you live in a state and have no right to defend yourself.”

    bingo. if Quinn lived on West Thrush, i would be willing to bet his view on CC would be very different.

    and i agree 100% with you “Robot”. if i am driving a 3,000lb car with me or my family in it, and it gets surrounded by numerous (whoever) and i feel threatened, that will be the last stupid thing they EVER DO.

    if this problem continues and Don Jackson (NAACP) doesnt step in, it will show us how worthless he really is.

  • A group of Eric Holder’s “my people”, huh – the ones who according to the Justice Department are entitled to any and all racist actions.

  • Don’t try this in Texas, or you won’t live long enough to drink another 40. Here in Texas, we are free. We are prepared, and almost every normal person is well armed. If you approach a persons home with the intent to intimidate, or threaten, you will be shot on the spot probably by the homeowner, but if not, then by his two neighbors. Northern states with insane gun control laws are victims of the trash that lives in the street. In Texas, we take out the trash.

  • An American

    Guns…How do they work…?

  • ejack

    First it was 30-35 kids now it is up to 60 or more. Will there be 100 tomorrow. Thanks to Barb Van Auken who put truth to this situation. We all know what this guy is like. Lets see what he says later.

    When White teens hang on the corner and make noise they are being mischievious, when Black teens are hanging out they are gang bangers and thugs. Is this really 2011? Racism is alive and well.

  • Does anyone have video of the mob intimidating and threatening folks in Peoria the other night? One would think somebody recorded the ‘ruckus’.It would be very helpful in corroborating the report. Since you live in Peoria perhaps you could check and see.
    In this day in age, I find it hard to believe no such record exists.
    This is not to say I do not think it happened, just that hard proof would speak volumes in proving it actually did.

  • Oldpuppymax

    And the first response of the left–attack Paul Wilkinson, call him a liar, suggest he has a history of making “wildly exaggerated reports” as Van Auken did. It seems the actual reporting of facts is just TOO big a NO NO when it comes to stating that blacks are responsible for the majority of crime in Illinois. Of the articles reporting flash mob crimes in Chicago, how many have reported the mobs to be made up entirely of blacks?? NONE!! This fact would never get past the news censors of the left. So the fact that the “MAINSTREAM” media has not reported the Peoria mob at all is far from surprising. It would be far too politically incorrect. And think how upset Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton would be, not to mention Eric Holder. After all, many of “his People” would be correctly identified as criminals…and we can’t have that, now can we.

  • mazr

    welcome back, C.J.?

  • District 150 observer

    http://www.pjstar.com/opinions.....st-matters

    A good editorial by the PJStar on this matter…..

  • Hi all — the site’s apparently back up but not fully functional yet. I’m unable to get to get to the administration portion of the site right now. Hit counts are getting back to normal, however, so I imagine things will be back in working order soon.

  • More like

    a scolding from the PJStar on this matter

  • MW

    Shameful fear-mongering. I enjoy some of what is posted on this blog but this is deplorable. Check your facts before posting something as potentially damaging as this! Note to readers of this blog or any blog: You cannot trust what you read. There is no system of checks and balances. This is a classic example of why blogs should not be treated as credible news sources.

  • First: Forget the PJS. They would have ran NOTHING.

    Second: I would have run it with a a warning that this is ONE guy making this report, and cautioned readers to take care.

    Third; Welcome back:

  • Anon E. Mouse

    I’ve been watching this, incredulously, from the other side of the river.

    We’ve all got to make our own personal choices to believe or dis-believe this story.

    Quite frankly, I find CJ to be much more reliable than the PJStar.

    Are there mobs of youth who walk in the street and block traffic? Most certainly. Are they intimidating. Damn straight they are.

    I don’t know Wilkerson and simply consider him a witness. People are divided over whether he is reliable or not. Fair enough. However, people I trust tend to put him on the “reliable” side.

    Does the attempt at character assassination of either Wilkerson or CJ impress me? Not in the least. I think it speaks to the character of the person who makes those attacks.

    This is frightening, even without the racial overtones. I think some folks have lost sight of that fact.

