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American Dream Betrayed

State Commission: Chicago Police Tortured These Seven Men

The Illinois Torture Relief and Inquiry Commission (TIRC) voted to send seven alleged police torture cases to the Chief Judge of the Criminal Court for evidentiary hearings. The seven are (links and parens by Beachwood):

* Jackie Wilson
* Jaime Hauad (third poem)
* Tony Anderson (No. 3)
* Darrell Fair (Along with Hauad, a non-Burge case)
* Clayborn Smith
* Harvey Allen
* Vincent Wade

In each case, the commissioners voted unanimously that there was "credible evidence of torture" based on the record of the cases.

Each case was investigated by TIRC executive director David Thomas. In three other cases the commissioners voted that there was not a sufficient evidence available to them to refer the cases. Those three were William Atkins, Drew Terrell and Joseph Davis.

In [five] cases police detectives associated with police commander Jon Burge and his "midnight crew" of torturers were involved in interrogating the suspects. In all cases they defendants had moved in their initial trials to suppress their confessions on the grounds they were coerced.

"It's an important victory that the TIRC has been provided the funds to function again," commented Frank Chapman, a leader of the Chicago Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression. "This is the last relief available to the hundreds of people who are in prison today as a result of being tortured and falsely convicted."

The Illinois Criminal Justice Information Authority has allocated $160,000 of its budget to fund the TIRC, which was mysteriously defunded by the Illinois legislature last year.

"However," Chapman said, "even though the TIRC members are very dedicated to their task of reviewing these cases, in three years they've been able to refer only a dozen cases for review by the chief judge. At this rate, most of these men will die in prison.

"Every case in which any detective with a record of involvement in torture should be automatically reopened by the state's attorney. But more than that, these police officers should be indicted and held to account for their crime.

"This further underscores the need for an elected Civilian Police Accountability Council (CPAC) with the power to initiate federal prosecution of police officers who abuse the civil rights of the people in violation of federal law. That's why we are calling for a mass march on City Hall to pass CPAC legislation on August 28."

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See also: The University of Chicago's Chicago Police Torture Archive.

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Comments welcome.



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Posted on May 20, 2013


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