Victims of Burge torture and other injustices ask for help
By Maureen O’DONNELL Staff Reporter September 14, 2013 8:18PM
Updated: October 16, 2013 6:55AM
“If a cattle prod can make a cow jump, imagine what it can do to a human being.”
That was one of the starkest quotes Saturday from Darrell Cannon, who spent 24 years in jail after his lawyer said he was tortured into a false confession.
After his ordeal at the hands of detectives from Area 2, where now-imprisoned Cmdr. Jon Burge and his crew wrung out statements, “I was ready to say my mother committed a crime,” Cannon said.
Cannon and five other men appeared at Operation PUSH Saturday, saying they want more than an apology for being wrongfully put behind bars for about 163 years total. Three of the men say they were victims of the Burge-era torture, while three others offered accounts of being railroaded by the system.
Mayor Rahm Emanuel issued an apology last week for the police abuse of suspects, almost all of them black, saying the Burge cases are “a dark chapter on the history of the city.”
Three of the six men experienced police torture, said attorney Flint Taylor of the People’s Law Office. Two more were convicted downstate on shoddy evidence, Taylor said.
Only one — Cannon — received a settlement, for only $3,000, he said. And only one of the six — Andre Davis — has been formally exonerated, Taylor said.
Another, Anthony Holmes, served 33 years before being paroled. The statute of limitations ran out before he could file a lawsuit, Taylor said.