A History of Brutality, Racism,
Jon Burge and Torture by the Chicago Police
Torture? In Chicago? This has been exposed by journalists and confirmed by internal investigations of the CPD and human rights organizations. For more than 10 years, Commander Jon Burge practiced the torture of black people on the west side. While Burge has been fired, many of the CPD's practices of unlawful detention and torture appear to continue today. Dismissed from the CPD in 1993, Burge was never charged with any crime and has retired on his police pension in Florida.
In January 2005, Federal Appeals Judge Diane Woods said of the allegations against Burge
“ [A] mountain of evidence indicates that torture was an ordinary occurrence at the Area Two station of the Chicago Police Department.....Indeed, the alleged conduct is so extreme that, if proven, it would fall within the prohibitions established by the United Nations Convention Against Torture ("CAT"), which defines torture as "any act by which severe pain or suffering, whether physical or mental, is intentionally inflicted on a person for such purposes as obtaining from him or a third person information or a confession . . .," thereby violating the fundamental human rights principles that the United States is committed to uphold. . . .
Shielded from Justice - Human Rights Watch Report on Police Torture in Chicago
Judge Paul Biebel decided that a decade old report on police torture should be released. Fox News reports that the allegations against Jon Burge and his fellow officers include "... officers using suffocation techniques, such as placing a typewriter cover over a suspect's head, along with electric shocks, beatings and mock Russian roulette to elicit confessions."
The Burge Case Year by Year
Those listed here are referred to as the death row 10 because they were on death row and known to some extent to have been tortured by John Burge. The 4 in red were pardoned by George Ryan when he granted clemency to all those on death row. Three of the 4 are not in jail, Patterson is now serving a long federal sentence. The Special Prosecutor has alleged that Burge has tortured at least 195 people.
1. Madison Hobley
Aaron Patterson admittedly has a checkered history, but it is also true that he was wrongfully convicted by the use of torture. Follow his story here.