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It is with concern that we note the recent events in our city involving the police department. Two black men have died at the hands of the Peoria Police Department in the last five months. One of those officers involved in both murders.

In the first instance, an investigation by one police agency (The Illinois State Police) of another police agency (Peoria Police Department) allowed States Attorney, Jerry Brady to conclude that clearing the officers of any wrongdoing, a situation far too common in this country, was the best course of action.

The finding of self-defense, despite numerous questions that have remained unanswered about both the situation specifically as well as the policies of the department in general seems to be the common theme with police-involved shootings across the country.

In the second, we ask that a full, transparent investigation of the situation be entered into by an independent investigator. Already, a cloud of confusion surrounds the most recent shooting where those who should know, seemed very limited on knowledge.

In both cases, we are disappointed with the initial responses from the city of Peoria, Peoria Police Department and the State’s Attorney’s office. A system that is unaccountable to the concerns of the community is a system that will neglect the needs of the community. The black community has every right to demand transparency and accountability from its public agencies, including the police department.

“If you want peace, fight for justice”

  • Black Justice Project