CHICAGO (CBS) — City officials have begun taking applications from former criminal defendants seeking financial reparations for torture by police from the 1970s through the early 1990s, but advocates for torture victims said they doubt many additional credible cases will be found.
The city’s Law Department has said it will take applications for restitution from a $5.5 million fund established by the City Council through August 4.
People’s Law Office attorney Joey Mogul said, over the years, her agency and special prosecutors have identified about 120 men – mostly African-American – who were tortured during police interrogations in what’s now known as the Jon Burge era. While the city is taking applications from defendants outside that group, Mogul — co-founder of the Chicago Torture Justice Memorials — said applicants cannot simply claim torture to get restitution from the city.
“Someone would have to be able to show or demonstrate that they, in fact, were tortured or physically abused by Burge and his men. So they’re going to have to come up with some evidence to demonstrate that this occurred during Burge’s reign of terror,” she said.