Chicago Mayor ‘Sorry' About Burge Torture Cases

After Chicago aldermen signed off Wednesday on a $12.3 million settlement in two more police-torture cases, Mayor Rahm Emanuel apologized for a "dark chapter" in the city's history.

"We have to close the books on this," Emanuel said. "We have to reconcile our past and start to write a future and a new chapter for the children of the city of Chicago and for this city. Yes there has been a settlement, and I do believe that this is a way of saying all of us are sorry about what happened here in the city."

Former Chicago Police Commander Burge was convicted in 2010 of lying under oath about torturing suspects into confessions and was sentenced to 4.5 years in prison.

Wednesday's council-approved settlements, stemming from lawsuits by Ronald Kitchen and Marvin Reeves, brings the total payouts in the long-running torture cases to more than $80 million.

Both men in these two cases claim they were tortured by members of Burge's unit. They say Kitchen falsely confessed and implicated Reeves in the 1988 slayings of five people. Both men were exonerated and released from prison after spending years behind bars.

Though none of the cases occurred during Emanuel's tenure, he made the apology Wednesday after being asked repeatedly by a reporter if he would apologize.

"I am sorry this happened," he said in response. "Let us all now move on."

There's still a possibility that more lawsuits could be filed if the convictions of dozens of other prison inmates who claim they were tortured by Burge and his detectives are overturned, and clearly frustrated aldermen dismissed any suggestion that they are close to a final settlement.

"I am sure we're going to be sitting her for other cases from this man, Jon Burge, and his henchmen and what they did... to maim the young African American men in this city," Ald. Joe Moreno said last week.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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