City Council closer to $5.5 M payout to police torture victims

CHICAGO (WLS) -- The Chicago City Council's finance committee approved a $5.5 million payout to victims of police torture under the command of Jon Burge.

The committee recommended Tuesday that the City of Chicago apologize to the victims of police torture in the 1980s, offer college tuition, job training and a reparations fund, as well as construct a memorial and teach about the cases in Chicago Public Schools lessons.

"It's a relief that it passed through finance and we are one step closer to this reparations ordinance," Joey Mogul, attorney for Burge victims, said. Mogul and Flint Taylor represent dozes of victims.

"This is another important victory for the movement and the people who have been fighting against police torture for several decades," Taylor said.

Each Burge victim could get up to $100,000 in reparations. However, heirs of deceased Burge victims are not eligible for the money.

"I think that is evil. I think that is disrespectful. Because if it wasn't for Melvin Jones, this whole reason for an ordinance would even exist," Wallace "Gator" Bradley, United Peace, Inc., said.

Jones, who was tortured with electric shock, was among those who testified against Burge in the federal trial. He died last year. His daughter would not be eligible for the financial settlement.

"If the deceased people received reparations in finance there would be less for the living people," Taylor said.

"It was an unfortunate compromise that we had to make in light of the city's limited finances," Mogul said.

More than 20 known Burge torture victims have died. Their families would be eligible for the tuition, counseling and job training assistance.

The city council is expected to vote on the ordinance Wednesday.
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