Back in the 1970’s in the city of Chicago, a group of police officers known as the “Midnight Crew” abused a group of black men by suffocating them with plastic bags, beating them with phonebooks and shocking them with cattle prods to These officers abused a group of black men, these men were suffocated with plastic bags, beaten with phone books, shocked with cattle prods. All of these tactics were used to get them to confess to crimes that some of them didn’t even commit. Sounds familiar, right?
Anyway, on Apr. 6, after years of investigation and public debate, the city of Chicago is finally showing deep regret for the actions that took place.
The city council members voted with out dissent to pay $5.5 million in reparations to the victims of these gruesome acts of torture. They are offering these victims many opportunities such as job training, psychological counseling even more. The city also promised a memorial and assured them that their story would be taught in Chicago schools.
Mayor Rahm Emanuel said.
“This is another step, but an essential step, in righting a wrong, removing a stain on the reputation of this great city and the people who make up this great city,”
One of the victims, Anthony Holmes, spent 30 years in prison for a murder in 1973, he says he falsely confessed to the murder after he was tortured.
“I don’t care how you try to forget it, how you try to put it to the side,” Mr. Holmes said. “It’s always there and at times it comes out on you. You might break down and start crying.”
The city council also approved a settlement of $415,000 to a woman who said she had been sexually assaulted in 2011 by two on-duty officers, who have since resigned and plead guilty to the official misconduct charges.
Not all police officers are bad, this is not what the city of Chicago or any other city is trying to imply, but more so should act upon protecting us, approach certain situation in a calm matter. Protesters have also objected towards a judge’s decision last month for dropping charges again an off-duty Chicago police officer who shot and killed an unarmed black woman, Rekia Boyd, in 2012.
The wait for the verdict of a police officer who shot and killed Laquan McDonald is also up in the air. McDonald was only 17 and carrying a knife when he was shot 16 times last fall. Over the years, the City of Chicago has spent more than $500 million on settlements, judgments, fees and other costs related to police misconduct. Andy Shaw, who leads the Better Government association, said the city could have used the money to hire more police officers or teachers, or to balance the city’s troubled budget.
“I don’t see the times being better at all,” said Mark Clements, 50, a torture victim whose name was read at the Council meeting on Wednesday. “I see these times more so as being times of near-riot.”
In a statement, the Chicago Police Department said:
“Jon Burge’s actions are a disgrace — to Chicago, to the hard-working men and women of the police department, and most importantly to those he was sworn to protect. Mayor Emanuel and Superintendent McCarthy have zero tolerance for any misconduct.”
Although the statues of limitations on abuse charges against Burge had run out, Burge was convicted in 2010 of perjury and obstruction of justice. He has completed his prison sentence in 2015.