House of Screams

by  Assistant Editor

For over two decades, up to 200 African American men were tortured and abused at the hands of former Chicago Police Detective Jon Burge and other law enforcers, according to a recently released criminal report by special federal investigators.

Like something out of a bad, scary movie, one former prisoner after another told their horror stories in the 292-page Burge report. They told investigators how they were tortured and humiliated at the Chicago Police Department’s Area 2 lock up, then located at 91st Street and Cottage Grove Avenue, from the 1970s through the 1980s.
After a four-year investigation which cost millions of dollars, the special federal prosecutors handling the case announced the results on a hot day in mid-July. They confirmed reports that actual torture of inmates occurred at the hands of Burge and other police officers at the time. Burge was fired from the police force for misconduct in 1991. But the special prosecutors stated at a press conference when they released the report that no criminal charges could be filed against Burge or any of the other police officers who tortured people because the statute of limitations had expired.
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Stop The Violence


I recently attended the 7th annual Cook County Jail Town Hall Meeting at Operation PUSH headquarters, 930 E. 50 St. The purpose of the meeting was to have police, jail guards and ex-offenders meet face to face to discuss the conditions in the jails and the inhuman treatment inmates often have to endure.

The former inmates spoke of beatings and rapes. The place was packed when I arrived. There were people on the walls, both sides and the back, too. I was given a seat on the aisle about the fifth row back. I found it to be a spot where I could see everything. Read more »

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