Stories by Matt Masterson

San Antonio Schools Chief Pedro Martinez Named New CPS CEO

Pedro Martinez speaks Wednesday, Sept. 15, 2021 outside his alma mater, Benito Juarez High School in Pilsen. (WTTW News)

The Chicago Public Schools graduate and former CPS chief financial officer under then-CEO Arne Duncan is expected to take control of the nation’s third-largest school district later this month, becoming the first Latino CEO within CPS.

Chicago Officer Suing City Over Retaliation Allegations Stemming From 2020 Unrest

(WTTW News)

A Chicago police sergeant who says he blew the whistle on a superior who was using department resources to protect his own home during the height of last year’s unrest now claims he has been retaliated against for reporting the misconduct.

FBI, CPD Seeking to Identify Man Wanted for ‘Potential Hate Crime’ at Red Line Station

This file photo shows a southbound CTA Red Line train in Chicago. (WTTW News)

Officials are asking for the community’s help in identifying a suspect wanted for a possible hate crime after the man allegedly struck a victim in the head at a CTA Red Line station on the North Side last month.

12-Year-Old Boy Among 7 Killed, 60 Shot Over the Weekend in Chicago

(WTTW News)

At least 60 people were shot in 40 shooting incidents across the city between Friday evening and 11:59 p.m. Sunday. That included a pair of mass shootings and the fatal shooting of 12-year-old Kaden Ingram.

CPS to Provide $500 ‘Microgrants’ to Students, Families in Need

(WTTW News)

Mayor Lori Lightfoot and interim Chicago Public Schools CEO Jose Torres on Thursday unveiled a new Chicago Families Forward Fund, which they say will distribute more than $9 million in assistance to CPS families before the end of the fall semester.

CPD Re-Deploying Officers to Better Target Gangs

(WTTW News)

Chicago police Superintendent David Brown on Friday announced that officers serving on the department’s Community Safety Team will be moved into new units centered on gang investigations, homicides, carjackings and narcotics.

Chef Out on Bail After Allegedly Killing Brother Now Charged With Stabbing Friend

(WTTW News)

Nestor Soto, who already faces an upcoming trial for the killing of his brother, will now be held without bail after he allegedly stabbed a friend inside his own home after a night of drinking. Soto, 42, is the former owner of a Bucktown restaurant.

Chicago Woman Late for Flight Allegedly Made False Bomb Threat at Florida Airport

(WTTW News)

Marina Verbitsky, 46, allegedly told staff at a Florida airport that there was a bomb inside her checked luggage after she’d been informed she would not be able to get on to her scheduled flight.

No Bail for Man Charged With Shooting CTA Driver Following Dispute on Bus

A file photo shows a crime scene blocked off by the Chicago Police Department. (WTTW News)

Dennis Green, 38, faces attempted first-degree murder and other charges after he allegedly shot a CTA bus driver in the jaw following a physical altercation with the driver, who asked Green to exit the bus at the end of its downtown route Saturday.

Forged COVID-19 Vaccination Cards Seized at O’Hare: Officials

(WTTW News)

U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials announced Tuesday that 19 counterfeit vaccination cards were recovered from a parcel that was en route to an Ohio address during an inspection at O’Hare Airport on Aug. 31.

2 Chicago Police Officers Charged With Battery in Alleged Beating of Teen

(WTTW News)

Officers Jeffery Shafer and Victor Guebara face felony charges after they allegedly beat a teenage boy as he laid on the ground following a pursuit in a stolen vehicle in Woodlawn earlier this year.

Chicago Outpacing 2020 Shooting, Homicide Totals Through End of August

A file photo shows a crime scene blocked off by the Chicago Police Department. (WTTW News)

Crime data released Wednesday by the Chicago Police Department shows the city has recorded 524 homicides and 2,344 shootings so far in 2021. Those totals are up 3% and 9%, respectively, over the same time period last year.

Officer Involved in Physical Altercation Captured on Video Placed on Administrative Duties

A still image taken from video provided to WTTW News shows Nikkita Brown and a Chicago police officer at North Avenue Beach around 12:12 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 28, 2021. (Courtesy of Saulter Law P.C.)

The Chicago police officer seen in a video grabbing a woman as she attempted to leave North Avenue Beach with her dog Saturday has been placed on administrative duties while the incident is investigated.

COPA Investigating Officer’s Physical Altercation With Woman Seen on Video

A still image taken from video provided to WTTW News shows Nikkita Brown and a Chicago police officer at North Avenue Beach around 12:12 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 28, 2021. (Courtesy of Saulter Law P.C.)

