It’s not common knowledge among Peorians that ride or walk the rails-to-trails Rock Island Greenway that only a few feet away from them, buried in Springdale Cemetery, lies a son of Peoria, Mark Clark, a Black Panther, who was killed¬† by the Chicago Police during a raid in 1969 at the age of 22.

During his short life he organized the local Peoria chapter of the Black Panthers and organized a free breakfast program for the less fortunate.

He was shot by police in a pre-dawn raid of Fred Hampton’s apartment. According to Wikipedia, a grand jury determined police fired more than 82 shots into the apartment, including into bedrooms, while people there lay sleeping. Fred Hampton and Mark Clark were both killed during the raid.

In 1982, 9 plaintiffs sued Cook County, the City of Chicago, and the federal government for the loss of these two men, and won a settlement of $1.82 million.


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