WBEZ | commander jon burge http://www.wbez.org/tags/commander-jon-burge Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en Imprisoned Burge victims get new hope http://www.wbez.org/news/imprisoned-burge-victims-get-new-hope-103113 <p><p>Police torture victims who are still serving time behind bars now have some renewed hope thanks to a $160,000 federal grant that will reopen the Illinois Torture Inquiry and Relief Commission. That commission was established to systematically go through the cases of men in Illinois prisons who say they confessed to crimes only after they were tortured by former Chicago Police Commander Jon Burge and his men.<br /><br />Many of those prisoners have used up all their appeals, but given what we now know about Burge their cases deserved another look. That&#39;s what the commission was doing until the state cut its funding this year. The commission&#39;s former director David Thomas, who expects to be rehired because of the grant, says the money will get them to next year when he hopes the commission once again will receive state funding.</p></p> Mon, 15 Oct 2012 04:49:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/imprisoned-burge-victims-get-new-hope-103113 City lawyers: Daley to give deposition on torture case http://www.wbez.org/news/criminal-justice/city-lawyers-daley-give-deposition-torture-case-98084 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/RS3083_daleypresser_4-scr.JPG" alt="" /><p><p>Lawyers for the former Chicago Mayor say Richard M. Daley will testify under oath about what he knew r<a href="http://www.wbez.org/story/potential-burge-settlements-would-get-daley-hook-95565">egarding a Chicago Police torture scandal</a>.</p><div>Lawyers for Daley and one of the alleged victims of torture under former Commander Jon Burge announced the agreement in federal court Tuesday, after months of Daley lawyers fighting the deposition.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>The two sides are set to meet Thursday to discuss the deposition.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>"And we think that we are entitiled to question him on all aspects of the torture scandal from 1982 till the time he left has mayor last year," said Flint Taylor, an attorney for Michael Tillman, who was tortured into confessing to a crime he did not commit, then later exonerated.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>The meeting may address the scope of Daley's deposition and the type of questions he can be asked under oath, according to one of Daley's attorneys.&nbsp;Attorneys for the former mayor would not say when Daley would give testimony.</div><p>Daley was Cook County state's attorney in the 1980s before he became mayor, and Tillman's lawyers say they want to find out what he knew about the Burge torture scandal. But they say Daley and his attorneys had not been cooperating prior to Tuesday's announcement. They filed a motion last month to force Daley to answer questions under oath.<br><br>A lawyer for the city of Chicago said in court last month that the motion was "disingenuous" and said it seemed like an attempt to use Daley's name to generate publicity.</p><p>Burge is now in prison for lying about the torture.</p></p> Tue, 10 Apr 2012 07:07:01 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/criminal-justice/city-lawyers-daley-give-deposition-torture-case-98084 Judge: Daley can still be sued over alleged police torture http://www.wbez.org/story/judge-daley-can-still-be-sued-over-alleged-police-torture-93714 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/archives/images/cityroom/cityroom_20100909_shudzik_1750876_No E_large.png" alt="" /><p><p>Former Mayor Richard M. Daley is one step closer to being deposed in connection with alleged torture by Chicago police. On Wednesday a Federal judge ruled for the second time that Daley can be sued over alleged police torture.</p><p>The former mayor was the Cook County state's attorney back in the 1980s. That's when Michael Tillman was arrested for murder. Tillman says police under former commander Jon Burge tortured him into confessing. He says they put a gun to his head, poured soda in his nose and choked him with a plastic bag.</p><p>Last year Tillman was exonerated after two decades in jail, and then sued several people he says were connected to the torture, ranging from individual officers to Daley.</p><p>In July, Judge Rebecca Pallmeyer ruled that Daley can be included in Tillman's lawsuit in his capacity as mayor.</p><p>Daley's lawyers appealed, but Wednesday the judge shot them down again. Tillman's lawyers reportedly hope to question the former mayor as soon as next month.</p></p> Thu, 03 Nov 2011 12:14:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/story/judge-daley-can-still-be-sued-over-alleged-police-torture-93714 Burge gets to keep pension http://www.wbez.org/story/commander-jon-burge/burge-gets-keep-pension <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/JonBurge.jpg" alt="" /><p><p class="MsoNormal">Former Chicago police Cmdr. Jon Burge will get to keep his public pension benefits, despite a federal conviction for lying about the torture of criminal suspects, a police pension board voted Thursday.</p> <p>The 4-4 vote by the Policeman's Annuity and Benefit Fund of Chicago means that Burge, 63, will be able to collect rouhgly $3,000 in benefits each month for the rest of his life.&nbsp; Five votes were needed to terminate Burge's pension.</p> <p>Thursday's vote comes less than a week after Federal Judge Joan Lefkow sentenced Burge to 4 1/2 years in prison for lying about the torture of scores of criminal suspects during the 1970s and 1980s. In 2006, a special prosecutor found Burge likely oversaw the beating, suffocation and electro-shocking of suspects in police custody, but he was never charged for the abuse because the statute of limitations had run out.</p><p>Burge's perjury conviction stems from false statements he made in 2003 connected to a civil trial. He was fired from the Chicago Police Department in 1993 for mistreating a suspect. Pension board trustee Michael Shields, who voted against cancelling Burge's benefits, said Thursday's vote had nothing to do with the torture allegations. He said Burge was no longer on the force when he perjured himself.