Chicago, IL—Over a period of time during the 1970s and 1980’s there was a firestorm of torture allegations by Chicago police Detectives under the Command of the retired and recently indicted, Jon Burge.
I’m not privy to what went on in those South Chicago interrogation rooms where the most violent cop killers and other notorious criminals confessed their deeds. As the defense attorneys began to compare the stories of their clients a pattern of similar allegations emerged.
Police were accused of beating, suffocating and shocking suspects until they confessed. I am convinced these criminals were not treated like guests at Chicago’s posh Ambassador East Hotel. But I also seriously doubt the claims of the accusers. No police agencies had or used video back then during interrogations so only the people in those rooms know what really happened.
You can believe the killers or you can believe the officers. I don’t care who is right or wrong here but both sides deserved a solid investigation. Torture by police is wrong and so is making false allegations against cops. Suspects make such allegations because often it’s their only defense that may keep them out of a lethal injection room at the Menard Prison.
It was in February of 1982 when John Raba, MD was treating cop killer Andrew Wilson at the Cermack Memorial Hospital located at the Cook County Jail. Dr. Raba found some superficial injuries on Wilson that seemed to back up his tale of police brutality. DR. Raba did the right thing and sent a report to the then Superintendent of Chicago Police, Richard J. Brzeczek.
Brzeczek had a peculiar dilemma since Wilson was on the fast track to death row for murdering two cops and a McDonald’s security guard. Brzeczek needed to follow the lead of the man who had investigative and prosecutorial jurisdiction over both Wilson and the allegations made against the cops. The man who had the duty, power and Independent resources to handle that was none other than the current Chicago Mayor, Richard M. Daley who was the Cook County State's Attorney at the time.
Brzeczek dutifully notified Daley in writing including a copy of Dr. Raba’s report. Daley chose to take no action whatsoever beyond winning a conviction and death sentence against Wilson.
Jon Burge and his men were entitled to a full and complete investigation and review by Daley’s Office of Special Prosecutions that handle police brutality and official corruption matters. The officers may well have been cleared or if guilty prosecuted. Instead these allegations have been hanging over the detectives for three decades.
Now the US Attorney is pursuing a perjury and obstruction of justice case against Jon Burge. To prove that case they will have to prove that the ancient allegations of torture are true and that Burge lied about it decades later in a deposition.
To say this case involving White police officers and African-American suspects/convicted criminals has been a divisive burning issue in Chicago is an understatement.
It’s Chicago’s African American community that has elected Daley to his positions as State’s Attorney and Mayor. They keep electing him despite irrefutable evidence that it was Mayor Daley that covered up the allegations. The available evidence shows that Daley is even more culpable than Jon Burge.
To absolve himself of misconduct Daley, through The Cook County Board handed two long time political pals a king’s ransom ($7.2 million) for what became a Cook County Special Prosecutor's 292 page whitewash.
I’m trying to understand why the media and the so called community leaders have given Daley a free pass on this outrage. It seems to be very corrupt to me on its face.
Recently U.S. Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D-Ill.) resurrected Daley’s Cover-up and malfeasance as State’s Attorney. Gutierrez is considering a run against Daley for Mayor in February 2011.
Read Superintendent Richard J. Brzeczek’s letter to Daley and Raba Report.
Here is a copy of the Cook County Special Prosecutor'e Daley whitewash trying to make a scapegoat out of Richard J. Brzeczek: