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The ITT List

Tuesday, Oct 21, 2008, 7:08 am

Breaking: Former Chicago Police Commander Jon Burge Arrested

By Jarrett Dapier

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Via the Chicago Tribune:

Retired Chicago police Cmdr. Jon Burge was arrested at his home near Tampa, Fla., today on charges of allegedly lying in a civil case about whether he and other officers under his command participated in torture and physical abuse of suspects in police custody dating back to the 1980s, according to the U.S. attorney's office.

Burge was charged with two counts of obstruction of justice and one count of perjury in a three-count indictment unsealed today following his arrest.

The charges alleged that Burge lied and impeded court proceedings in November 2003 when he provided false written answers to questions in a civil lawsuit alleging that he and others engaged in torture and abuse of suspects.

This is a huge development. Other than being wrapped up in legal proceedings related to this case, Burge has escaped virtually any legal retribution for his role in torturing suspects in Chicago Police custody in the 1980s. To learn about the history of John Burge and the Chicago Police torture cases, visit the John Conroy archives at the Chicago Reader.

Jarrett Dapier is a former assistant publisher at In These Times. Previous work for ITT includes interviews with playwright Christopher Shinn and Fugazi guitarist, Ian Mackaye. He currently works with teens at the Evanston Public Library where he runs a recycled drumming program and directs stage adaptations of young adult literature. He lives in Evanston, IL.

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