Decades-long traditional prayer breakfast takes place morning after deadly standoff

PEORIA - The annual Mayor's Prayer Breakfast, a 43-year tradition in Peoria, took place Thursday morning one day after an hours long standoff involving Peoria Police turned deadly.

Mayor Jim Ardis was not in attendance due to a business trip to Chicago. Peoria's 3rd District Council Member, Tim Riggenbach, was on hand for the mayor and spoke on behalf of Wednesday's armed robbery that led to a fatal standoff.

He addressed the crowd saying it's only appropriate to recognize the events of Wednesday. He asked those in attendance to keep the family of Eddie Russell Jr. and the city at large in their thoughts and prayers.

When asked about the fact the police were not wearing body cameras at the time of the incident he spoke about the importance of the city's pilot program for the technology.

"You know, I think that just really shows the value of the pilot program that we're starting," said Tim Riggenbach, 3rd District Council Member. "This is something we hope to institute throughout the ranks of the officers as appropriate. If there are folks out there with video footage, obviously that would be something that would be very useful."

Riggenbach says what happened is the worst case scenario for citizens, calling it an "unfortunate series of events."

Thursday morning's prayer breakfast was held at the Peoria Civic Center.

Former St. Louis Rams football player turned farmer, Jason Brown, was this year's keynote speaker.


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