The Spark

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

Chicago:
Torturer on Trial

May 31, 2010

Retired police commander Jon Burge is finally on trial in federal court in relation to his torture of men in the 1970s and ’80s. Federal prosecutors say that he and those under him tortured more than 100 men to get false confessions. They smothered the men with plastic bags over their head, gave them electric shocks and conducted mock executions.

The prosecutor called the torture on Chicago’s South Side a “dirty little secret.”

But the torture was no secret. It was long known in the black community.

And Burge was not the only official involved. Richard Daley, current mayor of Chicago and then state’s attorney, used the results of torture to get convictions.

Now there’s finally – after 30- some years – a trial, but only for “perjury” and “obstruction of justice.”

Conveniently, the statute of limitations on torture had expired. Once again, the police – or rather a scapegoat for the police and justice system – seem to be held to account in a way that denies justice.