Fifty-seven survivors of torture committed during Jon Burge's reign as Chicago police commander began receiving financial reparations from the city Monday.
The torture survivors are recieving payments of up to $100,000 as part of a $5.5 million reparations package approved in May. The payments come amid police controversy in Chicago following the November release of the Laquan McDonald shooting video.
"This is 44 years after the first known instance of Burge torture," Alice Kim with the Chicago Torture Justice Memorials said in a statement about the reparations. "The criminal justice system failed those who were tortured by Burge and for too long Burge torture was denied and covered up. No amount of financial compensation can make up for what the survivors suffered but we sought tangible redress that could make a meaningful difference in their lives."
As part of the package, the city has issued a formal apology to Burge torture survivors and their families and is providing them with various with other forms of redress, including counseling and other services.
"Reparations is only the first step to healing the City," Burge torture survivor Darrell Cannon said in a statement. "We still have a long way to go. No one should forget that torture under Jon Burge took place with the knowledge and complicity of former Mayor Daley and former States Attorney Devine."
Burge and his officers have been accused of using torture to coerce over 100 African-American Chicagoans into confessing to crimes, such as rape and murder, that they did not commit between 1972 and 1991. Burge was convicted in 2010 of perjury for lying about the police torture tactics, and was released from federal custody in February after serving a four-and-a-half year sentence