Chicago Mayor Rahm Emmanuel has apologized for twenty years' worth of police torture under the stewardship of former Chicago PD Commander Jon Burge, and set aside $85M to compensate victims — mostly black people from Chicago's South Side. At least two of Burge's victims spent 21 years in jail before being released and paid off. In a City Council meeting, Emmanuel called the torture "a stain on the city's reputation." His predecessor, former Mayor Daley, refused to apologize for — or admit — torture, and used out-of-court settlements to avoid testifying in court about his administration's complicity in the torture.
For Burge's crew to have carried out the torture successfully and for so long, it would have taken the quiet cooperation of the county prosecutor's office, says Leonard Cavise, a law professor at DePaul University in Chicago and a member of the state commission against torture that reviews cases related to police misconduct.
"Every single one of those people who confessed in front of a [Cook County] prosecutor who had them sign a prepared statement came into those prosecutor's offices bleeding, lumpy, and injured, and not one of those prosecutors said, 'Hey, they are beating the hell out of these guys, and they should stop,' " Mr. Cavise says.
Ronald Kitchen and Marvin Reeves received the settlements of $6.15 million each. Their convictions in a 1988 multiple-murder case that put them behind bars was overturned in 2009, when they received certifications from the county verifying their innocence.
Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel apologizes for two decades of police torture (+video) [Mark Guarino/Christian Science Monitor]