Despite legislation, expressway shootings skyrocketing in 2021

Chicago News

CHICAGO — There have been 42 expressway shootings in and around Chicago in 2021 following Friday morning’s triple shooting on I-57.

Police say efforts are being made behind the scenes to clamp down on the shootings, which are already three times higher compared to this time last year.

WGN News spoke with Jayla Shelton more than two years ago after her 55-year-old mother Tamara Clayton was shot and killed on I-57 while on her way to work. After her death, legislation was passed in her name to attempt to curb expressway shootings — The Tamara Clayton Expressway Camera Act.

It took effect last January after Holmes and Clayton’s family spent a lot of time going back and forth to Springfield.

Her family is feeling the pain all over again Friday after one person was shot to death on the same stretch of road.

“It just opened a can of worms for that family and she is exhausted she wants the cameras out here ASAP,” Holmes said. “We worked to get it there get it passed now, where are the cameras?”

Despite the goal of slowing down the shootings, numbers have been going in the wrong direction.

In 2019, there were 51 incidents and 2020 saw 128. Not even a week into March, there have already been 42 expressway shootings.

State police told WGN News Friday that work is being done. We’re told IDOT operates and monitors more than 150 cameras in the area and completed a project last spring to share footage with ISP.

On top of that, the agency allocated $12.5 million last month for ISP to purchase license-plate readers and software to help stop people pulling the triggers. The plan is to install them in 47 locations, but an official date has not been announced.

Police said over the last two years, half of the expressway shootings happened on the Dan Ryan or I-57.

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