Community remains frustrated with violence among youth

October 29, 2021
Peoria skyline
Peoria skyline(Jason L Howell | 25 News/Heart of Illinois ABC)
Published: Nov. 1, 2021 at 11:16 AM CDT
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PEORIA (25 NEWS) - It’s been a violent month in Peoria as four murders happened throughout October, and many residents continue to be frustrated with the violence and what’s being done to stop it.

Thursday, a juvenile was arrested for stealing a car at gunpoint from a grocery store parking lot.

Two men were arrested in connection with the murder of 17-year-old Jerry Snipes Jr. earlier this week.

Another young person was shot in Peoria’s East Bluff neighborhood Wednesday night.

15- year-old Rayton Brock is the second youngest person killed by gunfire in Peoria and is the 26th homicide victim of the year.

Community activist Jessie McGown Jr. has been in Peoria for four decades and he said this is the bloodiest he’s ever seen the city.

McGown said it takes a village and suggests local organizations help provide supervision and safe spaces for kids to keep them out of trouble.

“To me, there’s no such thing as a bad kid,” McGown said. “They’re misguided, but they’re not bad kids.”

McGown also said getting to the root of the issues start in the home.

“We have to get back in the family and change the culture of the family,” McGown said.

“We have to have a constant communication with these families, with these parents, especially with the single mothers that are struggling,” he continued.

“Some are them are trying to work, others trying to raise kids, others trying to raise boys. It’s difficult for a woman to raise a boy in these streets.”

CEO of The Neighborhood House Julie Bonar said the organization is happy to help with after school and summer programs as a safe space for youth.

“I think a lot of the violence in the community we’re seeing with younger and younger ages,” Bonar said.

“I think that we need to find the support that these young people need to resolve conflict in a non-violent way,” she added.

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