Judge delays decision on motion to dismiss case against Gerald Reed, alleged Jon Burge torture victim

Evelyn Holmes Image
Friday, July 12, 2019
Inmate Gerald Reed claims he was tortured into a double murder confession by officers under former Chicago Police Commander Jon Burge.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- A Cook County judge has delayed a ruling on whether to throw out the case against inmate Gerald Reed, who claims he was tortured into a double murder confession by officers under former Chicago Police Commander Jon Burge.

"It is a setback, but I got hope and can't nobody take my hope away," said Armanda Shackleford, Reed's mother.

RELATED: Judge reconsiders if special prosecutor needed for Jon Burge-era cases

Torture cases from the era of former Chicago Police Comm. Jon Burge may now end up in the hands of Cook County State's Attorney's Office.

Judge Thomas Hennelly opted to put off making a decision about a motion by the defense to dismiss the indictment against Reed, as well as a defense motion to grant him bond.

"I think that's what we see here, a political football game where a mother has suffered for over 30 years of her life," said Mark Clements, of the Chicago Torture Justice Center.

After spending 28 years in prison, Reed's conviction for a 1990 double murder was overturned in December after allegations that Chicago police detectives working for disgraced former Commander Burge beat him into confessing to the crime.

RELATED: Inmate fights to end special prosecutor for Burge-era cases

Gerald Reed, whose murder conviction was overturned as part of the police torture era under Cmdr. Jon Burge, is now fighting to have a special prosecutor removed from his case.

Reed has continued to claim one of the Burge detectives kicked him so hard in the leg, it dislodged a titanium rod holding his fractured femur together. Prosecutors had argued that the rod in Reed's leg could have broken loose because of normal wear-and-tear.

Cook County special prosecutor Robert Milan said he plans to retry the 55-year-old Chicago man, even without a confession.

"It's my opinion after 30 years of practicing, we have overwhelming evidence against Mr. Reed and no prosecutor in his right mind would walk away from this case," Milan said.

Since taking over as special prosecutor, Milan said he has supported the dismissal of charges or reduction of sentences for several Burge defendants, but Reed's case is different because there is physical evidence linking him to the murder weapon.

The judge is expected to rule on the motion to dismiss on August 9.