Sunday, August 14, 2011

The Battle Against Community Terrorism...A Question Of Accountability

8/20/2011 Citizen's Speak Out Rally 4:30 PM
Peoria Harrison Homes.
NOI Student Minister Roy Muhammad
Minister Roy Muhammad of the Nation Of Islam Peoria Study Group, has rightly raised the question as to the Police Department's role of accountability in the inflow of weapons into the Peoria area and community.
In short he has said, what has the Peoria Police Dept. done in tracking the proliferation of illegal weapons into the Peoria community? In other words are we to believe that the weapons being used by thugs are legally obtained weapons? Or, if these weapons are gained by illegal means, what is the method by which they are entering the community? How does the police not know this information or take responsibility for this knowledge or lack thereof? Behind all that...what is the department doing to STOP the proliferation of illegal weapons into the Peoria community and South Peoria in particular?

We know that dismantling or disrupting the supply chain is a tactic that can be used in any war and especially a war against terrorism. In fact in the Iraqi War, American troops became proficient at finding and eliminating weapons stashes of the enemy so that the enemy could not replenish themselves or rekindle their effort to resist. What has the Peoria Police Department done to dismantle or disrupt the supply chain of the enemy that we are facing within our community.  

The police are rightfully asking citizens to provide information in response to crime and violence. They are seeking and asking citizens to become involved in bringing criminals to justice, however, the CITIZENS need to know what efforts the department is undertaking to cut the pipeline of illegal weapons distribution. Although turning in individuals is the right thing to do, it only creates room for others to stand up and take their place. It is our belief that we must approach this problem in a fundamentally different manner than we have been approaching it up until this point if we are truly sold out to reducing or eliminating crime and violence within our community and the African American community in particular.   

To date, we have no information from the Peoria Police Department regarding this issue and to our knowledge it has not been addressed. The facts are that not only are guns being proliferated, but the ammunition for the guns seem to also be in adequate supply.

Interested community partners would like to know, how these weapons are entering the Peoria area community and what is the primary source of distribution into our streets? If there is no current investigation or operation looking into this, whether openly or undercover, we MUST ask why has not this issue been raised to this level of importance? Especially in light of the fact that most of the murders in any given year are primarily due to illegal weapons activity.

The Association of Pastors and related community partners will seek to get a definitive answer from the Peoria Police Dept. regarding this issue.

Pastor H. Burnett
Exec. Director  

Albert Billups -Wilson Vigil & Citizen's Speak Rally

The problem is that we somehow we believe that one particular effort will satisfy all needs as it pertains to Peoria's crime and violence and that after that has been done we can simply call it a day. There is nothing further from the truth.  In order to deal with public violence and potential gang activity, one must yield themselves to this fight in an ongoing fashion. One cannot start to address the issues and suddenly stop or become AWOL or develop an assumption that someone will waive the "magic wand" and all things will change.  

The rallies are only one source of inspiration for the community and the object of the effort is to galvanize the community, eliminate the fear that grips neighborhoods in the face of violent crime and provide encouragement to citizens to step up to address the issues of violent crime and the resultant fallout. The Rally is also designed to connect individuals to the network of individuals who are tired of our community being downtrodden and used by both community terrorists and ineffective leadership, whether that be political or social leadership. 

Those that don't feel any change will either be lasting or sustainable, should be challenged when we ask, "where is your presence, when called upon?" In other words, those simply looking to others to bring or provide a solution are often not delivering any solutions to the table of discussion. This is not necessarily a bad thing if one has no solutions.  However, if one has no solutions and disregards or overlooks the solutions and steps that exist, then how credible can a complaint be regarding the ineffectiveness of the efforts?

There are 2 more Citizens Speak Out Rallies scheduled for this weekend August 19th and 20th...

Friday August 19th 5:30 PM ~ Peoria Village Green Apartments
Saturday August 20th 4:30 PM ~ Harrison Homes

Those who think that things won't change, one thing is certain, without a commitment to change and being a part of the effort, one can only receive what is provided by others. This is part of the problem that we face. This community owes Albert Billups-Wilson somewhat more than reluctance to be a part of community restoration efforts, especially in light of what this family and others over the last few years have had to pay.

My question is, will you and your family make plans to attend and be a part of current efforts?

Pastor H. Burnett
Exec. Director 

Monday, August 1, 2011

Citizens Must Speak! An Invitation To All Peoria Citizens

~ Citizens Speak Rally~
"Take Our Community Back!"
When: Saturday Aug. 6th 5:30 PM
Location: The Corner Of Lincoln Ave. & Western Ave.
(near the scene of the recent shooting of the Peoria city bus)
Who Is Responsible For This & Future Events?
Pastor Harvey Burnett, the New Bethel COGIC, The Peoria Association Of Pastors, The Peoria Study Group Nation Of Islam, & other Peoria citizens and community groups.
This is the first in a series of community rallies against crime and violence promoting neighborhood awareness, and citizen involvement in making our community a safer and better place to live and reside.
The goal of the initial and subsequent rallies, is for Peoria citizens to speak openly and clearly regarding crime and violence within Peoria in general and more specifically within their neighborhoods of residence
These public forums will be designed to foster citizen citizen participation in forging, building, and creating relationships at a grass roots level in effort to build a sustained resistance against crime, violence and other social ills from which our community has suffered and continues to suffer.
Future Rallies:
Friday August 12th ~ Taft Homes Pavillion 5:30 PM
Saturday August 13th ~ Peoria East Bluff
(The location where 8 year old Albert Billups Wilson was killed~ 1031 E. Behrends Ave.) 4:30 PM
Friday August 19th ~ Village Green 5:30 PM
Saturday August 20th ~ Harrison Homes 4:30 PM  

For additional information please email Pastor Burnett and the Pastor's Assn. at or call (309)688-6599