Most Juveniles that were tortured in Chicago were deprived of fundamental safeguards

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July 6, 2016 by socialaction2014

First and foremost let me be up front, I support CPAC, I support this piece of legislation because I believe had it been enacted during the Burge scandal, Burge and his detectives would have been off the force for many decades, fired and in prison. Let me describe to you all how police torture was not the only link to Burge and his detectives that something was off course inside our interrogation rooms inside Chicago police stations.
Since the earlier 1970’s Chicago police torture had been denied by the city of Chicago until on May 6, 2015 mayor Rahm Emanuel announced that torture reparations would be provided to some torture survivors that served prison terms and through negotiations with the city some men that were incarcerated were able to collect a share of the 5.5 million dollar pot, that was divided among a hand few men that were labelled as youth survivors.
Often what has been ignored by our criminal justice system is the fact that some of the victims of Jon Burge tortures were youth, with one being as young as 13 years old. Many were taken to Chicago police stations absent their parents or a guardian, and when requested to have their parents or a guardian present, they were often denied and abused inside interrogation rooms across the city of Chicago. What many people in society fail to acknowledge is that Burge and his subordinates were skillful detectives that were trained to ensure that they apply forms of coercion to vulnerable suspects to extract false confessions. Police officers have taken an oath and sworn to uphold the law, but often they have been the ones that have violated the law without impunity.
When juvenile suspects are arrested, they are required to be turned over to a youth officer, provided with opportunity to contact their parents to inform them that they are housed at a police station. In Chicago this did not occur, and it has often not occurred even with the admission of cops that they did not make any reasonable attempt to notify the youths parent or guardian, once taking a minor suspect into police custody.

#CPACNOW (CPAC)
In the city of Chicago this safeguard is often violated and has been violated by certain police officers without any fear of discipline by the Chicago police department. The Illinois General Assembly enacted this legislation to best safeguard the right of youthful offenders that would be accused of crimes and because of their vulnerability. In most cases of Chicago police torture that involve a youth, suspects have testified how police officers have violated their safeguards inside police stations, however its been prosecutors and judge’s that have been allowed to undercut the law to favor the position of police officers that intentionally violate the law to obtain arrest and convictions through tainted evidence and coercion.
1991-In the case of People Vs. Jakes a 15 year old boy taken to a police station for questioning in regards to a murder he witness. Jakes was interrogated by police for an extensive period as he was a witness to one murder and labelled as a murderer in another case. Jakes was deprived of a guardian while at the police station and he was tortured to confess.

Chicago police officers have sworn under oath to uphold the law, but have been found liable at tax payers expense…not obeying it often

This same practice was permitted in the case of 15 year old Johnny Plummer, 16 year old Harold Hill, and a list of others. Officers testified just recently in the Jakes case and stated that they did not know that they had to contact a youth parents, and contradicted themselves several times as to why they did not follow this law. In the Jakes case and others when officers admit that they did not follow safeguards to protect the interest of youth, we need judge’s that will hold this safeguard applicable to cases that involved torture.
This same practice likewise occurred in the cases of Vincent Patterson and Carl Williams who was just 16 years old. Judge’s must take into serious consideration with review of these cases as they relate to torture, the vulnerability of these suspects and the high risk probability each were placed in under the care of Burge and his subordinates. Our adult courts have often gotten it wrong when it has come to youth, placing them in harms way and even greater danger through its failure to correct flaws within our criminal justice system that are enacted to safeguard the weak and vulnerable.
Police officers that have violated this law are equally accountable as if they tortured or abused a child, however they have been immune from all accountability by the city, police department, and judge’s, while at free will violating youth rights to gain arrest and convictions. What our privileged judge’s need to acknowledge amounts to nothing more then to follow the law and if police officers implement illegal practices to obtain confessions, that confession must be deem a violation of the poisonous tree doctrine.
Yes! Burge and his subordinates tortured confessions, however in cases of youth the freedom and liberty needed to carry out the act of torture upon a youth suspect was made easy through police intentional failure to notify youth parents they were at police stations and in some cases for police to inform parents of the appropriate police station the youth was being held at. These gaps in a youth having access to their parents make all the difference in the world and openly provide police officers with the space needed to carry out their acts of torture.
Yes! the laws have changed and today youth that are question by police and make a confession in the presence of a police officer is afforded with having it video taped, however video tape confessions have not went unchallenged as police officers have fought to gain rights to limit safeguards of criminal suspects, and in some cases have won the right to continue illegal practices that afford them with the wiggle room to continue deprivation of a youth rights.
Each police officer that can be well documented and identified who openly and intentionally violated the rights of youth suspects inside Chicago police stations, through the failure to notify their parents must be held accountable. Chicago is known as the home of false confessions, however we have a entire establishment of judge’s and prosecutors that act as if they cannot understand the importance of this right and the reasons why police would violate this right. Bias and unethical treatment that is shown to police officers by some judge’s and prosecutors who over look this violation to gain convictions, it must come to a end.
Those that were fundamentally flawed from receiving full, fair and impartial hearings based on the claim of torture must raise this issue. Lawyers must start to question judge’s, why was this law enacted if it had no teeth to force police, prosecutors, and judge’s to provide safeguards to youth and for police officers to be held accountable upon violation of this law. The office of professional standard who was enacted by the city of Chicago to investigate mistreatment upon suspects, they have often ignored this right, they have often found no fault with police officers that have violated it, even when police officers have confessed. This same practice continued often until the early 2000’s.
Chicago needs a change, Chicago has been affected over and over by the same toxic conditions that have affected the community in a negative manner. I support the enactment of CPAC in Chicago not because of what someone have told me, but because I know it will be an effective and productive agency that will hold police officers and even prosecutors accountable. The people must be the one’s to step in with power to clean up the conduct of police officers. No Judge will bring us justice over the people who could be elected to sit and hear cases of police crimes. We need a independent elected police council. If CPAC was enacted at which time Burge and his subordinates tortured suspects and deprived them of their parents to carry out acts of torture, I believe we would have nearly 60 police detectives behind prison walls and it would serve to other police officers as a deter that police misconduct will not be accepted.
Sincerely:
Mark Clements, former juvenile lifer, torture survivor, and Board Member with the Campaign to End the Death Penalty
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