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Monday, 26 May 2014

Chicago Police Torture victims must seek relief from the "MASTER!"

For well over forty plus years Chicago Police Torture victims have had to suffer to gain any relief from the courts. Who are Chicago Police Torture Victims and Survivors? they are a group of African American and Latino men that were taken to area two and three violent crime units where they were tortured in unthinkable ways to force them to confess to crimes they never committed. The men were beat, kicked, punched, had their genitals and testicles electrically shocked with a homemade "SHOCK BOX", some raped with a cattle prod, some had plastic bags and typewriter covers placed over their heads as police attempted to suffocate them, water boarding, beat with telephone books, while all were called racial epithets, and juvenile suspects denied all meaningful access to their parents or a youth officer. Over the past several years the numbers have increased revealing that Jon Burge and his subordinates tortured hundreds of criminal suspects all while prosecutors and judge's denied the men allegations to gain convictions for which most of the men spent decades behind the wall of an Illinois prison.

Today it is known through the October, 2012 filing by the People's Law Office that their are much as 100 men still behind the walls of a Illinois prison that are torture victims. The men have been denied redress by the courts as prosecutors in the face of mountains of evidence have denied and remain to gain convictions. Judge Paul Biebel Jr. in March ruled against alleged police-abuse victims who had sought class-action status for the purpose of conducting evidentiary hearings. But Biebel said David N. Yellen’s pro bono work to help some men get their day in court offers a “remedy to an unfortunate chapter in Chicago history.” With the help of law students and the imprisoned men’s attorneys, Yellen, as a court-appointed “special master,” will find those who have “valid claims” against Burge and his colleagues and never got the chance to speak out. Once the men are identified, Biebel said he will assign attorneys to them at no charge to help them put together their post-conviction petitions. Noting that the Illinois Torture Relief Inquiry Commission may not have the money or other resources to fully investigate the claims, Biebel, in his eight-page ruling, said, “There must be a vehicle to address these painful issues stemming from the Burge-related misconduct. The individuals who are still incarcerated as a result of his wrongdoing deserve resolution.”

All African American and Latino men much now call on the Special Master, who is white for any relief they may be able to receive in the court. Many find a problem with the name, "Special Master" as it is heavy in rooted into slavery and could have racial over tone for many of the men that were tortured and called racist insulting names to force them to confess to crimes in which many allege to have not committed. These men are required by Biebel's ruling to contact the MASTER for any relief. They must prove to the MASTER that they were tortured or they will stay in prison. While its true that men want to win their freedom, some find it offensive and insulting to now be forced to call someone a MASTER when some where tortured and called degrading racial epithets by all white detectives.

Johnny Plummer a 15 year old is just one of the victims. He was taken to area three on the south west-side of Chicago. Denied all access to his parents until after he had confessed. Judge after Judge have found reason to deny him relief in the courts despite having no legal guardian ever being present. Plummer sits inside the Menard Correctional Center which is located down state in Illinois as he wonder if he will ever win his freedom or die in prison. Because many of the men are poor they have been forced to receive legal representation from the Cook County Public Defender office who have admitted that they lack substantive resources to investigate and represent many cases in which they are assigned to each year. The Public Defender office has 77 investigators to investigate much as a half million criminal cases yearly. As a former Chicago Police Torture victim that spent over 28 years inside Illinois prisons from the age of 16 years old, I can vision men wrestle with letters that starts off similar to one like this:

"Dear Special Master. I was taken to area three violent crimes unit. Master I was tortured and called racial epithets. Master, I am entitled to relief because the U.S. Constitution prohibits torture".

where ever this name "MASTER" come from, it needs to be re-routed back to the sender and a new name needs to be implemented such as "Torture Inspection Investigator". With the racial over tone in the cases of torture that has already existed, I find it insulting and degrading to the core for any one to be forced to address someone as "Master" for relief from the courts.  

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