Chicago aldermen on Tuesday relived the nightmare of police torture by former Lt. Jon Burge -- and came away more determined than ever to cut off $2 million in annual pension payments to Burge and his Area 2 cohorts and their $10 million legal defense.
"We have to find a way to deal with this man. We can't allow him to live off the fat of this city . . . Jon Burge is not going to lay up and rest and sleep every night thinking he's out of this, because we are not going to quit," said Ald. Ed Smith (28th).
"The will is growing stronger and stronger" to cut off the financial spigot to Burge, who is retired and living in Florida, said Police Committee Chairman Isaac Carothers (29th).
During a daylong hearing that reopened old wounds, a videotape of three Burge victims was played, recounting the now-infamous torture including pulling plastic bags and typewriter covers over the heads of suspects, beating them with telephone books, handcuffing them to radiators and administering electric shocks to their genitals.
Aldermen also watched Burge repeatedly take the Fifth Amendment during a 2004 deposition when asked what he did to those offenders -- and whether he tossed the device used to shock suspects into submission over the deck of his private boat and into Lake Michigan.
The only question Burge answered directly was whether he received a city pension. His answer: "yes" -- roughly $2,500 a month.
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