City moves forward on police brutality settlements involving former Lt. Jon Burge

September 6, 2013 3:29:21 PM PDT
Chicago's city council moves forward Friday with plans to settle two more police torture lawsuits involving former Lieutenant Jon Burge.

On Friday, attorneys representing two men who say they were tortured by the police officer and were sent to prison for crimes they did not commit spoke with ABC7.

In 2010, Jon Burge was convicted for lying in a civil case about his knowledge of torture. He had been a Chicago Police lieutenant and his now serving time. Most recently, his treatment of some arrested in the 1970s and 1980s has been the reason for the city paying millions of dollars to victims.

On Friday, the city's attorney recommended they settle two more cases.

Chicago aldermen move forward with a lawsuit settlement brought by two victims of police brutality.

"There are lives behind these torture victims, there are families behind them. Most of the time, poor families, if not all the time," said Ald. Joe Moreno, 1st Ward.

Ronald Kitchen was on death row for 13 years for murders he did not commit.

Kitchen was arrested in 1988 and sued the City of Chicago for torture and coercing a false confession by the infamous former police lieutenant Jon Burge.

In 2009, Kitchen's conviction was overturned.

Marvin Reeves also served more than 20 years in prison for murders he did not commit.

Reeves and Kitchen were convicted for five murders in 1988.

Both men sued the city for the brutal treatment by Burge and his officers and the resulting false convictions.

On Friday, the city's finance committee approved a twelve million dollar settlement for the men.

"He's appreciative of the settlement. He understands that is does not change the fact that he was wrongfully imprisoned for over twenty years," said Samantha Liskow, attorney for Marvin Reeves.

"To be able now to begin and continue a process of living in the future and no longer living in the nightmare that was unfortunately Ronald Kitchen's past is a blessing," said Locke Bowman, attorney for Ronald Kitchen.

"Until there is an apology and there's full reparations to all the victims of torture, this issue is not resolved," said Flint Taylor, attorney for Ronald Kitchen.

Some aldermen shared frustration with a series of lawsuit settlements and that the city still pays Burge's pension.

"We have to continue to pay for the damage that he has done so somewhere in there someone should have to have the foresight, the sense, to say enough is enough and we shouldn't have to be responsible for him anymore," said Ald. Carrie Austin, 34th Ward.

The full city council is expected to approve the settlement next week.

On Friday, the city said it supports efforts to cut Burge's pension. A case brought by the Illinois Attorney General is now before the Illinois Supreme Court.

We have not seen the end of the cases against Burge. There are two lawsuits currently and others still in prison who claim Burge tortured them into false confessions.


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