  • Marc

    Just wanted to say kudos for maintaining and providing this news blog. This was genuine news, and news that many of the people in broader peoria would not have heard about otherwise. In reading the journal star I feel their news is often very slanted omiting details/facts, and instead telling the story they want to tell on the topics they report. I don’t think this news would have ever made it into the paper newspaper if it hadn’t been picked up from here.

  • Dennis in Peoria

    1st, welcome back Peoria Chronicle and CJ. Glad things are getting back to normal.

  • Ironmanshoth

    Do you people live in a vacuum? Never mind being from Pekin I know you live in a vacuum. Galesburg might as well be on another planet.

    This is happening all over the place! Boston, Long Island, Nashville, Atlanta, Philadelphia and others. This site made the Drudge report along with half a dozen other incidents including a bunch of these little darlings running down and nearly beating a white boy to death for his cell phone. Now those young community activists are being charged under South Carolina’s lynching law where the defense will be “blacks cannot possibly be involved in a lynching”.

    Try this in MY neighborhood. The crossfire from the AR’s will cut them apart!I now live in Texas having abandoned Illinois during the 1980 cat strike.

    The comment in the PJS about “they just wanted to show it was their hood” tells all. WE are ENTITLED!!! We don’t need no education, we don’t need no job, we want what is ours by virtue of our ancestors mistreatment. BS! If you wish to live like an African tribe GO BACK! Problem is the natives over there would have you for lunch.

    My ancestors fought to free your people, I don’t owe you SQUAT! Get an education, get a job, and quit WHINING!

  • New Voice

    The new museum will fix everything……

    Perhaps it will serve as a new site for future ‘mob actions.’

  • A Preservationist Who Cares

    I need to tell all you people something. I’m as white as vanilla shake. Every single Saturday and Sunday between April and November, from noon till midnight large groups of 30 or 40 black people congregate outside across the street from my house often times playing music way too loud, getting drunk and sometimes getting into fights among themselves. The cops are there every single weekend to tell them to knock it off. Additionally, large groups of black kids are always walking by my house on their way to a near-by basketball court to play pickup games.

    As annoying as these idiots are across the street (the partyers, not the kids playing basketball) bringing down my property value and annoying the neighbors to no end, I have NEVER, EVER considered them to be a threatening mob ready to kill the white people. They’re just a group of drunken morons that their landlords need to evict.

    I’m not calling Paul a liar, because something worse than what happens outside my house every single weekend might have occurred that night, I would simply encourage people to carefully assess a situation before they react to it.

  • mazr

    “A good editorial by the PJStar on this matter…..”

    shocking.

  • [...] blog by the name of ‘The Peoria Chronicle’ has the eyewitness account from Paul Wilkinson, president of the Altamont Park Neighborhood [...]

  • “Residents were advised to simply keep inside and to lock their doors”? Seriously? That’s the best we can do for our fellow citizens’ safety?

    The above statement is a prime example in the belief that the government/police can/will protect you, that is just one example of why that belief is false. For one the police cannot be everywhere, when you are put into a situation where your life is endangered, more than likely they will not be nearby. Two, the average police response time is 8+ minutes for priority 1 calls, that means you can be dead, robbed, or rapped in that amount of time. The only person that can protect you is yourself, that is why we have the 2nd amendment, and I suggest you people in Peoria, start thinking about exercising that amendment, to be prepared to protect yourself, family, and your property.

  • teachingrocks

    I am glad you are up and running again. I am also glad you printed Paul’s account of what happened. Others have said it happened as well. If it wasn’t for this blog and Paul, Peoria and beyond would not know anything about what happened. Maybe it didn’t happend exactly as Paul reported it—maybe it did. However, it IS happening and needs more attention than it is getting even now. Telling the neighborhoods it is their problem to deal with doesn’t seem to me like an appropriate response to the situation. I hope Peoria leaders find a way to step up and begin dealing with the problem rather than washing their hands of the whole thing and/or saying there isn’t really a problem in the first place.

  • mortified

    Welcome back,CJ!