“We know we have racial tension and discriminatory practices in almost every phase of life in Peoria,” John Gwynn, the president of Peoria’s NAACP, stated one day after Mayor Day denied that there was any racial tension in Peoria. Gwynn called upon the Mayor to “sit down and go over our racial problems.”
He also pointed to the segregation of Peoria’s police — black and white police officers did not ride together in two-man patrol cars — as an aspect of discrimination practiced by Peoria’s city government.
“The mayor should take a good look at the number of Negroes employed in City Hall,” he continued. “And we’re constantly asking the mayor for action on open occupancy in private housing, which has been tabled so far.”