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Chicago Plans Reparations Fund For Victims Of Police Torture In '70s, '80s

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel is supporting a proposed $5.5 million reparations package for victims of police torture in the 1970s and '80s.

NPR's Cheryl Corley tells our Newscast unit that more than 100 people are eligible for reparations, including money and counseling, for their treatment at the hands of a former police commander, Jon Burge, and his officers. Burge was fired by the Chicago Police Department in 1993.

"There is no excuse for torture," said Joey Mogul, an attorney with the People's Law Office who helped negotiate the reparations settlement. "The ends never justify the means."

Emanuel, who apologized earlier for the conduct of the police under Burge, says he will ask the City Council to approve a Chicago-wide apology as well.

"Today, we stand together as a city to try and right those wrongs, and to bring this dark chapter of Chicago's history to a close," he said.

The measure to create the fund and apologize to the victims is expected to be introduced at a City Council meeting Wednesday. The Chicago Tribune adds:

"According to the administration, the city would create a permanent memorial recognizing the victims of torture, and eighth and 10th grade history students at Chicago Public Schools would learn about the Burge case and its legacy.

"In addition, Burge victims, their immediate family and grandchildren will be eligible for free City Colleges of Chicago tuition under the ordinance. And Burge victims and their families will be eligible for free counseling for psychological issues and substance abuse, according to the city."

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Krishnadev Calamur is NPR's deputy Washington editor. In this role, he helps oversee planning of the Washington desk's news coverage. He also edits NPR's Supreme Court coverage. Previously, Calamur was an editor and staff writer at The Atlantic. This is his second stint at NPR, having previously worked on NPR's website from 2008-15. Calamur received an M.A. in journalism from the University of Missouri.