Burge reign of torture costing taxpayers millions

The ABC7 I-Team is looking at the price of justice in one of Chicago's most notorious police brutality cases: former lieutenant Jon Burge. Decades after Burge's reign of torture began, his handiwork is still costing the taxpayers.
October 24, 2013 4:14:03 PM PDT
The ABC7 I-Team is looking at the price of justice in one of Chicago's most notorious police brutality cases: former lieutenant Jon Burge. Decades after Burge's reign of torture began, his handiwork is still costing the taxpayers.

The torture that authorities say South Side police commander Jon Burge inflicted on more than 200 criminals suspects ended in 1991.

The financial torture on the taxpayers continues to this day as legal cases continue to germinate and seven or eight figure settlements are the norm.

It was five years ago this week that federal agents arrested the infamous Chicago police commander Jon Burge on obstruction of justice and perjury charges. The Chicago Police pensioneer was taken away by the FBI from his waterway home in Apollo Beach, Florida.

Burge was tried in Chicago and convicted. He was sentenced to prison in 2011 and Thursday night remains here at the federal correctional institution in Butner, North Carolina. This is a facility near Raleigh-Durham that houses low-security inmates.

But even as the 65-year old ex-Chicago cop is away and more than 30 years after some of the torture he inflicted, the wake he left behind continues to grow.

Last month, the Chicago City Council okayed the latest payout to settle a pair of Burge forced confession cases.

Ronald Kitchen and Marvin Reeves, both convicted, both served time, both saw their cases tossed because the confessions were found to be the result of police torture.

Chicago taxpayers forking over $12 million to Kitchen and Reeves.

As of Thursday night, city of chicago taxpayers have been on the hook for $83 million in settlements to once-accused murderers who were manhandled by Burge.

And the court action isn't complete.

There are other cases in the system and the likelihood is the Burge lawsuit payouts will top $100 million before the torture era is truly over and out.

One major Burge torture case filed this year could see a sizable settlement and the Cook County State's Attorney has just re-opened another death penalty case linked to Burge.

The gruff ex-cop himself is counting the days to his release from prison, less than a year and a half on Valentine's Day, 2015 and through it all, he is paid a city pension.


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