By Thomas Yau
Emotions ran high today in Chicago City Council as the council approved $5.5 million in reparation funds for victims who were tortured by former Chicago Police Captain Jon Burge and his detectives. The legislation makes Chicago the first municipality in the U.S. to pay reparations for police misconduct.
But for torture survivor Mark Clements, nothing can compensate for the freedom he lost. He said the police went as far as grabbing his genitals to force a confession.
“My life, my youth,” Clements said. “I lost so many years not being able to be with my daughter, and I miss the first eight nine years of my grandson’s life. The torture reparations package? It’s not justice, it’s a legal mention, it’s a start.”
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Many of Burge’s victims are still behind bars. Curtistine Deloney’s son Javan Deloney has been locked up for 23 years. The police allegedly beat him up after he was arrested.
“Those torture victims stood up, it just sent me back to when I saw my son,” Deloney said. “And his face was all swollen and puffy. I fall back to all those torture victims that stood up in front of the council today, what they went through?
“How can a man do that to another man? The only thing that I want to say to my son is that your mama is out here. And I am going to do everything that I can do to get my some out of jail.”
And for Clements, justice is not the imprisonment of Burge.
“The only justice that had been done for me is being allowed the opportunity to get out of the prison before she pass away,” he said.
In Chicago, watch Medill Reports video stories on CAN-TV channel 27