CHICAGO (CBS) — Justice advocates have marked Rev. Martin Luther King’s birthday by raising their voices for reparations for victims of police torture under former Chicago Police Cmdr. Jon Burge.
Activists and former torture victims participated in a sing-in at City Hall, where music set the tone as they repeated their demand for reparations for suspects tortured into false confessions by officers under Burge’s supervision.
Mark Clements spent almost three decades behind bars after detectives allegedly tortured him into confessing to setting an apartment building fire that killed four people. Mayor Rahm Emanuel has apologized for such misconduct, but Clements said torture victims deserve financial compensation.
Clements and members of the Chicago Torture Justice Memorials Project at City Hall demanded the City Council Finance Committee hold hearings on an ordinance that would set up a $20 million reparations fund for torture victims.
“Just apologizing, it does not give me a job, it does not pay my bills, it does not get me on the CTA, but at least this reparation will give me some type of normalcy,” he said.