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Daley Agrees To Testify In Burge Lawsuit

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Mayor Richard M. Daley

Mayor Richard M. Daley addresses residents of the West Rogers Park neighborhood. (Credit: CBS)

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UPDATED: 4/10/2012 2:13 p.m.

CHICAGO (CBS) — Retired Mayor Richard M. Daley has agreed to testify under oath before attorneys suing the City of Chicago about former Chicago Police Cmdr. Jon Burge.

In documents filed last month in federal court, Daley denied that he knew anything about what the attorneys who filed the case say was a conspiracy to cover up police torture of African Americans at the hands of Burge and his underlings.

LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio’s John Cody reports

Daley is named as a defendant in a civil suit filed by Michael Tillman, who spent 23 years in prison for a 1986 rape and murder he says he didn’t commit, but confessed to only after police tortured him. His conviction was tossed in 2010.

Tilllman’s lawyer, Flint Tayor, told WBBM Newsradio’s John Cody that Daley will sit for six to eight hours to answers questions under oath.

“We want to find out from him and question him in detail about his knowledge of the police torture scandal starting in 1982 when he was the state’s attorney and we want to question him about his specific knowledge of the Michael Tillman case and his approval of the death penalty in Michael Tillman’s case.”

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

He claimed Burge’s detectives beat, burned, smothered and threatened to kill him until he confessed, the Chicago Tribune reported.

Last year, 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.

In her 14-page ruling in November, 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.”

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., a year ago.

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.

The Chicago Sun-Times contributed to this report, via the Sun-Times Media Wire.

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