The Spark

the Voice of
The Communist League of Revolutionary Workers–Internationalist

“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.”
— Karl Marx

Whitewash Past Police Torture and Ignore the Present

Jul 24, 2006

After four years of an investigation, special prosecutors issued a report on police torture in Chicago during the 1970s and 1980s.

The prosecutors said that there was credible evidence of police abuse and torture of prisoners in half of the 148 complaints they investigated. Prisoners had cattle prods put against their genitals, guns shoved into their mouths and plastic typewriter covers put over their heads and held until they fainted. But prosecutors decided that nothing could be done about it under Illinois law since the statute of limitations prevents prosecutions for crimes committed so long ago.

The special prosecutors refused the suggestion that the cops be brought into grand juries and forced to testify under oath, with false testimony being used to convict them of perjury. The prosecutors said this would be a “perjury trap,” though it is used all the time against those the government wishes to get.

Most significant, the report had nothing to say about the continued torture of prisoners that goes on in Chicago. The number of complaints continues to build because the cops continue to work prisoners over. Anyone at all familiar with the streets in Chicago knows that torture and abuse by police is as flagrant as ever. After all, the cops are just doing the job they were sent to do–control the population–and they know they won’t be prosecuted for it.