Black Mob Lures Peoria Police and Firefighters to Dumpster Fire, Then Starts Shooting them with Fireworks
Fireworks ambushes today, gun ambushes tomorrow. The police did not arrest a single person. Protect and Serve. What a sham!
Update-This is a separate incident than the one reported yesterday and not an update of Sunday nights incident.
An incident that left a Peoria policeman and firefighter with temporary hearing loss after being fired upon with mortar-type fireworks in Taft Homes is being reviewed by authorities Tuesday.
Just as the grand finale of the riverfront fireworks display was exploding over the Illinois River on Monday night, emergency responders were summoned to Taft Homes on a call of a burningDumpster.
A fire engine and two police officers were the first to respond. Peoria Fire Department Division Chief Gary Van Voorhis said a crowd that had been shooting firewworks as the engine arrived turned the tubes toward emergency personnel and ignited the contents.
One firework hit a firefighter in the shoulder, causing hearing loss. The firefighter declined medical attention and remained on duty, Van Voorhis said. Other fireworks struck the engine and caused burn marks on the vehicle.
Peoria Police Capt. Mike Scally, who was the event commander for the Red, White and Boom event on the riverfront, said one of the two officers who initially responded to Taft Homes also complained of hearing loss later in the night and went to the hospital for treatment.
The crowd that had gathered initially did not respond to officers’ commands to disperse and was fired upon with pepper ball guns. The crowd became compliant as more officers arrived, Scally said.
He described the fireworks recovered at the scene as “three- to four-inch” mortar shells.
As the grand finale of the Red, White and Boom! event exploded over the Illinois River, emergency responders were called at 9:46 p.m. to atrash bin fire in nearby Taft Homes, where commercial-grade fireworks had been shooting into the sky since before the riverfront show began.
A fire engine and two Peoria police officers responded, but encountered what police described as a crowd of hundreds of people and an impassable Hancock Street choked with trash and fireworks — both live and spent. The debris blocked access to the burning trash bin.
Police at that point began ordering the crowds to disperse, and firefighters hosed down the live fireworks and smoldering remnants of spent shells. That’s when mortar-type fireworks began firing toward and exploding near the officers and firefighters. Some people also hurled bottles and rocks, according to police.
At least three shells exploded on the engine, causing burn marks, and one hit a firefighter in the shoulder, charring his heat-resistant gear and temporarily initiating hearing loss. Division Chief Gary Van Voorhis said Tuesday the firefighter declined medical attention at the scene and remained on duty.
One of the first responding police officers also suffered some hearing loss and sought treatment at a local hospital later in the night, according to Peoria police Capt. Mike Scally, who also was the event commander for the riverfront fireworks display. The injured officer was not admitted to the hospital and had submitted a report on the incident before ending his shift.
“It was rowdy, and those fireworks were dangerous,” Scally said, estimating that the mortar-type fireworks had a “three- to four-inch” diameter. “They’re designed to go up in the air, not horizontal.”
As those first fireworks exploded around the firefighters, police radioed for additional backup, drawing officers who had been stationed Downtown to direct traffic, as well as troopers with the Illinois State Police and Park District Police.
Crowds initially resisted commands from police, authorities said, blocking the path of responding officers who used pepper ball guns to break up the group. One officer drove through a locked, gated portion of the wrought-iron fence that surrounds Taft to provide additional access to distressed officers. Doug Burgess, the Peoria police public information officer, said as many as 200 pepper balls were fired before the crowd came under control.
“Every officer that responded said pretty much the same thing — that it was chaotic and like a riot,” Burgess said. “Every officer received bruises and burn marks.”
The fire engine never made it to the burning trash bin. Van Voorhis said the fire was not threatening residents or property and was allowed to burn as officers assisted the engine in turning around and exiting Taft.
“Our main concern was the safety of our firefighters” once it became apparent no people or property were in danger, he said. “It’s not deserving for anyone to be shot at with fireworks.”
Van Voorhis added that firefighters have been targeted by fireworks before, but that the magnitude of the incident Monday was unprecedented. In response, the department will review its policy of how to respond to crowded areas with fires that don’t appear to threaten anyone’s physical well-being or nearby property.
Peoria police, too, will devise enhanced security measures for Taft Homes next year, Burgess said. Revelers there have traditionally held private firework displays on the Fourth and previously made targets of police and passersby, though not to the same extent as Monday.
The Peoria Housing Authority has staffed the Taft property with additional security for Fourth of July events for many years to deal with the large volume of people who come to the area for fireworks in the housing project and on the riverfront.
Meghan Lundeen, a spokeswoman for the PHA, said Tuesday that additional security was on hand Monday night and that staff cleaned up a large amount of firework debris Tuesday.
“There’s always more people (in Taft) on the Fourth. … A lot of people who are on our site at night are not residents,” she said. “In any neighborhood, more people means more potential for chaos.”
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
Police used pepper balls to disperse a large July 4 brawl in Taft Homes.
According to a police report, officers responded to the large field in the center of the complex about 11 p.m. Saturday. About 300 people had congregated, with large groups of those people fighting.
Police fired five pepper balls and the crowd dispersed, the report said. Police said no one was injured and no arrests were made.
In the Summer of 2008, four of these giant Nigger riots broke out. Like always the media, the police, and the politician’s basically black the entire incident out. The HOI fair is coming up soon, and I would not be surprised if a riot doesn’t break out there like one did in 2008. These are the savage animals that are murdering, raping, shooting, stealing, and committing the majority of the crime in Peoria. It is these savage Nigger beasts that make the streets unsafe to walk on at night. It’s not white folk. It’s only going to continue to get worse. The Illinois National Socialist Front knows the score, and we know the solution. In the video below last year, when some of the INSF members were affiliated with the now defunct ANSWP, we took a stand against the nigger crime as you can see in the video below. We are not afraid to speak the truth, and white man you shouldn’t be either. Join us today, and begin the struggle for your race and nation.
A 51-year-old Peoria man who went to Taft Homes to buy marijuana Thursday afternoon ended up being beaten, threatened with a gun and robbed.
The man admitted to police that he went into Taft to buy a small amount of marijuana, then went to a nearby liquor store to buy two 40-ounce bottles of beer. As he walked back through the 600 block of Adams Street about 3:50 p.m., he was approached by three black men.
According to the police report, the men demanded money. The victim said he had none.
At that point, one man punched him in the face, knocking him to the ground. Another man pointed a gun at him and again demanded money.
After repeating that he had no money, the man was kicked in the ribs. The assailants went through the man’s clothing and stole $16, a cell phone, two beers and a small bag of marijuana.
The victim walked to the Peoria police station to report the incident but was unable to give much of a description of the suspects.