Criminal Justice

Ex-Police Cmdr. Arrested in '80s Torture Cases


Long the center of allegations that he was involved in the torture and mistreatment of criminal suspects, former Chicago Police Cmdr. Jon Burge is facing charges.

Burge, 60, was arrested this morning at his retirement home near Tampa, Fla., on charges of perjury and obstruction of justice, the Chicago Sun-Times reports.

The paper notes that there was a general belief that Burge couldn’t be prosecuted because the torture allegations date back to the 1980s, beyond the statute of limitations.

But these charges, unsealed today, involve allegations that Burge lied to investigators in 2003 about whether he and officers under his command engaged in torture by using cattle prods and putting bags over the heads of suspects.

“No person is above the law, and nobody—even a suspected murderer—is beneath its protection,” U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald says in a DOJ news release.

Burge, who still receives a pension and taxpayer-funded legal representation, was fired from the Chicago Police Department in 1993 after the Chicago Police Board found that Burge tortured an accused cop killer into giving a confession, the Sun-Times reports.

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