A bit of hometown news, from Democracy Now, 12/10/2007:
The city of Chicago has agreed to pay nearly $20 million to four former death row prisoners who gave false confessions after being tortured by Chicago police. The four men are all African-American. They sued former Chicago Police Commander Jon Burge and more than 20 officers who worked with him alleging that they were coerced into falsely confessing to murder.
In 2006 special prosecutors released a long-awaited report stating there was proof beyond a reasonable doubt that Burge and four other former officers abused suspects to extract confessions in the 1980s. Charges have never been filed against Jon Burge who oversaw the torture. He was fired in 1993 but is still receiving a $30,000 a year police pension from the city.
Meanwhile, the Chicago Reader has laid off the investigative reporter who was most responsible for uncovering the police torture story. John Conroy was one of four reporters at the Chicago Reader dismissed last week in a cost-saving measure by the paper’s parent company Creative Loafing. Conroy had been covering the torture story since 1990.