A victim of torture by Chicago police officers under the command of convicted perjurer Jon Burge has filed a federal lawsuit against city officials and Cook County prosecutors, lawyers for Jackie Wilson announced Wednesday.
Wilson claims he was tortured into making a false confession for the 1982 murder of two police officers. He spent 36 years in prison.
“To say I’m hurt is an understatement,” Wilson said during a Wednesday news conference. “All I am looking for is justice. All I have ever looked for is justice.”
Murder charges against Wilson were dismissed in October 2020 near the end of his third trial for the killing of Officer Richard O’Brien. Another officer, William Fahey, was also killed.
Wilson’s lawsuit names former Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley, Burge, two former Chicago police superintendents, and several current and former Cook County prosecutors.
"Jackie Wilson will never be able to recoup the value of his life lost to the living hell he experienced at the hands of his government. While Jackie Wilson extraordinarily deserves and has earned this Certificate of Innocence, others deserve to pay for that they have so unjustly caused both directly and indirectly,” Wilson’s attorneys Flint Taylor and Elliot Slosar wrote when they filed the lawsuit.
Wilson’s 1989 conviction was thrown out in 2018 by Judge William Hooks after allegations that Wilson had been tortured by Burge, who is now deceased, into confessing to a role in the shooting. Hooks was hearing evidence in Wilson’s third trial.
Wilson’s first conviction was overturned by an appellate court. At a retrial in 1989, he was acquitted of Fahey’s murder but convicted of O’Brien’s.
Burge has never faced criminal charges for abuse. He was fired from the police department in 1993 over the 1982 beating and burning of Andrew Wilson. Andrew Wilson died in prison in 2007, having been tried and convicted twice in the deaths of O’Brien and Fahey.
A spokeswoman for Chicago’s law department said the city hasn’t been served with the complaint and does not comment on pending litigation, a reaction shared by the state’s attorney’s office.