CHICAGO — A decorated former Chicago police lieutenant accused of suffocating, shocking and beating confessions out of scores of suspects was convicted Monday of federal perjury and obstruction of justice charges for lying about the torture.
Former Lt. Jon Burge, whose name has become synonymous with police brutality and abuse of power in the country's third-largest city, did not react as the guilty verdicts were read. None of Burge's lawyers or supporters spoke to reporters after the verdict. Burge, an Apollo Beach resident, will remain free on bond until his Nov. 5 sentencing, when he faces up to 45 years in prison.
For decades, dozens of suspects — almost all of them black men — claimed Burge and his officers tortured them into confessing to crimes ranging from armed robbery to murder.
Burge was fired t in 1993 over the alleged mistreatment of a suspect, but he never was charged in that case or any other.
U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald said "a message needs to go out that that conduct is unacceptable" and asked others who feel they have evidence of torture to come forward. He wouldn't comment on specific cases but said the investigation into torture at the hands of Chicago police remains open.