</p> <p>&quot;I don't want Chicago police officers to, you know, live in fear that 15 years after their retirement - such as Mr. Burge's case - they will be stripped of their pension fund,&quot; Shields said. &quot;Jon Burge was no longer serving the police department.&nbsp;He was no longer acting in any official capacity as a Chicago Police Officer.&quot;</p> <p>Illinois pension law says employees should lose their pensions if they're convicted of a felony &quot;relating to or arising out of or in connection with&quot; their job.</p><p>Chicago City Treasurer Stephanie Neely, the board member who moved to ax Burge's pension, acknowledged that the perjury took place a decade after he'd left the police department. But she said there's no doubt his actions were connected to his job.</p> <p>If the trustees had voted to terminate Burge's retirement benefits, he would have been in for a one-time $66,000 payout, and could have appealed the decision to a Cook County court. But Thursday's vote leaves no room for appeal, said a lawyer for the board.</p> <p>&quot;To me, there was enough gray in the law that I would like to see the appellate court's decision,&quot; Neely said.</p></p> Thu, 27 Jan 2011 17:44:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/story/commander-jon-burge/burge-gets-keep-pension Burge sentenced to 4 and a half years http://www.wbez.org/story/chicago-police/burge-sentenced <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/Burgeheadstosentencing.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Former Chicago Police Commander Jon Burge has been sentenced to four and a half years in prison for lying in court papers about police torture.</p><p>In handing down the sentence Judge Joan Lefkow said the jury didn't believe Jon Burge when he testified at trial and neither did she. Lefkow&nbsp;said officers have lied in her courtroom before and they should know that's a risky thing to do.&nbsp;She gave Burge twice as much time as the sentencing guidelines called for, citing many letters from African Americans who believed 2 years would be a slap on the wrist.</p><p>Lefkow said she was particularly moved by a letter from a man who said he had been arrested and beaten into giving a false confession to police when he was seventeen.&nbsp;She said he's still in prison 30 years later.</p><p>Lefkow says she has immense respect for police noting their work investigating the murders of her husband and mother.&nbsp;But she said there was a dismal failure in leadership in the department that allowed Burge to continue beating up suspects and set the stage for his conviction.</p><p>Burge is scheduled to report to prison March 16th.</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p></p> Fri, 21 Jan 2011 21:08:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/story/chicago-police/burge-sentenced Burge gets good news as he heads into sentencing http://www.wbez.org/story/area-2/burge-gets-good-news-he-heads-sentencing <p><p>Former Chicago Police Commander Jon Burge is scheduled to be in court Thursday for sentencing, and a ruling Wednesday gives him reason to be hopeful.&nbsp; He was convicted of obstruction of justice and perjury and pre-sentencing report by a probation officer recommends sentencing considerations for those crimes start at about a year and a half and Judge Joan Lefkow agrees.</p><p>Prosecutors argued that the starting point for sentencing considerations should be closer to 30 years because of what Burge was lying about.&nbsp; They say Burge was involved in and knew about police officers who tortured confessions out of suspects in the 1970s and 1980s.&nbsp; But in a ruling Wednesday, Judge Joan Lefkow sided with Burge's defense attorneys that the appropriate place to start is the 15 to 21 month range.<br /><br />Defense attorneys will argue that Burge was a good policeman who worked hard and should therefore be given a sentence on the low end, or even below the range.&nbsp; Prosecutors will list off aggravating factors and request a longer prison term.&nbsp; The hearing is expected to go two days, so Burge probably won't be sentenced until some time Friday.<br /><br />&nbsp;</p></p> Thu, 20 Jan 2011 01:38:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/story/area-2/burge-gets-good-news-he-heads-sentencing Judge vows to stay on Burge case http://www.wbez.org/story/case/judge-vows-stay-burge-case <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/patty wagon_getty.JPG" alt="" /><p><p>A federal judge says she won't step down from the case of a former Chicago police lieutenant convicted of lying about the torture of suspects.</p><p>U.S. District Judge Joan Lefkow said Wednesday she won't recuse herself before Jon Burge is sentenced Jan. 20. He was convicted in June of perjury and obstruction of justice.</p><p>In a recent motion, Burge's attorneys said they should've been notified before the trial about a prior connection between the lead prosecutor in the case and Lefkow.</p><p>The prosecutor, Assistant U.S. Attorney David Weisman, also prosecuted a 2004 case in which Lefkow was the victim of a failed murder-for-hire plot.</p><p>But Lefkow says she only gave brief testimony as a witness and had nothing to do with the decision to prosecute the case.<br /><br />&nbsp;</p></p> Wed, 12 Jan 2011 16:24:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/story/case/judge-vows-stay-burge-case Burge wants lighter sentence http://www.wbez.org/story/commander-jon-burge/burge-wants-lighter-sentence <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/chicago squad car_gettyimages.JPG" alt="" /><p><p>A onetime Chicago Police commander convicted of lying about the torture of suspects contends he deserves a lighter prison sentence because of his service to this country.</p><p>In a recent filing, attorneys for Jon Burge cited his tours of duty in Korea and Vietnam in arguing that he deserves a break. Attorneys say Burge received the Bronze Star and other commendations while in the Army.</p><p>Burge was convicted of perjury and obstruction of justice based on his answers to questions during a lawsuit over claims that he and his officers tortured murder suspects.</p><p>The Chicago Sun-Times reports that Burge's attorneys contend he should get a break below the 15- to 21-month sentencing range recommended by the probation department. Prosecutors say he could get up to 30 years in prison.<br /><br />&nbsp;</p></p> Tue, 11 Jan 2011 15:38:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/story/commander-jon-burge/burge-wants-lighter-sentence