On Saturday evening, passengers traveling on Baton Rouge’s public bus system CATS had a terrifying experience. A shooter fired shots into a bus traveling in the Fairfield area, blocks away from an area, The Rouge Collection discussed in a story released earlier this week, The Bloodiest Blocks of Baton Rouge.
A passenger on the bus Jerrie Williams contacted The Rouge Collection, with her account of what happened. Williams says, that while riding on the bus, suddenly shots rang out and came through the window. She and her three children were riding the bus home. Williams said when the incident happened, “We were yelling at the driver to call the police, she called her dispatcher and was told to keep driving. Meanwhile the entire left side window where I sat completely shattered.”
Williams said that no one was hurt in the incident, but it was a terrifying experience. According to Williams, CATS employees were not communicating as to if the police had been called. Williams said, “Once we got to the CATS terminal there were three supervisors that were more concerned about the bus than the passengers. I begged to speak with the bus driver’s supervisor she ignored my request 5 times. I asked several times did y’all call the police they never responded to me. So I called and the cops came in ten or so minutes. They were concerned because no security was at the terminal, the cop couldn’t confirm if CATS truly had called 911. There was no sign of them calling. The supervisor states that three busses got shot at the same time.” According to Williams the CATS representative on the scene was attempting to move things along as swiftly as possible with the BRPD officer on the scene.
Local media has police scanners and the ability to cover incidents like this at a moment’s notice. No lives were lost, and maybe that is why no reporters were on the scene. Mainstream media often only tells the story when it goes to the extreme. The reality is the public needs to know that shots were fired into a public transit bus this weekend, for public safety reasons. CATS should have a release out already, explaining what happened and beefing up security.
There is certainly some explaining that needs to be done, and changes to be made to create an environment of transparency at CATS. Williams verified her story by sharing photos and a copy of the police report that listed the event as “shots fired”. One has to wonder how much coverage would the incident had gotten if the bus system in Baton Rouge served a greater number of non-minorities?
January 10, 2016