Stories by Matt Masterson

New Lawsuits Detail Sex Abuse Claims Against Retired Evanston Teacher

Evanston Township High School

Allegations of abuse against a former theater teacher at Evanston Township High School have poured in this month following a social media post by an ETHS grad.

‘I Can’t Breathe’ Examines Politics, Policing and the Death of Eric Garner

A new book by Rolling Stone reporter Matt Taibbi examines the life of Eric Garner, and the impact his death had on his family, friends and the criminal justice system in New York City.

CPD Adds New Predictive Crime Center on West Side

Shootings are down over last year, a trend the Chicago Police Department hopes to continue by expanding its predictive technology.

Trump Declaring Opioid National Emergency Could be ‘Game Changer’

(Eric Molina / Flickr)

As opioid overdose deaths continue to rise, President Donald Trump on Thursday is expected to declare the ongoing epidemic as a “national emergency.”

BBB Stresses Vigilance After Card ‘Skimmers’ Found on Chicago ATMs

More than a dozen malicious card-reading devices have recently been found throughout the city, according to the Chicago Police Department.

CPS to Consider Closing 4 Charter Schools

Under its accountability guidelines, the Board of Education can opt to revoke or not renew charters that have been placed on an academic warning list.

Arrest Made in CTA Beating That Left Victim Unable to Speak

(Chicago Police Department)

A 24-year-old man was arrested on felony charges more than two months after he allegedly beat and robbed a man at a CTA Red Line station, leaving the victim temporarily unable to communicate.

Former Students Describe Alleged Sexual Misconduct of Evanston Teacher

Evanston Township High School

Evanston Police say they have fielded dozens of calls in the last week regarding allegations of sexual harassment and abuse levied against a former high school acting teacher.

Study: Despite More Coverage, Mass Killings Not Occurring More Often

 A memorial in Las Vegas for victims of the Oct. 1 shooting that left 58 dead and more than 500 wounded. (Jay Smith / Chicago Tonight)

While public awareness of mass killings is undoubtedly higher, U of I researchers say the frequency with which they occur is steady – and it’s remained that way over the last decade.

CPD Seeking Robbery Suspect After Victim Regains Ability to Speak

Chicago Police are seeking this man in connection with the battery and robbery of a 70-year-old man in August. (Chicago Police Department)

A 70-year-old man was found unresponsive at a CTA Red Line station and was unable to tell police what had happened for more than two months.

Felonies, Pleas and Convictions Examined in New Cook County Report

Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx appears on “Chicago Tonight” on Jan. 11, 2017.

A first-of-its-kind report released Tuesday by the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office details more than 30,000 felony cases presented for prosecution in 2016.

Chicago Law Firm Retained by Las Vegas Shooting Victims

More than 50 people were killed Sunday night in what was the deadliest mass shooting in modern American history.

Romanucci & Blandin, a civil practice based in the River North neighborhood, announced Monday it is among a trio of law firms that will represent victims of the shooting at the Route 91 Harvest country music festival in Las Vegas.

Chicago Police Ramping Up Rollout of Largest Body Camera Program in US

(Matt Masterson / Chicago Tonight)

By the end of this year, the Chicago Police Department believes it will have the nation’s largest collection of officer-worn body cameras in use.

DOJ to Chicago: Drop ‘Sanctuary City’ Laws or Lose Federal Funding

(Gage Skidmore / Wikimedia Commons)

The Department of Justice issued a “last chance” warning to Chicago, Cook County and others to get in compliance with federal laws or risk losing grant dollars.

Attorneys: IDOC Inmate Psychiatric Care in ‘State of Emergency’

(Thomas Hawk / Flickr)

Thousands of Illinois inmates are asking a federal judge to take action and help resolve a “human rights disaster” they say is taking place inside state prisons.

CPD: Man Who Pushed Stranger onto CTA Tracks Faces Attempted Murder Charge

(Chicago Police Department)

Chicago Police have arrested a man they say pushed a stranger onto the tracks at the Washington Blue Line station in early August.

Illinois Congressmen Call for Gun Reform at ‘Reject the NRA’ Rally

(Matt Masterson / Chicago Tonight)

Local progressives and elected officials say the time is now to talk gun reform following the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history.

TMZ: Las Vegas Gunman Booked Rooms Overlooking Lollapalooza

(EMR / Flickr)

Stephen Paddock, the gunman who opened fire on thousands of concertgoers in Las Vegas late Sunday night, had booked two rooms in Chicago overlooking Grant Park in August, during Lollapalooza, according to a report from TMZ.

Prosecutors Could Seek Death Penalty for U. of I. Kidnapping Suspect

Brendt Christensen (Macon County Sheriff's Department)

A new charge against 28-year-old suspect Brendt Christensen opens up the possibility of the death penalty for the Champaign man charged in the disappearance and murder of a Chinese student.

Eyewitness: Las Vegas Shooter ‘Wanted to Do as Much Damage as Possible’

More than 50 people were killed Sunday night in what was the deadliest mass shooting in modern American history.

An eyewitness recounts what she saw in Las Vegas on Sunday night during what has become the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history.

What Leads to False Confessions? ‘Making a Murderer’ Attorneys Weigh In

Steven Drizin appears on “Chicago Tonight” on Aug. 24, 2016.

Attorneys for Brendan Dassey discuss interrogation techniques and environmental factors that can leave a suspect feeling like they have no choice but to confess – even if they’re innocent.

Ex-Northwestern, Oxford Employees Enter Not Guilty Pleas in Fatal Stabbing

Wyndham Lathem stands with his attorneys in Cook County Circuit Court on Thursday. (Courtroom sketch by Thomas Gianni)

Two former university employees charged in the brutal stabbing death of a Chicago hairstylist earlier this summer have pleaded not guilty to a half-dozen murder charges levied against them.

Criminologist: Suspects in Stabbing Case Don’t Match Typical Profile

(Chicago Police Department)

“Everything is unusual about this case until we hear more,” a Loyola University Chicago criminal justice professor said regarding Wyndham Lathem and Andrew Warren – two former university employees accused in the stabbing death of a Chicago hairstylist.

FBI: Violent Crime Rates Rise Again, Due in Part to Chicago Homicides

The number of homicides in the U.S. increased about 8 percent between 2015 and 2016, new data from the FBI shows. Chicago was responsible for more than 20 percent of the jump.

Is Chicago Really the ‘False Confession Capital’?

(Thomas Hawk / Flickr)

According to data from the National Registry of Exonerations, Illinois has a false confession rate more than three times higher than the national average. Is there “a culture in Chicago of solving cases by confession?”