[Chicago | January 21, 2019] Chicago Torture Justice Memorials (CTJM), a leading organization in the struggle to secure reparations for Burge torture survivors is releasing its “Report Card on Reparations” tracking the implementation of reparations legislation for the Burge torture survivors passed on May 6, 2015. The Report Card notes that Mayor Emanuel has refused to honor his promise to provide the necessary funding for the creation of a public memorial since he announced that he would not seek re-election.
“Today, as we commemorate the life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., we are reminded of the importance of publicly acknowledging the ongoing effects of racism and white supremacy and honoring those who fought against it,” said Joey Mogul, a founder of CTJM and author of the reparations legislation “The City of Chicago must follow through on its promise to create a public memorial about the Burge torture cases that will inscribe this legacy of racially motivated state violence onto our collective consciousness, and represent our commitment to fight racism, police violence and the code of silence by the CPD and City that continues to plagues our city, made clear by Jason Van Dyke’s murder of Laquan McDonald,” said Mogul.
As the National Memorial for Peace and Justice in Alabama has shown through its memorialization of the thousands of victims of racial terror during the era of segregation, public memorials can force a reckoning with racial violence, a reckoning that many might otherwise choose to forget or disavow.
Reparations Legislation Package & Report Card
On May 6, 2015, the City of Chicago passed unprecedented legislation providing reparations to people tortured by notorious former Chicago Police Commander Jon Burge and the detectives under his command. In addition to financial compensation for Burge torture survivors, the legislation provided for the creation of a public memorial, a mental health center and a curriculum about the Burge torture cases for the Chicago Public Schools.
The reparations legislative package was the product of decades of organizing, litigation, and investigative journalism, and represents the culmination of an inspiring intergenerational and interracial campaign led by CTJM, Project NIA, We Charge Genocide, Amnesty International, USA, and re-invigorated by the #BlackLivesMatter movement during the 2014-2015 City election season.
The Reparations Report Card also highlights that there is no guaranteed funding for the Chicago Torture Justice Center (CTJC) to continue providing services to the Burge torture survivors, their family members, and other police violence victims in the City, even though the U.S. Department of Justice investigation into the CPD found that it continues to engage in rampant excessive force, injuring, killing and traumatizing Black and Brown people in the City.
Call-To-Action For 2019 Municipal Candidates
CTJM is calling on all Mayoral and aldermanic candidates to publicly commit to fully financing the creation of the public memorial about the Burge Torture cases and the ongoing delivery of necessary services at Chicago Torture Justice Center (CTJC). CTJM urges candidates to issue a public statement or contact CTJM to:
- Commit to funding the public memorial
- Agree to fund the Chicago Torture Justice Center
- Ensure the Burge torture curriculum be taught at CPS schools
To date, Cook County Board President and mayoral candidate Toni Preckwinkle has committed to fully funding the public memorial if elected Mayor, and providing the necessary funding and support for CTJC and other elements of the reparations legislation.