Chicago alderman urges CTA to reinstate transit police after crime spike on trains, buses

Chicago police held a news conference Monday to address city crime after seven people were killed and at least 38 others were wounded in 27 shootings since Friday evening.

Police held their weekly Monday recap of weekend violence at a community church in the Roseland neighborhood, where a gun buyback program Sunday resulted in 110 guns being turned in.

Police are asking for the public’s help in identifying a man and woman who beat a man on a CTA Red Line train early Sunday morning near the 95th Street station.


The two attackers surrounded the man on the train and demanded his identification. Then one of the attackers pulled out a wine bottle and smashed it over the victim’s head.

After the incident, 15th Ward Ald. Raymond Lopez, who’s running for Chicago mayor, tweeted that it’s time the CTA re-establish its own transit police department, which they used to have.

Lopez said it’s clear that the Chicago police can’t handle all the crime on the CTA.

"We need to go back to something that works," said Lopez. "Having a dedicated police unit responsible to the CTA authority, and not CPD, patrolling and protecting the public as they use public transportation."

First Deputy Superintendent Eric Carter threw cold water on that idea Monday.

"Chicago Police Department already has a public transit section that works specifically on the public transit line throughout the entire CTA bus and rail. And we work in conjunction with the CTA’s security," Carter said. "We have layered security, private as well as police department. So I think we’re doing a very good job and we’ve increased our manpower with the CTA for the public transit details so I think we’re doing pretty good."

"Thinking that we’re doing pretty good, and we have people who are stabbed at this station, people who are being assaulted on a daily basis," said Lopez.

Meanwhile, crime victims advocate Andrew Holmes is now offering a $1,000 reward for the identities of the two people who attacked the man on the Red Line train.

Police also said they are continuing to search for the suspect who attempted to kidnap a woman in the West Loop Sunday morning. It happened around 8:45 a.m. in the 200 block of South Sangamon.

A man grabbed a female pedestrian and tried to pull her into a maroon Dodge Plymouth minivan. The woman began screaming and fighting back and was able to escape.

Police said Monday that they don’t believe the incident is connected to another attempted kidnapping that occurred in the same area a few weeks ago.