Illinois Police Commander Faces Trial for Torture

Monday, May 24, 2010

Darrell Canon, who claims to have been tortured by Chicago Police in 1983, listens to speakers during a rally outside a federal courthouse, October 27, 2008 in Chicago, Illinois. (Scott Olson/Getty)

After decades of claims by black men in Chicago that they were tortured and coerced into confessions during the '70s and '80s, former police commander Jon Burge now faces trial in federal court on obstruction of justice and perjury charges.

Suspects say they were jailed – some ended up on death row – for crimes they did not commit but were forced to confess to. A special prosecutor's investigation in 2002 found beyond a reasonable doubt that police conduct at the time was torture, although the statute of limitations on those crimes has passed; Burge is being tried on other charges. Darrell Cannon is among the men testifying. He spent 24 years in prison and says Burge tortured him. And Rob Wildeboer covers federal courts for Chicago Public Radio. We talk with him about the trial and the reaction from Chicago.

UPDATE: an earlier version of this story online referred to Jon Burge as a former Chicago Police Commissioner.  Burge held the rank, as a listener pointed out, of police commander, not commissioner.

Guests:

Darrell Cannon and Robert Wildeboer

Produced by:

Arwa Gunja

Comments [1]

Dan from Chicago

Burge was an area commander, not police chief or commissioner, as you write here.

May. 24 2010 08:25 AM

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