Alleged Torturer and Ex-Cop, Jon Burge, Convicted of Perjury and Obstruction of Justice

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Former Chicago Police
Sargeant Jon Burge was
convicted on June 28 on
federal perjury and
obstruction of justice
charges. US Attorney
Patrick Fitzgerald had
charged Burge with lying in court papers
during a civil lawsuit that had alleged
Burge had tortured and abused an African
American suspect during Burge’s tenure as
a Chicago police officer.
It was common knowledge by the mid-
1990s that Burge had engaged in what the
City of Chicago called “savage torture” by
suffocating via typewriter bags, mock executions,
physical assaults and electrical
shocks to over 100 African American suspects
during his 19-year career. The article
“The Local Legacy of Torture” in the October
2008 edition of the Public i discusses
the Burge accusations in more detail.
While the statute of limitations for the
abuses had lapsed, the 62-year old Burge
was arrested and charged with lying about
the torture in October 2008. According to
juror Gary Dollinger, photos, medical
records and statements from doctors and
lawyers bolstered the testimony of the victims.
Dollinger stated, “You can’t just discount
all of it. If it was just their word
against Jon Burge, nobody else, maybe you
could start questioning it, throw in some
reasonable doubt but there’s just too much
evidence to just say that they’re just making
it all up.” Dollinger referenced the six cases
of torture brought up during the trial and
said that it made the jury believe there were
more allegations not brought before them.
Having been convicted, Burge faces up
to 45 years in prison. While Burge escaped
punishment for his horrific abuses, his conviction
is some measure of justice. However,
activists are not finished. Although they
are celebrating this victory, there is still a
movement to prosecute the other officers
involved in the Chicago police abuses, get
compensation for those who were abused
and wrongfully imprisoned, and free those
who continue to remain in prison due to
their coerced confessions.

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