CHICAGO (CBS) — The Chicago City Council has given final approval to $12 million in settlements for two men who say they were tortured into giving false confessions to several 1988 murders, reports WBBM Political Editor Craig Dellimore.
The alderman quickly approved more than $6 million settlements each for Ronald Kitchens and Marvin Reeves accused of killing five people.
But attorneys for them and other men reportedly tortured by police over the years also were demanding an apology from the City.
Mayor Emanuel says the City is trying to get past what he calls a “dark period in Chicago’s history.”
“Now being able to embark on a new part of the City and a new way of actually doing business and that is not who we are and we all are in one way or another are obviously sorry,” said Emanuel.
Asked if that was as close to an apology as he was going to come, the Mayor said he is sorry for what happened, now let’s move on.
Attorney Flint Taylor had called upon the mayor to make the apology just last week and he was pleased to hear that the mayor took him at his word.
“We’re gratified that he apologized,” said Taylor.
Taylor has represented more than a dozen of the torture victims over the years. Victims who in some cases were beaten, nearly suffocated, and shocked with cattle prods until they made false confessions.
It’s shocking treatment that Taylor says the former mayor essentially laughed off when asked to apologize in the past.
“The former mayor was involved in the torture scandal and he refused and made light of an apology. This mayor has finally stepped forward,” said Taylor.
Torture victim Ronald Kitchen says he’s pleased that Mayor Emanuel apologized but says the fight for justice won’t be over until all the torture victims are compensated.
In all 18 men have received payouts from the city in connection with the Burge case. Those bills have already cost the city $80 million.
Taylor says as many as 20 more potential cases are out there.