Jon Burge is a 66-year-old ex-police commander who is said to have overseen the torture of 118 Black men who were in Chicago police custody over 30 years ago. He walked out of federal prison today a free man after serving only three and a half years in a minimum security prison and his victims still want justice.
Burge was granted early release into a halfway house in Tampa, Florida. And that’s not even the worst part! Burge gets to start his life over with a $4,000-a month police pension that he gets to keep (and he was getting while behind bars) because Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan couldn’t get it overruled.
Anthony Holmes was one of the victims Burge personally tortured with electric shock (among many other things) for him to confess to a murder he says he didn’t commit. Holmes, who is now pushing 70, spent 30 years in prison as a result of confessing to the murder, hasn’t seen any compensation for his torture because the statute of limitations on the torture has run out. “At least he’s got a pension,” Holmes said of Burge, according to DNAinfo Chicago. “We came out of there with nothing.”
While some of the victims who were wrongly incarcerated as a result of Burge-era police torture have received millions of dollars worth of settlements, others, like Anthony Holmes and Darrell Cannon, have not. Cannon was brutally shocked in the genitals with an electric cattle prod, beat with a flashlight and repeatedly put an empty shotgun into his mouth and pulled the trigger before he was wrongly convicted of murder in 1983 and imprisoned for 24 years. He was finally dismissed of the murder charge and released in 2007.
As many as 20 of Burge’s torture victims still remain behind bars today. 65 of those 118 torture cases are currently being heard by the Illinois Torture Inquiry and Relief Commission. Burge was convicted in 2011 of perjury and obstruction of justice for lying about police torture. Several members of the Chicago City Council called for a reparations fund of $20 million — roughly the amount Burge and his “midnight crew” of detectives have cost Chicago taxpayers over the years in legal defense fees and settlements alone. Chicago’s tax-payers had to pay more than $120,000,000 for their hideous torture on these 118 Black men. Here’s the breakdown:
- $66.8 million to torture victims
- Over $22 million in ongoing pension payouts to Burge’s collaborators
- Over $20 million in legal defense to Burge and his henchmen
- Over $15 million to investigate and prosecute Burge’s crimes
- $0 for rehabilitation, job-training, education, medical and psychological treatment to torture victims
SMH. There’s not much left to say, except, I hate our justice system. The torturer goes free with a stipend as the tortured are imprisoned and impoverished.
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