People's Law Office
The historic reparations package in Chicago, brought to fruition by an inspiring multiracial and intergenerational campaign led by Chicago Torture Justice Memorials, Amnesty International, Project NIA and We Charge Genocide, within the larger context of the #BlackLivesMatter movement, achieved far more than any individual criminal prosecution or lawsuit could afford.
Survivors of torture by Former Chicago Police Commander Jon Burge, along with their families, lawyers, advocacy groups and activists, worked to make an historic reparations ordinance a reality. In addition to $5.5 million fund for eligible victims, the reparations package includes free attendance at City Colleges, specialized trauma counseling, a formal apology, a permanent memorial, and history lessons about Burge torture in Chicago Public Schools.
In Chicago, many have used the energy and opening created by these ongoing protests to re-animate existing long-term anti-police violence campaigns. On Saturday afternoon, hundreds of people gathered at the Chicago Temple to show our love for police torture survivors on the day after Jon Burge was released from house arrest. The gathering was billed as a people’s hearing and rally in support of a reparations ordinance currently stalled in the Chicago City Council.
Subscribe to Jon Burge
The Atlantic, People's Law Office