Alleged Burge victim reacts to conviction

June 30, 2010 4:32:31 AM PDT
The day after former CPD commander Jon Burge was found guilty of lying about police torture, one of his alleged victims called the conviction an answer to his prayers.

Melvin Jones says he has never been the same since one single night at Area 2 police headquarters 28 years ago.

Burge left federal court Tuesday after his brother posted bond, allowing him to return to his Florida home. He was convicted on Monday for lying about his knowledge of police torture. The former police officer remains free on bond as he awaits sentencing, which is scheduled for November 5.

Because his bond was raised, U.S. District Judge Joan Lefkow allowed Burge's brother to post his Chicago home as additional bond.

The trial lasted a few weeks. But for the men who say they were tortured by Burge, the outcome is a long time coming.

In his 58 years, Jones has survived state prison and an aneurism that almost killed him a couple years ago. But Jones says nothing compares to one night in 1982 when he refused to confess to a murder he didn't commit. Instead, Jones say he endured torture from Jon Burge.

"He took the victim box, whatever you want to call it, put it on foot, my thigh and then he put it on my testicles. That was excruciating pain," said Jones.

Jones told his story in court. His testimony helped convict the former Chicago police commander of perjury and obstruction of justice for lying about torture in a civil suit. Jones says he would like to thank the jury.

"That was just the grace of God, for the jury to see truth of what I have been saying for 28 years," said Jones.

Jones is homeless. He has never received a dime from the City of Chicago for what happened to him.

Attorney Flint Taylor has been working on behalf of police torture victims for 25 years. Taylor says it is time for the city to get on the right side of the Burge cases, especially for Melvin Jones.

"He is one of the men that has made the city better by testifying on both on Burge's firing case and now his prosecution. And the city needs to compensate the victims and create a fund for the victims of police torture," said Taylor.

Meantime, a day after his conviction, Burge is headed back to Florida until he is sentenced in November. A judge says the 62-year-old does not have to wear an electronic monitor, something prosecutors had requested.

While Burge waits out his fate in Florida, Jones continues to live on the streets, grateful that justice has come his way after 28 years.

"I feel my prayers have been answered," said Jones.

Jones said justice will be completely served when other police detectives that knew about the torture will be held accountable.

Meantime, an eight-member panel will decide whether Burge will be allowed to keep his pension.


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