One citizen's take on the Dick that makes Chicago tick.

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Wednesday, August 5, 2009

HISTORY LESSON: MAYOR DALEY - OLYMPIC ASPIRATIONS, POLICE TORTURE IGNORE-ATIONS


















There are many reasons I hate Mayor Daley. One of these reasons is that when Daley was Cook County States Attorney, he ignored Chicago Police torture under Officer Jon Burge. He could have done something to stop the torture, but he didn't.

Jon Burge, the Olympics, and Torture in Chicago:
Cmdr. Burge and his midnight crew at the city's Area 2 police station tortured more than 137 African American men over a two-decade span. In many cases, Burge and his medieval sect of detectives tortured the old-fashioned way, using nightsticks, flashlights, black jacks and telephone books. At other times they went above and beyond the call of cruelty by hand cranking a telephone box that generated an electrical current, then putting it to the genitals and rectums of the black suspects they were interrogating. Other cruel and unusual practices by Burge's "A Team" included cattle prods to the bodies and plastic bags placed over the heads.
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Accusations that Lt. Burge and officers under him were torturing prisoners into confessions have been an open secret for nearly three decades throughout much of the city and county's criminal justice system. The rumors ran rampant in the early 1980s when Mayor Daley was the Cook County state's attorney.

Police Torture and Mayor Daley:

U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald finally has done what Richard M. Daley should have done 26 years ago: He has indicted retired Chicago Police Detective Jon Burge for leading a band of brutal white cops who tortured hundreds of African-American suspects in criminal cases.

It was 1982, when Daley was the state's attorney of Cook County, that he was first reliably informed -- by Chicago Police Superintendent Richard Brzeczek -- what Burge and company were doing.

What went on -- plastic bags over heads, shackling to hot radiators, gun barrels in mouths, electrical shocks to ears, nostrils and genitals, cigarette burns to arms, legs and chests -- is now well known, having been cited repeatedly in court opinions. (Even Daley, belatedly, branded the torture "a shameful episode in our history.")

A "shameful episode" but sorry, as usual, Mayor Daley doesn't know anything about it.

However, if Daley were to know something, the Chicago Reader's John Conroy posed Twenty Questions about Jon Burge and Chicago police torture that the mayor should (but won't) answer. Maybe one day, Daley will finally be forced to testify under oath about this shameful period in Chicago history. After all, he said he didn't have a problem with it:

“If they require me to be deposed, I have no problems with that,” Daley said at a news conference. But that was before the February 27 election, when one of his challengers was urging voters to “say no to the Daley/Burge team.” After the election the city’s lawyers appealed Brown’s ruling to federal judge Marvin Aspen. They argued that questioning Daley under oath was “premature and may be unnecessary”—on the grounds that busy public officials like the mayor shouldn’t be compelled to testify until all other avenues of getting the desired information have been exhausted.

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The mayor would have the public believe that he’s already been grilled on the subject. “I answered all those questions,” Daley said in February, referring to his interview with special prosecutors Edward Egan and Robert Boyle, who were appointed in 2002 by the chief judge of the criminal court to investigate the torture

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The 49-page transcript has the special prosecutors asking Daley 81 questions and the mayor answering with variations on “I don’t recall” 20 times. Magistrate Brown described the transcript as containing “little useful information.” For some perspective, consider that when state’s attorney Richard Devine, who served as Daley’s first assistant, was questioned by lawyers for Burge victims last year, the transcript ran 574 pages without exhibits.















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5 comments:

  1. 19th Ward game-changerAugust 13, 2009 at 5:13 AM

    I am so sick & tired of hearing about the Jon Burge mess. Give it a mother-bleeping rest!

    The entire thing is a racket for attorneys.
    The attorneys have made GOBS of money - both the attorneys representing both the City and the CPD and the Police Union (ridiculous hourly billings) and the attorneys representing the alleged-victims (phat contingency fees).

    The suburban police departments are just as worse. Start shining the light and your grief toward them. Daley is done. He will have "real" competition in 2011 - I promise you.

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  2. haha what I like in this blog are photos of the mayor is very funny.

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  3. 1st get Daley, then move on to Schaumburg.

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