A pair of shootings overnight Wednesday brought to two dozen the number of victims in the city in the last two weeks – a figure that elevates the amount of recent gun violence to a possibly unprecedented level.
The tally, compiled by the Journal Star and confirmed by the Peoria Police Department, includes the public suicide of Bernell Alexander last week in South Peoria, but not the slaying of his ex-wife in Creve Coeur just minutes before he took his own life.
The most recent victims included a man who was shot in the shoulder at 10:45 p.m. Wednesday in the 3400 block of Sunburst Lane in the Lexington Hills apartments and a man with a gunshot wound to the neck who was taken by private vehicle to OSF Saint Francis Medical Center at 3:13 a.m. Thursday. The second victim told police he was shot while he was a passenger in a vehicle driving through Harrison Homes.
The second shooting marked the 24th victim of gunfire since June 16, when a pair of afternoon shootings kicked off a 12-hour spree of violence that resulted in one fatality and five other people being wounded, including two children who were sleeping on the floor of their North Valley home.
Just a few days later, six people – all teens between the ages of 16 and 19 – were shot during two incidents less than a couple of hours apart.
Several days with multiple shootings and the city’s 15th and most recent homicide have since transpired, leading Lt. Vince Wieland of the Police Department’s Criminal Investigations Division to label the period the worst in terms of local gun violence in decades.
“I haven’t seen two weeks like this in my 23 years,” Wieland said Thursday. “I can’t remember two weeks that have been this packed with such a number of violent acts.”
Compared to last year, however, the number of shootings so far this year does not appear to be abnormally high. Through June 22, the city had recorded 58 shootings, compared to 45 over the same time period last year.
“When we’re looking back to June 22, there isn’t that much of an increase, it’s just how it’s coming – it’s coming in bunches,” Wieland said. “It’s getting everyone’s attention because there’s been so many so quickly.”
Several of the shootings appear to be connected and gang-related, and the police have responded in part by temporarily reassigning an officer to a gang intelligence position that was cut at the beginning of the year to ease a $14.5 million citywide deficit.
Wieland called that position critical for investigations of shootings and a better way for the police to keep tabs on what’s happening on the streets. So far, the gang violence appears to have been generated by people and groups familiar to investigators, though some ground was lost when the gang intelligence position was vacant.
“We did lose some vital information that we were tracking,” Wieland said.
Though the recent spike in gun violence has caught the attention of authorities and onlookers for its unusual frequency, it remains, to a certain extent, part of a pattern that repeats every year.
Elaine Frye, executive director of emergency medical services at OSF Saint Francis Medical Center, acknowledges the unusually large cluster of shootings in the last two weeks but also notes that more victims of violence tend to visit the level-one trauma center as temperatures rise.
“There is a seasonality to it – when the weather is nicer, more people are outside and roaming,” she said. “We see it every year. When the weather breaks, we see more stabbings, shootings and violence.”
The recent level of violence, she said, has not affected emergency operations at the hospital
A South Peoria bakery was robbed at gunpoint on Thursday afternoon, making it the third armed robbery at the store in the past six weeks.
A man with a handgun entered Butternut Bread Co., 605 S. Shelley St., just after 4 p.m. and demanded money from an employee. He took off on a bicycle with an undisclosed amount of cash, police said.
The bakery also was robbed Dec. 29 and Jan. 31.
The size and scope of Carlos “Bader” Williams’ drug ring was so large that it even amazed U.S. District Judge Joe B. McDade who has presided over hundreds of similar cases in his 17-year career.
“You were a major drug dealer,” the judge said Friday. “This is one of the largest drug conspiracies I have seen.”
Conservative estimates linked Williams, 35, to 20 kilograms of crack cocaine, a staggering amount considering a standard dose is about 0.2 grams. The drugs were sold over a decade and had an estimated street value of about $2 million.
The numbers and the statements came at Williams’ sentencing, where he received a 30-year prison term, which was at the bottom of his guideline range. He had faced up to life.
Two others in Williams’ organization also were sentenced. William E. “Pookey” Sproling received five years behind bars and Daryl “Buck” Miller got 20 years, the mandatory minimum under federal law. All three pleaded to the same count, drug trafficking conspiracy.
More than 20 people filled McDade’s courtroom for Williams’ hearing. His attorney, Ron Hamm, sought the 20-year mandatory minimum, saying his client had a rough childhood and grew up to idolize his brothers, who were in prison on drug charges.
Williams himself gave a passionate and articulate plea, saying he learned and wanted to be a youth counselor when he got out of prison to teach people about the evils of fast money. McDade was touched by his statements but noted that Williams had a chance to do right and chose the easy way out.
But the judge also noted that everyone has a good side, taking note of those in the audience. Williams, he said, would have been hailed as a “hero” had he pursued a legal endeavor.
“What a waste. You have organizational skills. You have leadership, and now all of that is wasted,” the judge said.
The judge also lamented the draconian federal sentencing guidelines, which severely punish crack cocaine crimes.
