Record #: SR2015-256   
Type: Resolution Status: Adopted
Intro date: 4/15/2015 Current Controlling Legislative Body: Committee on Finance
Final action: 5/6/2015
Title: Establishment of reparations fund for victims of torture by Police Commander Jon Burge
Sponsors: Emanuel, Rahm, Moore, Joseph, Brookins, Jr., Howard, Moreno, Proco Joe, Osterman, Harry, Willie B. Cochran, Mitts, Emma, Reboyras, Ariel, Thomas, Latasha R., Ervin, Jason C., Harris, Michelle A., Mendoza, Susana A.
Attachments: 1. SR2015-256.pdf, 2. R2015-256.pdf
WHEREAS, In a career spanning more than twenty years, Jon Burge rose to the rank of Commander in the Chicago Police Department before he was fired in 1993 for torturing a confession from a murder suspect. More than 100 African-Americans who were detained by the Chicago Police Department between 1972 and 1991 have accused Burge or police officers working under his command of engaging in acts of torture and physical abuse. In 2010, Burge was convicted on charges of perjury and obstruction of justice for falsely denying that he and detectives under his command had engaged in torture and abuse and that he was aware of this torture and physical abuse of suspects; and
WHEREAS, The City Council wishes to acknowledge this exceedingly sad and painful chapter in Chicago's history, and to formally express its profound regret for any and all shameful treatment of our fellow citizens that occurred; and
WHEREAS, The City Council recognizes that words alone cannot adequately convey the deep regret and remorse that we and our fellow citizens feel for any and all harm that was inflicted by Burge and the officers under his command. And yet, words do matter. For only words can end the silence about wrongs that were committed and injustices that were perpetrated, and enable us, as a City, to take the steps necessary to ensure that similar acts never again occur in Chicago; and
WHEREAS, The apology we make today is offered with the hope that it will open a new chapter in the history of our great City, a chapter marked by healing and an ongoing process of reconciliation; and
WHEREAS, Just as a wrongful act followed by an apology, forgiveness and redemption is part of the shared human experience, so too is the widely held belief that actions speak louder than words; and
WHEREAS, For this reason, the City of Chicago wishes, in some tangible way, to redress any and all harm that was suffered at the hands of Jon Burge or his subordinates by extending to those individual...

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