PEORIA, Ill. — The shooting of Patrick Moton outside of Dream Night Club early Friday morning prompted a call to action by city councilwoman Denise Moore. She held a press conference in front of the club emphasizing that the violence needs to end.
“Do we have to wait for somebody to be killed before the city steps up to do something? ” Moore said.
The death of Patrick Moton is the 24th homicide this year. Moore wants the city to take aggressive action.
“These people behind me are standing here not because of this particular business they are here because the 24th homicide happened,” she said.
Community members think she wants to shut the club down. WMBDs Treasure Roberts asked Moore if that was true during the press conference.
“My goal has never been to shut down this club…,” Moore responded.
The club owner, Mailika Bracey, interjected while she was talking.
“Why are we having this press conference in front of this club and this is the 24th homicide?” Bracey asked. “How many press conferences have you had on the south end of Peoria about the violence that has been going on…”
Bracey said her club shouldn’t take the fall for crime she can’t control.
“I am a business owner just like anybody else in this city and I feel like why would you want to take our jobs because of violence in the streets like what do you think we can do?” Bracey said.
Chama St. Louis of Peoria agrees that the club should not be shut down.
“It’s just the wrong approach,” St. Louis said. “I think that yes something needs to be done about the violence and the crime that’s plaguing our city, but this is not the answer.”
Bracey apologizes for the death of Moton and said she knew him personally.
“We at Dream Night Club, we are sorry that this happened. “That was my friend,” she said. “My daughter was here she could have walked outside and been right there and got shot and killed in that alleyway so it’s not our fault and we are sorry.”
Moore wants to make it clear that she helps people start businesses and is not looking to shut them down.
She encourages Bracey to take responsibility and change her plan of operation. Adding if the patron’s safety is not ensured then the site should be removed.
“Site approval has nothing to do with the name of this bar, site approval has nothing to do with the people who run this bar, site approval has everything to do with the activity around this bar,” Moore said.
She said site removal doesn’t mean the bar can’t operate but means it would have to move to a new location.
St. Louis says the community should provide the club owner with more resources instead of taking more social spaces from the black community.