Rahm Emanuel Apologizes for Police Torture

    September 14, 2013
    Erika Watts
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After decades of police abuse, Chicago mayor Rahm Emanuel has issued an apology for the torture that occurred from 1972 to 1991 under former Commander Jon Burge. The city has paid out millions over the years to men who were tortured into giving false confessions to various crimes, including murder, and spent years in prison as a result.

Emanuel’s apology comes after Chicago approved a $12.3 million settlement to two men who claimed they were tortured into confessing to murder. The two men were exonerated in 2009, but not before spending more than two decades in prison.

“So yes, there has been a settlement, and I do believe this is a way of saying all of us are sorry about what happened here in the city, and closing that period of time, that stain on the city’s reputation…that is not who we are, and we all are one or another obviously sorry,” Emanuel said. “Here’s what I mean: I am sorry this happened. Let us all now move on,” the mayor added. Since the torture under Burge came to light, Chicago has agreed to a total of $85 million in settlements.

Burge, an Army veteran who received a Purple Heart for his service in Vietnam, became a Chicago police officer in 1970. Burge eventually reached the rank of detective commander before he was fired in 1993. During Burge’s years as an officer, he was accused of torturing more than 200 suspects to obtain confessions. Some of his torture methods reportedly involved the use of cattle prods, smothering men with plastic bags and playing Russian roulette.

African-Americans were often the target of the torture, and victim Darrell Cannon says that Emanuel’s apology is “not enough.” “Put some significance behind it, do something meaningful. There are other Darrell Cannons who are still languishing in prison who have yet to have hearings,” Cannon said. Cannon says his confession was coerced by Burge, who he said put an electric cattle prod on his genitals.

The former commander denied ever being involved in or overseeing the torture of any suspects. While Burge was never convicted for his involvement in the torture, he is serving jail time for lying about the torture. He was arrested by the FBI on perjury and obstruction of justice charges in 2008, found guilty in 2010 and was sentenced in 2011. Burge was given a 4.5 year prison sentence.

Emanuel’s apology isn’t enough for some folks on Twitter, either. Reads some of the comments made after the apology below.

Image via YouTube

  • Reality

    We have less than 5% of the world’s population and 25% of the worlds prisoners. Incarceration is big business in this nation and there are many people who are innocent in our prisons.

    Thousands of people are forced into guilty pleas every year in this nation. Courtrooms simply do not work like people see on TV. There is a lot of police and district attorney corruption in this country.

    Yes, there are many guilty people in prison, but there are also many many innocent people. Mainly the poor. Without money, you will not get justice in this country.

    • https://www.google.com/#q=richard+beals+%26+paul+drockton Richard Beals


      Yes I was framed to protect the Mormon Church and an indicted murder suspect.

      There’s nothing fair about our court systems

      Richard Beals

      • @Richard

        I agree.

        People in America do not even know what they don’t even know. Many innocent people go to prison daily in America.

  • http://yahoo nursealib

    Chicago,Ill.Has always been corrupt.This is not secret to the rest of the states. We close our eyes, mind,and heart. So many people suffer. It even has bleed over into Washington,D.C. Look at our senators and the head 0f State ,they have sold the people of the USA down the drain,for there own personal gain. We need to take to the streets and vote all in Washington,D.C. out.Wake up america.We have a big job to do. If they have been in Washington greater the 12 years, They need to be voted out.

    • @Nurse

      Try living in the entire state of Georgia. 1 in every 13 people are in prison, on probation or on parole. The incarceration rate here is 2.5 times the national average. Don’t even get me started on the arrest rate.

      Georgia operates 23 prison industrial plants that do not pay any wages to inmate labor. They then, by law, require state agencies to buy from them. This does not count all of the other state labor programs they have for all of there 159 counties.

      This is the root of the problem. Prison = Profit

      • Erika

        1 out of every 13? Wow.

        Sounds like slavery didn’t end after all.

  • http://www.bioscenecleanup.com/Death_Scene_Clean_Up.html marc

    yep, prison is huge business and profit in America. We have a culture that believes crime is not bad and the good people have to pay for it -literally.