of the CTA bus shooting that killed 16-year-old Julian high school student Blair Holt. I was at the hospital the night Blair died, and the screams that filled the waiting room when his family..." />
Chicago Sun-Times

CTA bus shooting

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I hope you've been following the story">of the CTA bus shooting that killed 16-year-old Julian high school student Blair Holt. I was at the hospital the night Blair died, and the screams that filled the waiting room when his family and friends learned he was gone were heartbreaking.

Listening to people's reactions and scanning some of the blogs, one thing that strikes me is how little outrage I'm hearing. Some people even made jokes about what happened. Others have questioned why this is front-page news.

The answer is, it was a horrific crime that never should have happened.

It doesn't matter if you've never been to this neighborhood or been on the No. 103 bus. It's also not OK to dismiss this as just another gang-related crime on the South Side. A 16-year-old boy was gunned down in broad daylight on a CTA bus. More people could have died with him.

So, why aren't people talking about this?

Do you, as public transit riders, feel safe when you walk onto a bus or train? What would it take to make you feel safer?

Are there any bus and rail operators out there with stories of violent encounters on the job?

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This is just eerie. A Brown line train runs slow or is crowded and we never hear the end of it, but someone gets killed on a bus on the South Side and there is nothing to be said.

We do not live in the same city, we can't be. Chicago is so segregated that it really should be split in thirds or fifths or something.

I wonder if the 'North Siders' feel that the killing was just desserts and that they are not connected with the rather subsized CTA that is on the South and West Sides of the city.

On the North Side they have undecover cops on the train, we get a bunch of useless preachers (like we need one more praying ass on public transportation). Maybe one day, we will no longer be treated like second class citizens, worth only what the worst of us gets named on the television news.

I can only hope that the silence here is because of the internet gap between the haves and the have nots, but I will remind y'all of this everytime the whining starts. I know how you feel thoug, for all I care they could rib the brown ling out of the ground and it would not make a difference to me. Maybe it should, but with this not making a difference to y'all I really do not want to hear your crying about late trains and three tracks and ask Carole and all that crap.

Wow, it is hard to believe that no one is commenting on this. No bus drivers, no police, no riders, no students?

If you refer back to blog on 'banned from public transportation' you would see that I mad a reference to those hours between 3PM and 5PM when riding many of the busses feels like you are putting your life on the line.
My only surprise is that it took this long before someone was actually killed. Don't get me wrong, most of the kids are fine, but there are enough 'problem children' to effect almost every bus that is out at that time. There have been times when hostiles from one school will wait for the back door to open and pull anyone they can grab off the bus and beat the crap out of them. Think I am lying? Ask the bus drivers and the other students who ride the busses.

There needs to be some protection on those busses, and it needs to be someone who can legally remove a problem from a bus and that is not going to he some funky pastor (they get on my damned nerves making noise) nor is it going to be the bus driver because physically removing anyone from the bus is known in legal circles as assault. It has to be the police.

Now the police will tell you that is not the answer. That there are not enough police available to do the job, but when someone did get shot on the bus, about 50 police showed up. Where were they before the shooting and what where they doing? But they probably can not do the job because it would take something that police in Chicago have not shown in great supply, it would take discipline and accountability.

If we got the police on busses, they would more likely be like Officer Weems and his partner, showing up late, killing innocent bystanders then lying about it.

We suffer because of us.

When I was going to high school I made sure never to ride the bus during school hours. It was mostly because I was poor and I wanted to avoid ridicule and save a few bucks in bus fare. There were also rumors of gang fights transpiring on buses. This event was a tragedy but the reactions of the residents were inspirational. Even the alleged shooter showed great remorse and decided to turn himself in.

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This page contains a single entry by Monifa Thomas published on May 15, 2007 3:04 PM.

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