Mayor Lori Lightfoot said she was “deeply concerned” by the altercation between a white male officer and Nikkita Brown, a Black woman. The incident is now under investigation by the Civilian Office of Police Accountability.

Police: 48 Shot, 5 Killed in Chicago Over the Weekend

(WTTW News)

Among the five people who were fatally shot over the weekend in Chicago, three were killed or discovered dead within a 30-minute time frame early Sunday, according to police.

Teen Charged in Fatal Shooting of 70-Year-Old Woman Outside Her Work

(WTTW News)

Chief of Detectives Brendan Deenihan announced that a juvenile has been charged with first-degree murder in the shooting death of Yvonne Ruzich, who was killed as she sat in her car outside her work in the early morning hours of Aug. 16.

Jussie Smollett’s Attorneys Can’t Call Kim Foxx to Testify at Trial, Judge Rules

Jussie Smollett pleads not guilty at Leighton Criminal Court Building, Thursday, March 14, 2019. (E. Jason Wambsgans / Pool / Chicago Tribune)

A Cook County judge has not yet scheduled a date for the criminal trial of actor Jussie Smollett, but he did rule Thursday that attorneys for the former “Empire” star cannot call State’s Attorney Kim Foxx or her chief deputy to testify.

No Bail for Teen Who Allegedly Fled Into Restaurant Full of Police After Lincoln Square Shooting

A file photo shows a crime scene blocked off by the Chicago Police Department. (WTTW News)

Alexandru Mihai, 19, was denied bail Thursday after his arrest on charges of attempted murder, possession of a stolen vehicle and possession of a controlled substance.

Interim CPS CEO Believes Deal With CTU ‘Close,’ Days Before In-Person Learning Resumes

Students sit masked and socially distanced in a CPS classroom. (WTTW News)

With the new school year set to begin Monday, Chicago Public Schools interim CEO Jose Torres said he believes the district has done enough to protect both students and staff amid a surge in COVID-19 infections.

Chicago Man Charged in Hammer Attack of CTA Red Line Passenger

(WTTW News)

Curtis Tyler, 30, was ordered held on $350,000 bond during a hearing Wednesday afternoon following his arrest on charges of aggravated battery with a deadly weapon, theft and public indecency.

ShotSpotter Alerts ‘Rarely’ Lead to Evidence of Gun Crime: City Watchdog

Adwoa Agyepong of the Chicago Democratic Socialists of America speaks at a rally to end the city’s use of ShotSpotter technology on Thursday, Aug. 19, 2021. (WTTW News)

Fewer than 1 in 10 ShotSpotter alerts between 2020 and 2021 resulted in evidence of a gun-related criminal offense being found, according to a new report from Chicago’s independent watchdog.

Partner of Slain CPD Officer Ella French Makes ‘Major Step’ in His Recovery

Chicago police Officer Ella French and two male officers pulled over an SUV on Saturday, Aug. 7, 2021 near the intersection of 63rd Street and Bell Avenue, shown here on Monday, Aug. 9. (WTTW News)

Police Superintendent David Brown said Officer Carlos Yanez Jr. has been transferred from the intensive care unit into a rehab unit, weeks after he was shot multiple times during a traffic stop.

7 Killed, More Than 40 People Shot Over the Weekend in Chicago: Police

Chicago police Superintendent David Brown talks about city crime rates on Monday, Aug. 23, 2021. (WTTW News)

The victims included five people who were shot in the 3400 block of West Lake Street early Sunday, and six others who were shot Saturday evening in the 1600 block of East 87th Place.

Activists Call on Chicago Officials to Dump ShotSpotter Contract

People speak out against the city’s use of ShotSpotter technology at a rally on Thursday, Aug. 19, 2021. (WTTW News)

Activists and youth leaders are calling on Chicago officials to dump the city’s contract with gunshot detection company ShotSpotter, claiming the technology is unreliable and often leads to police being sent into communities on “high alert” for false alarms.

Chicago Man Held Without Bail in Fatal Humboldt Park Shooting

(WTTW News)

Justin Cortes, 25, is facing a first-degree murder charge after he allegedly shot and killed Angel Figueroa, 38, in Humboldt Park earlier this month as the victim rode in a car with his girlfriend and daughter.

Attempted Murder Charge for Man Accused of Dragging Chicago Police Officer During Traffic Stop

(WTTW News)

Jermaine Little, 35, was ordered held without bail after he was arrested on two counts of attempted first-degree murder along with charges of aggravated unlawful use of a weapon and aggravated assault of a peace officer.