Chicago Mayor J. Daley Accused of Covering Up Police Torture

Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley’s been in the news a lot lately, taking heat for his stance on gun control, and suggesting a stance for a reporter involving sodomy and a rifle. It’s his father’s turn, now, again, as’s Amy Goodman tells a sordid tale of Chicago police torture, leading to false confessions, leaving American civil rights well and truly trampled. The details of the horrific crimes allegedly committed by Chicago officer and Vietnam vet Jon Burge [above] are coming to light via a civil suit. Although ex-Mayor Richard J. Daley is not named as a co-conspirator, he stands accused of failing to pursue a prosecution against Officer Burge, whose troops put a shotgun in the mouth of a “suspect.” Amongst other things . . .

At 6 a.m. on Nov. 2, 1983, Chicago cops under Burge’s command arrested [Darrell] Cannon and drove him to an isolated industrial area on the Chicago waterfront. He related his ordeal to me:

“They did a mock hanging, where I’m cuffed behind my back and one of the detectives would get on the bumper of the detective car, the other two detectives would lift me up to him, and he would grab my handcuffs from behind. They would let me go. That will cause my arms to go up backwards, almost wrenching the inside of my shoulders. … Then they switched to a second torture treatment, where they got their shotgun. … One of them said, “Go ahead, blow that ni***r’s head off.” And that’s when (Detective) Peter Dignan forced the shotgun in my mouth. … They did a mock execution three times.”

Cannon refused to confess. He went on: “They then put me in the backseat of a detective car. … They pulled my pants and my shorts down … took an electric cattle prod, turned it on and proceeded to shock me on my testicles.”

Cannon finally made a false and coerced statement, implicating himself as an accomplice to murder, to make the torture stop. He spent 24 years in prison. His attorney, Flint Taylor, is with the People’s Law Office, which has been representing scores of Burge’s torture victims. Taylor pointed out the controversial role of Mayor Daley.

“Darrell Cannon here, my client, was tortured in 1983. If Daley had moved in 1982 with the evidence he had to remove Burge from the police force and prosecute him for torture, we would not have Darrell Cannon spending 20, 25 years behind bars and not having him tortured by electric shock. So, the real crime here started many years ago with the cover-up, a cover-up that was engineered by the mayor himself.”

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