Chicago has a long history of torture, police violence, and cover-ups by police officers that dates back to the 1960s and beyond. The murders of Fred Hampton and Mark Clark in 1969 were a notorious example of brazen of police brutality in Chicago. In 1968, Mayor Richard J. Daley ordered Chicago Police to shoot to maim and shoot to kill "looters" in the aftermath of Dr. Martin Luther King's assassination.
Chicago has rightly earned the title "torture capital of the United States" (Flint Taylor). These false confessions are used to make convictions while the real killers go free. The police are not interested in true justice. Their only goal is to humiliate, imprison and murder the poor black and brown people of Chicago.
Activists and torture survivors began to share their stories and make the issue public in the media, the courts, and the international community. On May 6, 2015, the Chicago City Council passed historic legislation that provides reparations to the survivors of police torture in Chicago, making it the only city in the United States to pass legislation of this kind.
One thing to come out of this legislation was the Illinois Torture Inquiry and Relief Commission (TIRC). The TIRC is a commission appointed by the Mayor that investigates claims of torture. We believe that this commission does good in-faith work and has enough validity within the current system to be a path for torture survivors to get out of prison. Attorney Standish Willis, the President of Black People Against Police Torture, played an instrumental role in drafting this measure into the reparations statute. Click here to read stories that have been reviewed by the TIRC.