Demand Reparations for Police Torture Victims

Chicago Police

Target: Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel

Goal: Provide justice for Chicago torture victims and their families

It is appalling to think that the barbaric use of torture is present in the United States, but sadly, it was recently uncovered that during the 1970’s throughout the ’90’s, Chicago police brutally tortured over 100 individuals, all of whom were men of color. These heinous acts were under the former Police Commander Jon Burge. Burge was found guilty in federal court for obstruction of justice, but neither him or any of his men were prosecuted for their acts of torture.

The extent of the torture was not only limited to routine physical beatings, nor was it only limited to those convicted of crimes. Victims reported that they were brutally beaten, received electric shocks, were suffocated and even threatened with mock executions. Chicago police used torture and other inhumane tactics in an alleged attempt to force confessions out of suspects. This resulted in unnecessarily long prison terms and in some tragic cases, death.

As of yet, no one has been punished for these cruel acts even though it has been nearly 20 years since the Chicago City Council was made aware of this issue. Due to the statute of limitations, the families of victims cannot sue and receive any form of reparation. While Mayor Rahm Emanuel issued a brief  and impromptu “sorry” to a reporter, this is nowhere near enough to provide justice to the survivors.

An ordinance has been presented to present progressive 1st Ward Alderman Proco Joe Moreno that will provide financial reparations to the torture victims and their families. Justice needs to be served in Chicago and the passing of this ordinance can help ease the pain caused by the inhumane tactics of former Commander Burge. Sign the petition below to urge the Chicago City Council to pass this ordinance and help victims receive their justice.


Dear Mayor Emanuel,

It is sad to think that such brutality and inhumane treatment of individuals could have happened in the great city of Chicago. Even though it has been nearly 20 years since the issue has came to light, victims and their families have not yet seen justice for the wrongdoings of the Chicago Police. They deserve a formal apology as well as reparations for the terrible crimes that were committed against them.

Beatings, suffocation, electric shocks and threats are not acceptable ways of treating a human being and these acts are not easily forgotten. The lives of victims and their families will never be the same, but you and the Chicago City Council have the power to try and make amends and help these individuals recover. Their quality of life cannot be restored unless some sort of financial reparations are received.

An ordinance has been proposed to the Chicago City Council that will provide apt financial reparations to the victims and their families. Due to the statute of limitations, these families are unable to sue for what they have wrongfully lost and this ordinance is their only hope of receiving justice. Please take swift action and help these families recover from the barbaric crimes that have been committed by passing this ordinance.


[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: niXerKG via Flickr

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