Chicago Activists Push for Reparations for Victims of Police Torture

Mark Clements speaking at the Dec. 29, 2014, rally for the Reparations Ordinance for Chicago Police Torture Survivors
Black Youth Project 100

Activists held a rally today at Daley Plaza in Chicago calling for reparations for the torture victims of former Chicago Police Chief Jon Burge, according to eNews Park Forest. The rally included members of Chicago Torture Justice Memorial, We Charge Genocide, Black Youth Project 100, SuperGroup, Chicago Light Brigade, Project NIA and Amnesty International.

For 20 years, Burge led a reported brutal ring of police abuse that resulted in many innocent people being forced into confessions and subsequent jail time, including death row. Burge was convicted in 2010 of perjury for lying about police brutality under his command.

Activists are organizing to demand passage of the Reparations Ordinance for Chicago Police Torture Survivors, reports In These Times. Originally introduced in October 2013, the bill has received the support of 27 Chicago aldermen. The bill asks for more than monetary payments. The reparations provided in the ordinance would also include a formal apology from the city, the creation of a South Side community center that would provide counseling services to torture survivors, and tuition-free education for all torture survivors and their families at Chicago’s City Colleges. In addition, the bill would provide health care services and vocational training to those affected by the police torture and abuse, and require Chicago Public Schools to teach a history lesson about the torture cases.


Activists are targeting Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Alderman Edmund Burke, who, as head of Chicago’s City Council Committee on Finance, has the power to call a hearing on the ordinance.

“Sixteen years old, handcuffed to a ring around the wall, having my genitals grabbed and squeezed and called a ‘n-word boy,’” Mark Clements, a victim of police brutality under Burge, told those gathered at an earlier December rally in front of Chicago’s City Hall, according to In These Times.


“We are individuals that have suffered. Each and every day, I suffer. Where is my psychological treatment? Where is my medical treatment? I’m sick right now. Does anyone care? The fight isn’t about me anymore. The fight is about my grandchildren,” Clements said.

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