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Reparations Package for Burge Victims

Victims of disgraced Chicago Police Cmdr. Jon Burge would receive reparations under a new agreement reached by Mayor Rahm Emanuel, City Council, and advocates of Burge torture victims. 

The ordinance was sponsored by 21st Ward Ald. Howard Brookins Jr. and 1st Ward Ald. Joe “Proco” Moreno and was introduced to the City Council on October 16, 2013. The measure was referred to the Committee on Finance that November and it has been held in committee ever since. On March 4, 2014, the Finance Committee recommended the ordinance to pass by voice vote.

After Tuesday’s hearing, the ordinance is expected to be introduced at Wednesday’s City Council meeting.

The ordinance seeks a formal apology to the torture survivors, their family members, and other affected individuals and communities, as well as the creation of public memorials for the Chicago Police torture survivors. 

  • Create a Chicago Police Torture Reparations Commission that is responsible for administering financial reparations to torture survivors
  • Provide a $5.5 million fund for financial reparations to individuals with a credible claim of Burge-related torture
  • Incorporate a history lesson about the Chicago Police torture cases into Chicago Public Schools curriculum
  • Provide free City College tuition and job training to Burge torture victims, their immediate family members, and their grandchildren 
Support Services
  • Create a center on the south side that will provide psychological counseling, health care services, and vocational training to torture survivors, their family members, and others affected by law enforcement torture or abuse
  • Provide evidentiary hearings to torture survivors who remain behind bars who had their coerced confessions used against them in their criminal proceedings, resulting in wrongful convictions
  • Support the torture survivors’ rights to have a full and fair opportunity to present evidence that demonstrates they were physically coerced into giving a confession

The ordinance also solicits a minimum of $20 million to finance the provisions outlined in the ordinance, as well as directs the Corporation Counsel to take whatever legal steps are available to strip Burge’s pension. 

Watch testimony from Burge torture survivor Anthony Holmes.

Watch testimony from Burge torture survivor Darrell Cannon.

 View a timeline of key events in the Burge case.