Trial Begins for Ex-Chicago Police Lt. Accused of Torturing More than 100 African American Men
A former police commander accused of overseeing the torture of more than 100 African American men goes on trial today in Chicago. Former Lieutenant Jon Burge is accused of lying when he denied in a civil lawsuit that he and other detectives had tortured anyone. He faces a maximum of forty-five years in prison if convicted of all charges. The accusations of torture date back forty years, but Burge has avoided prosecution until now. For nearly two decades, beginning in 1971, Burge was at the epicenter of what has been described as the systematic torture of dozens of black men to coerce confessions. In total, more than 100 people in Chicago say they were subjected to abuse, including having guns forced into their mouths, suffocation with bags placed over their heads, and electric shocks inflicted to their genitals. We speak to attorney Flint Taylor and torture victim Darrell Cannon.
Flint Taylor, attorney with the People’s Law Office in Chicago. He has represented many of the torture victims and was directly involved in spearheading the special prosecutor’s investigation.
Darrell Cannon, one of dozens of men to come forward with allegations of abuse at the hands of the Chicago police. Darrell says police tortured him in 1983 and forced him to confess to a murder he didn’t commit. He spent more than twenty years in prison, but after a hearing on his tortured confession, prosecutors dismissed his case in 2004. He was released three years later.