EAST PEORIA, Ill. (WMBD) — A small crowd cut a short call to action Wednesday night.
Jacob Partee, the executive director of Central Illinois Pride, said about 10 people came to the organization’s Vigil Against Violence.
Partee said the purpose of the vigil was to remember those who died in the community due to violence and to call on community leaders to implement needed changes. He said the vigil was also an opportunity for people to share ideas on how to tackle community violence issues.
He said the vigil was originally scheduled to take place along the Peoria River, but was changed due to threats of violence.
He said those who came out gathered for a prayer service, read the names of those who died in the violence and left about 30 minutes earlier than planned.
Partee said communal violence impacts everyone in one way or another.
“A lot of people have said they’re afraid to leave their homes at night because of gun violence and we need to make that change,” Partee said. “We want local legislators to fight for change. Violence is never acceptable, violence does not solve the problem, violence never solves any situation.
Partee said Central Illinois Pride plans to meet with Peoria Mayor Dr. Rita Ali and Police Chief Eric Echevarria next month to discuss the violence in the city.