Exonerated Man Sues Burge, City

March 31, 2010

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A Chicago man wrongfully convicted of murder is suing the Chicago Police Department and the city. He claims he was implicated by another suspect who confessed only after being tortured by police.

Marvin Reeves was a South Side auto mechanic when he was convicted of killing five people in 1988. He was exonerated and released from prison last summer.

Now, Reeves is suing to be compensated for the twenty-one years he spent behind bars. A civil complaint filed in federal court in Chicago names - among others - the City of Chicago, the Chicago Police Department and former police Commander Jon Burge. It says Reeves was wrongly implicated in the crime by another man, who spoke up only after detectives serving under Burge tortured him "for hours."

The complaint also claims the city suppressed evidence that would have gotten Reeves out of jail sooner. Dozens of people were allegedly tortured under Burge's command in the 1980s and early 90s.

Burge has pleaded not guilty to those charges, and his criminal trial is set to begin May 10. Burge did not respond to a request through comment made through one of his lawyers. A spokeswoman says the city is not commenting on the suit because it hasn't yet reviewed Reeve's civil complaint.