In news from Chicago, disgraced Chicago police commander Jon Burge has died at the age of 70. Between 1972 and 1991, more than 200 people, most of them African-American, were tortured under his reign. Officers under his command routinely used electric shock, suffocation with plastic bags and typewriter covers, among other methods, to extract confessions from men who were later shown to be innocent. In 2015, the Chicago City Council approved a $5.5 million reparations fund for victims of police torture. One victim of the torture was an African-American man named Darrell Cannon who spent more than 20 years in prison and confessed to a murder he didn’t commit after being tortured by officers under Burge’s command. Darrell Cannon appeared on Democracy Now! in 2015.
Darrell Cannon: “On November the 2nd, 1983, about 15 all-white detectives invaded my apartment, terrorized me, my common-law wife and my cat. And during that day, through—I was tortured in despicable ways, from them using an electric cattle prod to shock me on my genitals and in my mouth. They tried to hang me by my handcuffs, which was cuffed behind my back. And they tried to play a game of Russian roulette on me with a shotgun, and they ended up chipping my two front teeth and splitting my upper lip.”