'You be careful': A crowd at the Taft, thoughts on Other Peoria, and what it means to be able to leave
Sgt. David Cook sat behind the wheel of his Chevy Tahoe, reading or filing a police report on the SUV’s laptop on Thursday night. To his left, the spires of St. Mary’s Cathedral jutted upward toward a growing, black rain cloud. To his right, a group of women talked on the front stoop of an apartment at the Taft Homes.
“This your baby?” one woman said. “Cause you know he got eyes just like yours.”
Cook and other cops were at the housing project because a domestic got out of hand. “Both sides injured,” Cook told me, briefly looking up from his computer screen. A bottle was involved, at one point it was thrown, and the man was cut.
The incident required the cops’ presence and the blue lights soaking the 600 block of NE Adams drew gawkers, onlookers, wanderers.
“Historically, whenever there’s a situation at the Taft it draws a crowd,” Cook said.
What drew me to the Taft Thursday night was a tweet saying that pepper balls had been deployed to deal with that crowd, a tactic that’s already been used this month by police. But Cook told me they weren’t necessary. “We didn’t deploy,” the pepper balls he said, “but we brought the guns out.”