Former Chicago police commander and accused torturer Jon Burge was released from prison Thursday.
The 66-year-old is in a Florida halfway house after serving three-and-a-half years behind bars for lying to federal investigators.
“We talk about terrorism around the world, well we had a terrorist right here in the city of Chicago for a couple of decades,” said Ald. Proco Joe Moreno, the chief sponsor of a proposed reparations ordinance that appears to have 26 votes on the City Council, which is enough for passage.
But the measure has to first get through the finance committee.
“We gather here today as torture survivors, aldermen, activists and attorneys to call on Chicago’s City Countil and Mayor Emanuel pass the reparations ordinance,” said Joey Mogul with the People’s Law Office.
Anthony Holmes is among dozens and dozens of Chicago men and women who say they were brutally tortured by Burge and his detectives at Area 2 police headquarters over the course of several decades.
Holmes says in 1973 he was electrocuted into making a false confession, which led to a wrongful conviction and 30 years behind bars before winning release.
But unlike the 66-year-old Burge, who enjoys a police pension to help him restart his life on the outside, Holmes never got a dime.
“He’s got to go through some of the things that we went through. At least he got a pension. We come out and we didn’t get nothing,” Holmes said.
Holmes paid a steep price, his supporters say, along with countless others — some put the number at over 100 victims.
Among other things, the reparations ordinance would establish a commission to administer financial compensation to torture victims and their families and create a South Side community center where victims and their families can receive psychological counseling, vocational training and other services. The ordinance would also offer free city colleges enrollment and make it mandatory for teachers to instruct CPS kids about torture cases. And finally, to fund public memorials detailing what happened.