CHICAGO, (UPI) — Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel says he is sorry for the police department’s use of torture to obtain confessions some 20 years ago.
Emanuel made the unexpected apology Wednesday after a City Council meeting at which aldermen approved a $12.3 million fund to settle lawsuits by two African-American men who were convicted after being tortured into a confession by detectives, the Chicago Tribune reported.
The detectives had been working for former ex-Cmdr. Jon Burge, who was dismissed from the force 20 years ago and was sentenced to 4 1/2 years in federal prison in 2010 for lying under oath about his knowledge of alleged torture in the department, the Chicago Sun-Times reported.
Dozens of men, mostly African-African, may have been tortured into false confessions while Burge was heading the department, the Tribune said.
Emanuel called the Burge era a “dark chapter” in Chicago’s history.
“So yes, there has been a settlement, and I do believe this is a way of saying all of us are sorry about what happened here in the city, and closing that period of time, that stain on the city’s reputation, its history and now being able to embark on a new part of the city and a new way of actually doing business,” he said after the City Council meeting.
“Here’s what I mean: I am sorry this happened. Let us all now move on.”
Chicago has spent nearly $85 million and Cook County has spent nearly $11 million on settlements and legal fees related to torture cases, the Tribune said.