CHICAGO - The union representing thousands of Chicago Transit Authority workers said that the CTA employee charged in a shooting is not their member, but that his case represents the dangerous situations CTA workers face in Chicago every day.
Sylvester Adams, 53, faces one felony count of attempted first-degree murder and one felony count of aggravated unlawful use of a weapon after he shot a man on a CTA Red Line platform on Chicago's South Side early Saturday.
Prosecutors said that the victim had been drunk and belligerent with Adams and some passengers before the shooting. Adams had allegedly threatened the victim with a hammer; the victim shoved Adams to the ground and kicked him in the face, then tried to run off down the stairs. That is when Adams allegedly took out a gun, and fired nine shots.
The CTA said that Adams took a gun to work – against CTA regulations. But Amalgamated Transit Union 241 Chicago President Keith Hill told FOX 32 Chicago that Adams case represents a larger problem.
"Our cries have gone unheard for years about our safety," Hill said in an email. "This is a situation where it’s a double loss his family will lose a provider and a figurehead and CTA lost a worker who thought he had to protect himself because no one cares about the workers safety."
Adams was working on the CTA Red Line, which has seen a significant number of violent crimes in recent weeks:
- On March 8, a man was shot on a CTA Red Line train and hospitalized in critical condition.
- On March 3, a man punched a CTA Red Line rider in the face.
- On March 2, a drive-by shooting outside a Red Line station left three people wounded.
- On March 1, three people attacked and robbed a Red Line passenger.
- On March 1, two men were robbed and beaten on the Red Line on the North Side.
- On February 28, a man was pistol whipped on the Red Line during an argument.
- On February 28, a teenager was shot and killed steps away from a Red Line stop.
- On February 27, a woman waiting for a bus outside a Red Line stop was sexually assaulted.