Since the first reports of Chicago police torture surfaced a quarter century ago the list has swelled to nearly 200 cases involving dozens of public employees—and still no one has been prosecuted. Now, with the results of a four-year, multimillion dollar investigation due any day, here’s a guide by staff reporter John Conroy to the key figures in the scandal. Some of them may look familiar.
Three officers are known to have been granted immunity from prosecution by the special prosecutor: MICHAEL HOKE, Commander PATRICK GARRITY, and former detective DANIEL MCWEENY. Garrity is not considered a regular member of the Burge gang but does figure prominently in the case of Madison Hobley, one of four victims pardoned by Governor Ryan. McWeeny appears more regularly, sometimes as the detective who comes in after the torture to take the victim’s confession.
The names of other officers who have testified before the Burge grand jury have not been revealed, but court records list the names of police officers who participated in arrests and interrogations. Many have been deposed in the last few years in active civil suits and other proceedings related to the torture of suspects. Under questioning, the vast majority took the Fifth. They’ve likely also been subpoenaed to appear before the special prosecutor’s grand jury. The 26 officers and former officers listed below have either invoked their Fifth Amendment privileges when questioned about the torture or declared their intention to do so in documents related to ongoing civil suits. According to People’s Law Office attorney Flint Taylor, nine more officers have taken the Fifth, but their depositions are under seal.
Former assistant deputy superintendent
An archive of John Conroy's reporting on the police torture scandal is available at chicagoreader.com/policetorture.