Criminal Justice

Ex-Top Chicago Cop Accused in Widespread Alleged Torture of Suspects Keeps $3K Per Month Pension


A former Chicago police commander who is accused of having played a leading role in widespread torture of minority suspects decades ago will be able to keep his $3,000-a-month pension.

Five of the eight police pension board members would have had to side against Jon Burge to deny him his pension. And only four did so, reports the Chicago Tribune.

Burge was sentenced to 4.5 years in prison a week ago after his perjury conviction concerning his testimony in a civil case related to his alleged role in systemic torture of suspects by Chicago police. However, he was not convicted of mistreating suspects.

“This question all comes down to one issue: Did Jon Burge have any law enforcement duties when he was accused of this perjury? In 2003, he did not,” Michael Shields told the Tribune. Shields is one of the pension board members who voted in Burge’s favor.

A Chicago Tribune page provides links to the coverage in Burge’s perjury trial.

Burge, who retired in 1993 and has health problems, plans to appeal his sentence, reports the Associated Press. His lawyer says he doesn’t deserve to spend a single day in jail.

The sentence, which critics considered too lenient, elicited outrage from individuals who said they spent many years in prison for crimes they didn’t commit after being tortured into confessing by Burge or officers under his command.

“People in our community get more time than this for fistfights,” says Fred Hampton, whose father was a Black Panther leader killed by police before Jon Burge’s era.

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