Ruling: Daley Can Be Sued In Connection With Burge Torture Case

UPDATED 08/10/11 4:40 p.m.

CHICAGO (CBS) — Retired Mayor Richard M. Daley could be back in the spotlight again, as there is a new effort to include him as a civil defendant in the police torture case against Cmdr. Jon Burge.

As WBBM Newsradio’s Bernie Tafoya reports, Daley could soon face questions from attorneys representing torture victim Michael Tillman.

U.S. District Judge Rebecca Pallmeyer ruled in July that Daley could be named as a defendant in Tillman’s case. Daley’s attorneys are asking Pallmeyer to rethink the decision.

LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio’s Bernie Tafoya reports

But Daley has now received a notice to appear for a deposition on Sept. 8, where he will be subjected to extensive questioning about his alleged involvement in covering up police torture when he was serving as Cook County State’s Attorney.

On Wednesday, civil rights attorney G. Flint Taylor called the ruling on Daley a victory.

“He’s definitely responsible from the beginning for the scandal, because if he had acted in 1982 when he first was given strong evidence of police torture, we wouldn’t have had many of the men tortured and sent to death row and wrongfully convicted,” Taylor said. “So yes, he is responsible, and that’s what the lawsuit says.”

Taylor said Burge “was quite hostile” when he was questioned during a deposition earlier this year as part of Tillman’s lawsuit.

Burge is at the top of the list of the defendants, but Daley is defendant number two.

Asked if he believes there is proof that Daley was aware of or instrumental in a cover-up of police torture under Burge, Taylor said, “There is evidence. I know there is evidence, that’s what we based our lawsuit on. In fact, he was personally given evidence (of torture) as early as 1982.”

Taylor said a federal judge recently ruled under the Civil Rights statutes that victims of police brutality may sue government officials. Thus, unlike the judges from the past five to 10 years who have rejected moves to sue Daley, Pallmeyer accepted proof and allegations of Daley’s involvement, both when he was State’s Attorney and mayor.

Daley’s presence on the list of defendants is unprecedented. Until Pallmeyer’s ruling last month, other judges had ruled he couldn’t be sued personally because he had immunity from civil lawsuits in his role as prosecutor. But Pallmeyer ruled that immunity did not extend to Daley’s time as mayor.

Daley’s attorneys have filed a motion asking Pallmeyer to reconsider her ruling.

Another Burge victim, Darrell Cannon, said Daley’s inclusion as a defendant is long overdue.

“Daley was definitely aware that we was bringing in a group of detectives for me to identify as having been the ones that tortured me,” Cannon said.

But Cannon said Daley never took any action on torture allegations.

Tillman’s lawsuit makes similar allegations.

Tillman, the ex-defendant who wants to sue Daley, served two dozen years in prison for a 1986 rape and murder. But his conviction was tossed last year.

Daley has been named in three other brutality lawsuits.

It’s the latest in Taylor’s 25-year battle to bring justice to those he says were tortured and wrongly convicted. The battle has cost the city more than $40 million so far and will continue to cost taxpayers.

WBBM Newsradio Political Editor Craig Dellimore reports that current Mayor Rahm Emanuel says the city will pay for Daley’s legal fees. He cautioned that expenses will be closely monitored.

“We have an obligation as a city to pay for that legal representation,” he said.

LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio Political Editor Craig Dellimore Reports

Meanwhile, the Illinois Supreme Court was asked by former prosecutors and judges Wednesday to give new hearings to 15 men currently in prison, who claim their confessions were beaten out of them. They have all been incarcerated at least 20 years each.

Former Gov. James Thompson and former U.S. Sen. Adlai E. Stevenson III are among those asking the state’s high court to allow hearings for each of the men.

LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio’s Bernie Tafoya reports

Then, says Locke Bowman of Northwestern University Law School, “retry them; if there’s other evidence to convict them, then they’ll be reconvicted. On the other hand, if their convictions rest solely on tortured evidence, or can’t be sustained except on tortured evidence, then their convictions can’t stand.”