“Anyone who wants to get into the drug business, anyone who sells crack cocaine is stupid,” the judge said, noting that with one prior drug conviction, there’s a mandatory minimum sentence of 20 years. Two priors could get a person life in prison.
And then there was the money aspect. “In all my time here, I have never seen (it) except in maybe one or two cases. Where’s the money? It is all gone, and all that risk, all that hard work is for nothing.”
The arrests were part of Operation Rockclimb, a federal effort against the Black P. Stones street gang. Unlike past operations such as Crackshot, which took on the Gangster Disciplines in the mid-1990s, Rockclimb has made extensive use of wiretaps to build cases. More than two dozen people so far have been indicted.
And one of those made her first appearance in court on Friday, hours after Williams was sentenced. Tyrissa Carruthers, 26, of 2121 W. Starr St. was charged with drug trafficking conspiracy and to using a telephone to further the conspiracy.
Her indictment was returned Wednesday but sealed until she appeared in court. According to the charges, she rented an apartment for Williams to store drugs as well as delivered crack for Williams.
A Peoria man found himself arrested along with the three men who robbed him Tuesday night after he allegedly told police the trio stole the marijuana he had just bought.
Jermaine D. Mitchell, 21, of 4417 W. Rockwell Drive called police about 9:40 p.m. to report he had been robbed at gunpoint in Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Park, located in the 200 block of South MacArthur Highway.
Mitchell told officers the robbers stole his money, $48, and the nearly 40 grams of marijuana he just bought, police reports stated.
Police located three men matching the description of the suspects in the 1500 block of West Kettelle Street. Mitchell later identified all of them as the men who robbed him.
Arrested on charges of armed robbery were Patrick J. Duncan, 21, of 804 W. Meadows Place; Ryan S. Roberts, 19, of 311 Saratoga St.; and Tavier L. Williams, 19, of 2412 W. Wiswall St. Duncan also faces charges of unlawful use of a weapon, not having a valid firearm owner’s ID card and possessing more than 30 grams of marijuana. Williams also faces a charge of aggravated unlawful use of a weapon.
Police also arrested Mitchell on a charge of possessing more than 30 grams of marijuana for admitting to having the drug.
Nigger Communist Martin Luther King, Jr. Freedom March January 19th, 2009 + Bill Cosby to Speak at KFC Luncheon
Read the whole truth about Nigger Communist MLK.
More general monkey shit from the Peoria Niggers.
When the Public Employees for Community Concerns hosted the first annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebration Luncheon 17 years ago, it featured local speakers and served about 200 attendees. Alma Brown, the luncheon’s chair, reported, “When we first started coordinating the luncheon, we wanted to have something on that date to commemorate the life and work of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and have something that could bring the community together in fellowship, and maybe learn a little more about his life.” Attesting to the tremendous growth of this event, recent luncheons have hosted at least 2,000 people and featured nationally known speakers, and this year is no different.
On Monday, January 19th, the 17th annual luncheon at the Peoria Civic Center will feature keynote speaker Bill Cosby, King family friend. “When looking for speakers,” Brown said, “we try to find someone who had a connection with the family or someone who can share their insights of Dr. King and maybe how Dr. King touched their life, and I think Bill Cosby can speak to each one of those issues very well.”
Immediately following the luncheon, Cosby will also hold a parents’ forum for 150 local moms and dads. He will speak about his most recent book, Come on People: On the Path from Victims to Victors, and answer parents’ questions about his insights into parenthood and other related topics.
The luncheon will again be followed by the 23rd annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Freedom March, put on by the King Holiday Committee of Peoria. A CityLink-sponsored Freedom Trolley will provide transportation from the Civic Center to Bradley University’s Garrett Center, where the march will begin at 2pm. After walking through the streets of Peoria, the march will end at Mt. Zion Baptist Church, where a commemorative service and awards ceremony will take place.
For more information on the luncheon, or to purchase tickets, contact Alma Brown at 494-8554. Tickets are $40 each or $400 for a table of 10. a&s
Maybe taxi drivers shouldn’t be allowed to drive through nigger town anymore? Better yet lets just get rid of the Niggers. Just remember there is no white areas in Peoria with this high crime rate and savage animal behavior.
The early Tuesday killing of a longtime cab driver marks the sixth homicide of the year.
Steven E. Shawver, 59, of 3214 NE Madison Ave. was found shot about 5:50 a.m. in the 1200 block of West MacQueen Avenue. Two people on their way to work stumbled across his body.
“They came up to the car – the cab was parked in the middle of the street with its lights on,” said Peoria police spokesman Doug Burgess. “Then they noticed him laying unresponsive on the street next to the opened driver’s side door.”
Shawver, a driver for Peoria Yellow Checker Cab Corp., was pronounced dead about 6:35 a.m. at the scene, Peoria County Coroner Johnna Ingersoll said. He died of multiple gunshot wounds to the back, according to results from an autopsy. Ingersoll would not elaborate how many times Shawver was shot, because of the ongoing investigation.