U.S. News

Chicago to pay $4.75 million in police misconduct cases

CHICAGO (Reuters) - Chicago will pay $4.75 million in settlements in two cases stemming from police misconduct after the city council voted to approve the payments on Wednesday.

Shawn Whirl, who spent nearly 25 years in prison after being tortured into confessing a murder, was awarded a settlement of $4 million.

Whirl’s compensation was the latest in a string of city payments linked to torture carried out by disgraced former Chicago police commander Jon Burge and those who worked under him, which have cost the city millions.

Burge, a police officer starting in 1970, and the detectives under his command were accused of forcing confessions from black suspects by using electric shocks from a homemade device, suffocation with plastic covers and mock executions.

Burge was fired in 1993 and later convicted of lying about police torture in testimony he gave in civil lawsuits.

Chicago approve reparations for the victims in 2015 and began paying them last year.

Whirl was coerced by a Chicago police detective into confessing to the 1990 murder of Billy Williams on the city’s south side, according to the National Registry of Exonerations.

Whirl, who was 20 years old at the time, was sentenced in 1991 to 60 years in prison, but was exonerated in 2015. He filed a lawsuit against the city following his release alleging his was a victim of a “pattern of systemic torture and physical abuse of African-American suspects,” according to court documents.

Also on Wednesday, the estate of Willie Miller was awarded $750,000.

Miller was 25 when he was fatally shot by police in April 2010, according to the Chicago Tribune.

Police said that Miller pointed a gun at them during a confrontation. But a gun found around 15 feet from Miller could not be linked to him, the newspaper reported.

Reporting by Timothy Mclaughlin in Chicago, editing by G Crosse