Defense rests in cop torture trial

Former Lt. Jon Burge enters court in Chicago on June 22, 2010.
June 23, 2010 5:00:37 AM PDT
The defense rested its case Tuesday in the trial of former Chicago police commander Jon Burge. He's charged with perjury in connection with the alleged torture of suspects.

Burge's attorneys defended charges from federal prosecutors that he lied about torturing suspects while a Chicago police officer. They rested Tuesday after calling more than a dozen witnesses on the former officer's behalf, including Burge, himself.

The last two witnesses called by the defense included court reporter Mike Hartnett, who testified he saw suspect Andrew Wilson with swelling, but didn't think it was his job to report injuries.

Before a Grand Jury, Hartnett testified previously he didn't care whether Wilson was injured. Wilson was convicted of killing two Chicago police officers, but alleges abuse.

The last witness to testify in Burge's defense was retired judge Wilbur Crooks, who was an assistant state attorney in 1985.

Crooks testified that when he took a confession statement from Shadeed Mu'min, Mu'min did not appear injured and did not complain of abuse. Under cross examination, Judge Crooks testified he did not know Mu'min had been taken to Burge's office before giving a statement. He said that was highly unusual.

"Well, I probably, once I knew that, I probably wouldn't have asked him any questions until I had talked to the commander. I would also have talked to my supervisor and fell into review before I proceeded any further," said Crooks

Mu'min was among four men who testified for the prosecution and allege torture by Burge. Mu'min said Burge left one bullet in a gun, spun the chamber, and put it to Mu'min's head. He also said Burge put a clear typewriter cover in front of Mu'min's face causing him to pass out twice.

Closing arguments are scheduled to being on Thursday.


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