CHICAGO (CBS) — A woman was recovering Monday afternoon after being shot while riding in a sport-utility vehicle on the Dan Ryan Expressway hours earlier.
So far this year, there have been 53 shootings on Dan Ryan, 22 more than this time last year.
CBS 2’s Chris Tye on Monday looked into whether critical clues could have been lost, because cameras, promised months ago, are still not in place.
Tye asked new Chicago Police Supt. David Brown if more cameras on highways recording traffic would be helpful. He said they would be.
So we wanted to know what happened to the 2019 bill that became law that would make that happen in Cook County. The answer is that the money was cleared for takeoff, but the program has yet to launch.
Trying to get anyone to provide a direct answer on why the cameras aren’t running is a slippery task.
The idea is not to put up new cameras, but to roll on existing Illinois Department of Transportation cameras. IDOT said they have given camera access to Illinois State Police, but State police are not sharing with us the state of things on their end.
In February 2019, U.S. Postal worker Tamara Clayton, 55, was the victim of a random shooting on Interstate 57.
“As long as I have breath in me, I will try my best to do that, and we have a short window for that legislation,” said Clayton’s sister, Alma Hill. “It’s only three years.”
It’s true. The last line of the legislation named in Clayton’s honor reads, “This act is repealed on July 1, 2023.”
So with the clock ticking, we wanted to know how far along the state has come with the program that is supposed to record existing traffic cameras to assist with violent crimes on Cook County highways.
“That’s a question to ask them. I am very frustrated,” Hill said. “If that’s true, I want them to feel the urgency of this.”
It does not appear the state feels urgency at all. CBS 2 asked the legislator who sponsored the bill, as well as the Illinois Department of Transportation and Illinois State Police, how many cameras are currently being recorded as part of the Expressway Cameras Act.
As of late Monday, no one could show us any evidence that a single camera was being recorded.
“I’m disappointed if they’ve done nothing,” Hill said.
Clayton’s murder has never been solved because so little video evidence remains.
“Unsolved, and its just heartbreaking,” Hill said.
Hill’s clam demeanor may change if on Clayton’s birthday, Oct. 26, the recording has not begun.
“I won’t scream and holler, but I will be very irritated and very disappointed,” she said.
The legislation that expires in less than three years is already seven months old.
No one has taken ownership or spoke with us as we try to help Clayton’s family record future crime scenes and put her legacy in more urgent focus.
Late Monday, IDOT said the ISP got access to cameras in April and have the ability to move them as needed.
Whether or not ISP is recording them, we asked multiple times Monday for clarity. ISP released this statement: “Unfortunately we cannot confirm the exact number or locations of those cameras but we can confirm that the ISP does have access to cameras that can actively record.”