Chicago Bus Drivers’ Union Head Calls for Transit Stoppage After Violent Crime Skyrockets On Buses, Trains In Gun-Controlled Windy City

CHICAGO- WBBM Newsradio reported on Tuesday that the head of the Chicago Transit Authority bus drivers’ union is working on setting up a possible stopping of buses and possibly even trains on the CTA.

The Union leader’s hope is that the action will spur lawmakers to do something in response to the recent rash of violence aboard public transportation.

“I want to pick the right time to stop transit. Just stop it. Everybody pull into the garage and just stop transit,” Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU) Local 241 President Keith Hill told WBBM.

Hill’s call for action comes from increased violence aboard public transportation in Chicago, the latest being the horrifying and brazen murder of a 17-year-old aboard a bus on Sunday afternoon.

CBS Chicago reported that the shooting, which occurred at about 1:17 p.m. Sunday in the 300 Block of South Pulaski Road, occurred when two gunmen entered the bus, walked towards the back where the 17-year-old was sitting, and shot him in the head in what appeared to be a targeted incident. A 24-year-old was grazed in the head, but it was unclear whether he was also a target.

Hill told WBBM Newsradio that he viewed the security video from the bus and described the shooter bringing an assault rifle aboard in a bag. He took the gun out of the bag, which he subsequently left on the bus, along with the glove after committing the murder. Hill added that the person with the shooter took a picture of the teen’s dead body before getting off the bus.

The suspects remain at large at the time of this writing.

Hill described the bus driver as being “shaken” and “distraught” and has not returned to work since the incident.

“I think the driver needs to take some time,” Hill told WBBM Newsradio. “This is a life-changing event. Take some time. Get (his) head back together. Go embrace and be around his loved ones, his family,” he said.

According to WBBM Newsradio, Hill wants the CTA to have its own police department. He did not indicate how long the proposed transit stoppage would be as those details are still being worked out with his local officers, the union, and lawyers.

“If we do a job action, it will be for the citizens of Chicago,” Hill said. “It would be for those that ride public transportation to bring awareness that somebody needs to protect them when they’re riding the bus.”

The call for possible transit stoppage due to violence in Chicago, home to some of the strictest gun-control laws in the nation, seems to be further evidence of a city falling deeper into the crime-fueled abyss.

The killing of the 17-year-old was only one incident from yet another weekend of criminal violence and mayhem that has become a part of everyday life in Lightfoot’s Chicago.

According to ABC 7 Chicago, 24 people were shot, with five fatalities over this last weekend. One of the fatalities was five-month-old Cecilia Thomas.

Unfortunately, it didn’t stop there, as the Chicago Sun-Times reported that 11 people were wounded in gunfire on Monday.

As for Lightfoot, she has offered no comment on Hill’s threat as of the time of this writing, instead using her Twitter account to defend her demand that Justice Clarence Thomas should “Go f*** himself during her speech at a Gay Pride event in Grant Park, referencing his written concurrence in the Dobbs vs. Jackson Women’s Health Organization decision, which overturned Roe vs. Wade.

Thomas wrote in his concurrence with the majority in the Dobbs case that in future decisions, the Supreme Court should reconsider cases such as Obergefell vs. Hodges, the 2015 case that legalized gay marriage in all 50 states, in light of the court’s “substantive due process precedents.”

“I said what I said,” Lightfoot tweeted on Monday regarding her comments.

Lightfoot’s unprofessional and crass comments earned condemnation from her political opponents.

“Either you’re pandering just to get votes or you have no respect for the office you hold,” said Ward 15 Alderman Raymond Lopez, one of the candidates running against Lightfoot in the February 2023 Mayoral Election, according to Fox News. “It’s undignified and it’s beneath the city of Chicago to act in this manner — especially in public. It takes vulgarity to a whole new level and further diminishes the office and the respect we hope people have for it. She needs to apologize. Our youth, our future leaders watch her actions. To normalize this kind of vitriol response when you don’t get your way is just bad leadership, albeit a hallmark of her administration.”

OUR TAKE

“Bad leadership” is undoubtedly a diplomatic term in the case of Lori Lightfoot, who appears to be using the mayoral office to build her diversity brand rather than serve and protect the citizens of her city.

A mere glance at her Twitter account will tell you that. She has all the time in the world for national issues of the day that she cares about, but nothing about the immediate local needs of her citizens.

If Chicagoans hadn’t felt the impact of gun violence personally, they would undoubtedly feel the weight of a transit stoppage, directly or indirectly, all due to Lightfoot’s dereliction of duty. While we hope that the citizens of the Windy City — who are essentially rendered defenseless against the criminal element due to the city’s restrictive gun laws — are spared further bloodshed and carnage.

Sadly, without a change in policy, things don’t look promising.

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