Darrell Cannon, Chicago, Illinois, photograph by Amanda Rivkin

Darrell Cannon, Chicago, Illinois, photograph by Amanda Rivkin

Between the 1970s and 80s, over 100 African American men were brutally tortured at Chicago’s Area 2 Police Headquarters under the command of Jon Burge. For the past three decades, the victims and their families have been seeking justice and punishment for Burge and the Chicago police officers who committed the acts of torture. 

The Police Torture Archive is a resource published by the Pozen Family Center for Human Rights and the Invisible Institute. It includes documents collected by the People’s Law Office of the trials, interrogations, and other court proceedings involving the victims of Chicago Police torture. 

The Police Torture Archive is free and open to the public. We wish to serve as a resource to journalists doing research, the Chicago Torture Justice Center, the Chicago Public Schools developing curriculum, educators, historians, activists, and advocates.

Other helpful resources: Chicago Torture Justice Memorials Project, and the Jon Burge Torture Index.  


View the archive here: POLICE TORTURE ARCHIVE


Table of Contents:

1.  Torture Victims and Witnesses who Support Torture Claims (723 available / 825)

This folder contains testimonies, depositions, and exhibitions of each of the victims of the Chicago Police torture and other witnesses, including expert witness Anthony Bouza. 

2.  Torture Findings: Admissions, Decisions, Docs, Opinions, Pleadings (188 available / 194)

This folder contains memos and statements regarding the various torture cases. Opinions by Drs. Robert Kirschner and Antonio Martinez as well as the city of Chicago’s admissions of a pattern of torture are also included.

3.  Police: SAO, City, Testimonies, Statements, Docs, Photos (4,042 available / 4,499)

This folder contains testimonies and other documents of each of the police officers sued for Area 2 and 3 torture. It also includes depositions and statements of other witnesses, interrogations and complaint answers of the police officers, and photos of Areas 1, 2, and 3, and Jon Burge’s Florida property.

4.  OPS Goldston Sanders: Police Foundation Report (10)

This folder contains analyses and reports written by the Office of Professional Standards investigators (OPS) Goldston and Sanders. Also included are OPS investigative reports, summaries, and press releases.

5.  Media: Torture Articles (873)

This folder contains various articles from the media, including the New York Times and the Washington Post, covering the torture cases and final decisions. Blogs, articles, and other works by John Conroy are also included.

5A.  Daley and Devine (190 available / 194)

This folder contains statements and depositions of then State Attorney Richard M Daley and his first assistant Richard Devine. Also included are articles covering this aspect of the cases. 

6.  Special Prosecutor Reports and Evidence (1802 available / 2,011)

This folder contains special reports, including the Report of the Special State’s Attorney by Special Prosecutor Edward Egan, and working documents on the tried police officers and other witnesses. 

7.  Shadow Torture Reports (63)

This folder contains supplementary and final reports, such as the 2007 “Report on the Failure of Special Prosecutors Edward J. Egan and Robert D. Boyle to Fairly Investigate Police Torture in Chicago”, made to US Attorney (N.D. IL) Patrick Fitzgerald, City Council Members, and US Congressmen. Also included is testimony of Special Prosecutor Edward Egan. 

8.  Summaries of Evidence (49)

This folder contains documents on the torture evidence as well as documents and lists on the torture victims and timelines on the pattern of Chicago police torture.

9.  City Council Hearings, Resolutions and Ordinance (29)

This folder contains transcripts of the 2007 City Council Police Torture hearing as well as later statements on the resolutions and early reparations from October 16, 2013. It also includes condemnations of police torture, press releases, and other proposed anti-torture ordinances.

10. County Board Hearing (9)

This folder contains statements, exhibits, and resolutions on the Cook County Board Hearing of 2007.

11. Defense Payments, Pensions (336)

This folder contains information on defense fees and finance committee reports. Also included is information on Jon Burge’s pension.

12. Torture Statutes (14)

This folder contains torture statutes and bills, including the Law Enforcement Torture Prevention Act of 2011, proposed to the US House of Representatives.

13. US v Burge (139)

This folder contains court orders, testimony, trial notes, and other documents related to the US v. Burge case (US District Court, N.D. ILO 2008, No. 08 CR00846). Jon Burge was tried and convicted of obstruction of justice and perjury for lying about the use of torture.

14. Street Files Evidence (47)

This folder contains hearing transcripts and depositions regarding the street files litigation from 1982 to 1986. The “street files” refer to the secret police files in which evidence favorable to the criminal defendants was systematically hidden. 

15. Reports (5)

This folder contains the Wickersham Commission Reports of 1931 and the North Carolina Connection to Extraordinary Rendition and Torture Report of 2012.

16. Video (1)

This folder contains clips from various media coverage of the Chicago Police torture cases.

17. Torture Photos and Documents (40)

This folder contains photos of torture victims Andrew Wilson and Aaron Patterson, as well as miscellaneous memos, receipts, and other papers.

18. 1992 Police Board Transcript (5)

This folder contains four volumes of transcripts on Police Board cases against Commander Jon Burge, Detective Patrick O’Hara, and Detective John Yucaitis in 1992 (No. 1856, 1857, 1858).

19. Patterson Court Pleadings 2003 to 2006 (285)

This folder contains motions, exhibits, and responses from the Aaron Patterson Court pleadings (US District Court, N.D. ILO, No. 03 C4433)

20. States Attorneys, Judges (24)

This folder contains information on the Assistant State Attorney (ASA) command structure and on the judges who sat on the various cases.