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Federal Judge Won’t Drop Daley From Torture Lawsuit

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Richard M. Daley (Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images)

Richard M. Daley (Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images)

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CHICAGO (CBS) – A federal judge won’t reconsider her ruling that former Mayor Richard M. Daley can be named as a defendant in a police torture case tied to former Police Cmdr. Jon Burge.

Michael Tillman, who claims he was tortured into confessing to a 1986 rape and murder that he didn’t commit, has sued Burge, Daley and others for conspiring to cover up the torture by police detectives.

Daley had been sued by other alleged torture victims, but judges had previously dismissed him as a defendant because he had immunity from civil lawsuits in his role as Cook County State’s Attorney in the 1980s.

But in July, U.S. District Judge Rebecca Pallmeyer ruled that Daley should remain as a defendant in Tillman’s lawsuit because the immunity did not extend to his time as mayor.

Tillman’s lawsuit alleges that Daley participated in a conspiracy to cover up the torture while he was mayor.

Daley’s attorneys had asked Pallmeyer to reconsider her ruling, but on Wednesday she denied that request.

In her 14-page ruling, Pallmeyer wrote that Tillman’s “allegations sufficiently support the allegation that Daley participated in a conspiracy to conceal evidence of police torture through his public statements as Mayor, and the internal actions he took (or failed to take) in that role.”

Her ruling means that Daley likely now must testify in a deposition for the lawsuit, barring a successful appeal to a higher court.

Tillman served two dozen years in prison for a 1986 rape and murder. But his conviction was tossed last year.

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.

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