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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Deadly Moves: In Too Deep


Ulysses “U.S.” Floyd was 14 years old when he decided to run with one of Chicago’s most infamous street gangs. It was 1965. “My mother died when I was 11 years old, and my father was a workaholic. I’d barely ever see him,” Floyd said. “I did it for the camaraderie, friendship, family. And, besides, all of my friends were in a gang already.”

Like Floyd, many men and women who join street gangs at an early age find themselves feeling like small fish swimming in deep, shark-infested waters. Once they take the bait—usually the money, fancy clothes and flashy cars that gang leaders have—they are hooked and stuck for years.
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