Chicago agrees to pay millions to victims of police torture

The Chicago City Council unanimously voted in favor of paying $5.5 million in reparations to numerous citizens who suffered torture at the hands of certain members of the Chicago Police Department. The torture tactics reportedly used by the notorious Midnight Crew to extract “confessions” included shocking people on their genitals, suffocating people with plastic bags, beating people with telephone books and flat jacks, and subjecting people to mock executions.

This multi-million dollar reparations payment is in addition to over $100 million in damages paid by the city after losing or settling class action and individual police misconduct cases over the past several decades. The city’s reparations action – the first of its kind in the nation – will also provide victims, who are mainly people of color, with access to psychological counseling, education, and job training. The city legislation further mandates that public schools teach about the torture much like other countries have required of their schools in the wake of extreme or government-perpetrated human rights violations. Mayor Rahm Emmanuel – who is the former Chief of Staff for President Barack Obama – approved the City Council’s action to remedy at least some of the civil rights violations that apparently have been committed by key law enforcement officials.

Significantly, the torture techniques used here at home have had global implications. One of the evidently prominent perpetrators of torture carried out by certain members of the Chicago Police Department, Lieutenant Richard Zuley, reportedly used those techniques when more recently serving as an interrogator in the United States prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. Lt. Zuley evidently engaged in this conduct at the prison in Guantanamo Bay while Mayor Emmanuel served as Chief of Staff for President Obama.