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Group Asks Emanuel, Alvarez To Look Into Torture Allegations

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Jon Burge

Former Chicago Police Lt. Jon Burge (Credit: Charles Rex Arbogast/AP)

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UPDATED 05/16/11 7:27 a.m.

CHICAGO (WBBM/CBS) – Men tortured under disgraced former Chicago police Cmdr. Jon Burge gathered in front of the Criminal Courts Building on Sunday, calling on mayor-elect Rahm Emanuel to take action.

Released from prison last year, Victor Safforld stood among men and women who share an awful story.

LISTEN: Newsradio 780′s Michele Fiore reports


They’re calling themselves The Jail Jon Burge Organization.

Safforld said that, despite Burge’s conviction of lying about torture under his command, new cases of alleged Chicago police torture continue to pop up.

Martin Reeves is another man who spent time being wrongfully incarcerated because he was tortured into making a confession.

He and others want Emanuel and Cook County State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez to look into the more than 100 new allegations of torture, since the Burge case. They also called on Gov. Pat Quinn to let any of Burge’s remaining victims out of prison, like Stanley Howard.

Howard’s mother, Jeanette Johnson, was at Sunday’s news conference, pleading for her son’s release.

Howard, 49, was pardoned by Gov. George Ryan in 2003 for the murder of Oliver Ridgell, but he remains behind bars on an armed robbery conviction.

“He’s 49, and he’s been locked up all his young life!” Jeanette Johnson said.

As WBBM Newsradio 780’s Michele Fiore reports, attorney Mark Clemmons says police brutality continues.

“We want to show the State’s Attorney’s office that we’re very serious by coming back to this office for a sit-in, right here in the courthouse – the scene of the crime,” he said.

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