Thursday, September 27, 2007

The Wheels of Justice Grind Slowly

JusticeBut after 20 years, they may finally be grinding down on a sad period in Chicago history. A timeline of the events can be found here. This wasn't a hundred years ago. This wasn't in the Jim Crow South. This was 25 years ago in the industrial north. It wasn't 1 man having a bad day.

U.S. attorney, FBI probing allegations of police torture :: CHICAGO SUN-TIMES :: Metro & Tri-State This is an interesting story about police brutality in the 1980s Chicago department.
"The United States attorney's office is conducting an active criminal investigation into allegations of perjury, false statements and obstruction of justice by officers who served in the Chicago Police Department in the 1980s, in relation to currently pending federal civil lawsuits in which persons in Chicago Police Department custody during those years allege they were abused." Fitzgerald was speaking at an unrelated news conference.

At least 148 men, almost all of them African-American, told a special prosecutor that Burge and his officers at the old Area 2 police station beat them to extract confessions. Some of those men went to Death Row on false confessions until former Gov. George Ryan pardoned them. The city fired Burge, saying he was responsible for the torture of suspects. But a special prosecutor concluded it was too late to file charges against Burge or his officers.
At least a few of the prosecutors appear to have gone along with this - ignoring suspects who appeared to have been beaten.

This is where it gets a little interesting. Mayor Dumbbell Daley was a prosecutor during those years. No one knows yet if he was one of those that Special Prosecutor Edward Egan was talking about last year. But there is speculation in the comments on the Second City Cop blog that they may have him in their sites. Daley has weathered a lot of storms over the years. Currently he and his nephew are in the news over 68 million dollars of pension money the nephew is managing for speculative real estate investments. Investments which have not even been named yet.

Politics aside, this is an ugly story. This wasn't 1 man, so there will probably be some conspiracy charges.
Special Prosecutor Edward Egan said last year that at least a dozen police officers in Burge's "midnight crew" at the Area 2 station in Pullman tortured suspects, and at least three former prosecutors acquiesced
Surprising that it is being prosecuted after 20 years.

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