NewsNational NewsScripps News


Chicago is erecting a memorial to people abused by police

It was promised in 2015 as part of a $5.5 million reparations package to victims of the Chicago Police Department's brutality.
Chicago is erecting a memorial to people abused by cops
Posted at 7:58 PM, Jun 20, 2023

The story of Chicago's Anthony Holmes and dozens of others will be memorialized with a new monument dedicated to survivors of torture at the hands of the Chicago Police. 

Joey Mogul is the co-founder of the Chicago Torture Justice Memorials.

"When we use the word torture, we don't do so flippantly or lightly and we are not exaggerating," Mogul said. 

Former Chicago PD Cmdr. Jon Burge and his infamous "Midnight Crew" are accused of torturing more than 100 people over nearly 20 years — coercing false confessions by shocking them with cattle prods, shoving guns in their mouths and suffocating them with bags over their heads. 

Anthony Holmes is the Chicago exoneree who spoke at the press conference.

"My name is Anthony Holmes, I served 33 years in the penitentiary for a crime I didn't do," Holmes said. 

"Now we got a chance. We got to hope it has finally come through ... Because for so long, we thought that we weren't gonna get it," Holmes added. 

The future monument has been a long time coming. 

"This is another step but an essential step in righting a wrong. Removing a stain," said former Mayor Rahm Emanuel.

SEE MORE: DOJ report: Louisville police dept. violates citizens' civil rights

It was promised in 2015 as part of a $5.5 million reparations package to victims of the Chicago Police Department's brutality — the first city reparations package in the country. 

Finishing the memorial was one of new Chicago Mayor Brandon Johnson's campaign promises. 

"Do you understand how resilient we are as a people, when that type of harm can be administered by the state, and those individuals who were harmed like Anthony is calling for the healing of our people. Thank you, brother Anthony, for your incredible resilience and your love for humanity," said Mayor Johnson.

The now-deceased former Chicago officer Jon Burge is far from the only disgraced policeman to engage in years-long brutality.  "He was a gang member slash drug dealer with a badge," said Taurus Smith, a Chicago exoneree. 

In 2015, more than a dozen people had their wrongful convictions thrown out based on the corrupt practices of former Chicago PD Sgt. Ronald Watts. 

In March, 11 exonerees filed federal lawsuits against the city of Chicago and former detective Reynaldo Guevara who is accused of framing more than 70 people for murder over the course of his career. 

Anthony Holmes served 33 years in prison before he was exonerated in 2004. 

"Without this, they would keep on doing the same thing they did. Like he said — the buck stops here," Holmes said. 

He received a public apology from the Chicago Police Superintendent in 2017. 

Trending stories at