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Men identified as victims of police torture under the command of retired Chicago Police Commander Jon Burge, stand to be recognized by the Chicago City Council city council, May 6, 2015, in Chicago.
Charles Rex Arbogast—AP
Darrell Cannon falsely confessed after being tortured by Chicago police in 1983 and served 24 years in prison.

Last week, the City of Chicago passed legislation awarding $5.5 million in reparations to me and more than 100 others who were tortured by detectives under the command of former Chicago Police Commander Jon Burge.

When we started the battle for justice, we came in to it with a glass that was totally empty. Since the passing of the reparations, the glass is now half full. We still need hearings for the men in prison who have alleged that they were also tortured. Until we can get that done, and until we can take away the pensions of those degenerates, I’m not satisfied. Until the glass is totally full, the work must continue.

My experience with Burge and his men is a hellish nightmare that will stay with me for as long as I live. They electrocuted me on my testicles. They played mock Russian roulette with me with a shotgun. They ended up chipping my two front teeth and splitting my upper lip. They tried to hang me by my handcuffs while my hands were cuffed behind my back. Throughout the day they kept beating me on my knee with one of the police flashlights. My knee is still bad to this day as result of that.

I gave a false confession, and I was charged with murder by accountability. The judicial system robbed me as well by not letting my attorneys ask any of the detectives under oath about past misdeeds and allegations. I had to go through years and years and years of fighting a judicial system that wanted to protect those sadistic individuals. I spent 24 years in prison. I was tortured all over again, only it was psychological now, instead of physical.

It’s been an uphill battle, and I have overcome many hurdles. But the war is not over yet, and I will continue to do all I can to bring this ugly chapter to a screeching halt. The men still in prison who need hearings are depending on me to make as much noise as humanly possible until justice takes its course. Once I’ve achieved those objections, then I might take a vacation.

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