Past Event

Reparations for Torture Survivors?

Last month Mayor Rahm Emmanuel said decades of torture by police officers of African American suspects under former Police Commander Jon Burge was a “dark chapter in the history of the city of Chicago” and a “stain on the city’s reputation.” But has justice been done? What would reparations for Burge’s victims look like? View the new exhibit “Reparations On My Soul” and join the In These Times “Hot Off the Press Party” after this conversation with First Ward Alderman Joe Moreno and Flint Taylor, founding partner of the People’s Law Office. 

“A little more than a month after Mayor Rahm Emanuel apologized for torture committed by former Chicago Police Cmdr. Jon Burge and detectives under his command, Aldermen Proco Joe Moreno (1st) and Howard B. Brookins, Jr. (21st) filed an ordinance in Chicago’s City Council Wednesday that would allocate $20 million toward redress to torture victims and their families. The ordinance would create a commission to administer financial compensation to victims as well as a medical, psychological and vocational center on the South Side…These measures would be a step toward healing the ‘scourge of Burge,’ Brookins said, which continues to haunt relations between the city’s African American community and the police.”
Questions For Consideration:
What does justice look like for torture survivors and their families? Why is it or isn’t it important for the city to take steps towards reparation? How can we ensure that this history doesn’t repeat itself? How has media coverage of the torture scandal evolved and changed over the years?
Want to learn more?

“Reparations On My Soul,” a new exhibit by the Chicago Torture Justice Memorials at Art In These Times, explores reparations as a meaningful act of redress for survivors of torture. This exhibit displays works by local and national artists that imagine speculative memorials recalling the city’s history of police torture and the struggle against it.

Flint Taylor is one of the lawyers for a number of men tortured by Chicago police under Commander Jon Burge, and a founding partner of the People’s Law Office, a civil rights law firm whose attorneys have been fighting for victims of police torture, brutality, wrongful convictions, false arrest and other government abuses for over 40 years. For more information about the People’s Law Office and its work visit

Free and open to the public. For more information please call 312.422.5580.

If you need a sign interpreter or require other arrangements to fully participate, please call 312.422.5580. For parking locations near the facility, please visit