Burge was convicted of perjury last year for lying about torturing prisoners into making confessions. He was sentenced in January to 4 1/2 years in prison, and reported to a federal penitentiary in Raleigh, N.C., in March.

Since Burge was fired from the Police Department in 1993, his name has become synonymous with police brutality in Chicago.

Dozens of suspects accused Burge and the detectives under their command of shocking them with a homemade electrical device, suffocating them with typewriter bags, putting guns to their head and playing Russian roulette — all to force them to confess to murders they didn’t commit.

  • NWA

    Finally! I guess they had to wait until he wasn’t Mayor. Daley was elbow deep with the CPD in putting these men in jail, not to forget the countless others their policies have injured. Finally! All hands on deck for this one. The lot of them should have to stand in court and answer for their actions.


  • NWA

    Burge is behind bars!


    Now I hope they sue Daley’s ass so bad the old man feels it!



  • Daley It's Time To Pay The Piper !

    It’s about time Richard M Daley Face’s The Music for his Role in Locking up Black Men at his own Hanging Court of Lies !

    Many Were beaten into Charge’s of Rape & Murder and Daley Put all of these People into The Penal System Here in Cook County & The State of Illinois !

    How Did Daley Get all The Millions of Dollars He Has Now ?

  • Raymond Prudente

    Burge’s case shows clearly -“Justice delayed justice denied.” He couldn’t be prosecuted for torture and State Atty. Office turned blind eye for decades. If he had been convicted of torture the sentence longer and more suited to his crime against humanity. His conviction reflects late and incomplete justice.

    City government spent millions of taxpayers money defending Burge. Here’s Judge Lekkow statement during sentencing trial: Your attorney-one of your attorney’s other themes seems to be that it is okay to lie under oath as long as the victim got a $7 Million and a half settlement. Confession is coerced, the truth of the confession is called into question… how can one trust that justice will be served when the justice system has been defiled?…Yet too many times I have seen officers sit in the witness box to my right and give implausible testimony to defend themselves on a fellow officer against accusation of wrongdoing, each time I see it, I feel pain because the office they hold has been diminished.

    The old cheat was not visibly moved by the conviction and apparently, there really is no lesson or honor among government violators. Did State Atty. Office close their eyes to the truth?-this are not the way things are done and that is wrong with our criminal justice sysytem.

  • BG

    Daley gave blacks so many handouts, but they still turn on him. Just like Hillary Clinton.

    • Angela

      Isn’t it pathetic!

  • ChicagoCitizen

    I can’t believe they are going to continue to drag this out. This is old news, leave it alone. Most of us could care less, unless you are a die hard Daley hater. Just forget about it.

  • mike

    DALEY KNEW!!!! don’t kid yourselves
    @ Chicago Citizen YOU might not care but others DO pal!!!! Daley is one of the most EVIL Human beings to ever hold public office. As time goes by more and more about him will surface.

    • ChicagoCitizen

      @mike, Evil? Compared to who? I don’t believe that HE personally ever engaged in anything improper. Sorry, the evidence isn’t and never has been there. We’ll all just have to watch how it plays out..

  • Lyndia

    His actions says a lot about him. (I never voted for him or his pappy.) He knew what was going on with that fat honkey. THEY HAVE EVIDENCE TO PROVE THAT HE KNEW WHAT WAS GOING ON. HE KNEW THAT IN 1982 YET HE DID NOTHING.

  • Meaghann Smith

    So interesting that people are blaming the victims and with racist slurs! Youre oversimplifying a complex issue and should be ashamed to condone the extreme mental and physical abuse. Sheltered people, you must be.

  • Report: Emanuel Wants To Settle Remaining Burge Lawsuits « CBS Chicago

    […] the need for retired Mayor Richard M. Daley to be deposed by attorneys for alleged victims. Last week, U.S. District Judge Rebecca Pallmeyer ruled that Daley could be named as a defendant in t…, Michael Tillman, who says he confessed to a 1986 rape and murder that he did not commit while […]

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