The Chicago Sun-Times reports that a court has awarded $5.5 million to those who were tortured by Chicago Police Commander Jon Burge "or one of the officers under his command at Area 2 or 3 between May 1, 1972 and Nov. 30, 1991." The group of victims may include as many as 80 people.
"This is another step but an essential step in righting a wrong, removing a stain on the reputation of this great city," Mayor Rahm Emanuel declared. "This stain cannot be removed from the history of our city," he continued. "But it can be used as a lesson of what not to do and the responsibility that all of us have."
The decision is especially poignant at a time when protests about police violence have become commonplace in American cities. The plaintiffs' attorney Flint Taylor called the decision, "a beacon to people in this city and across the country that there is a different way to deal with police violence and police brutality."
According to the Sun-Times, the the Chicago Torture Justice Memorials Organization has 45 days to come up with a list of victims. The city then has 45 days to approve their claims. Each individual can receive a maximum of $100,000 in reparations.
Twitter applauded the decision.
Shoutout to the incredible Chicago protestors who successfully fought hard & long for reparations for the victims of police violence!
— deray mckesson (@deray) May 7, 2015
Congrats to @prisonculture & so many others who worked so hard to get Chicago Reparations Ordinance for survivors of police torture passed
— Christopher Hayes (@chrislhayes) May 6, 2015
Chicago is offering reparations for victims of police brutality? That's a useful precedent
— W.E.B.B.I.E DuBois (@fivefifths) May 7, 2015
The NSA ruling, reparations for torture in Chicago, Omar Khadr being released; things holding me up rn.
— Dylan Powell (@dylanxpowell) May 7, 2015
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