Jon Burge

Jon Burge
Jon Graham Burge

(1947-12-20)December 20, 1947
DiedSeptember 19, 2018(2018-09-19) (aged 70)
EducationUniversity of Missouri (one semester)
OccupationPolice commander
EmployerChicago Police Department
Known forPolice brutality
TitleDetective Commander
Military career
AllegianceUnited States of America
Service/branchUnited States Army/United States Army Reserve
Years of service1966–1972
UnitNinth Military Police Company of the Ninth Infantry Division
Battles/warsVietnam War
AwardsBronze Star
Purple Heart
Army Commendation Medal (two)
Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry

Jon Graham Burge (December 20, 1947 – September 19, 2018) was an American police detective and commander in the Chicago Police Department who was accused of torturing more than 200 criminal suspects between 1972 and 1991 in order to force confessions.

A United States Army veteran, Burge had served tours in South Korea and Vietnam. When he returned to the South Side of Chicago, he began a career as a city police officer, ending it as a commander. Following the shooting of several Chicago law enforcement officials in 1982, the police obtained confessions that contributed to convictions of two people. One filed a civil suit in 1989 against Burge, other officers, and the city, for police torture and cover-up; Burge was acquitted in 1989 because of a hung jury. He was suspended from the Chicago Police Department in 1991 and fired in 1993.

In 2002, a four-year review revealed numerous indictable crimes and other improprieties, but no indictment was made against Burge or his officers, as the statute of limitations for the crimes had expired. In 2003, Governor George Ryan pardoned four of Burge's victims who were on death row and whose convictions were based on coerced confessions.[1][2]

In 2008, Patrick Fitzgerald, United States Attorney for Northern Illinois, charged Burge with obstruction of justice and perjury in relation to testimony in a 1989 civil suit against him for damages for alleged torture. Burge was convicted on all counts on June 28, 2010, and sentenced to four-and-a-half years in federal prison on January 21, 2011. He was released in October 2014.

Early life

Raised in the community area of South Deering on the Southeast Side of Chicago,[3] Burge was the second eldest son of Floyd and Ethel Burge. Floyd was a blue collar worker of Norwegian descent and Ethel was an aspiring fashion writer of mixed Western European descent.[4] Burge attended Bowen High School where he showed interest in the school's Junior Reserve Officers' Training Corps (JROTC). There he was exposed to military drill, weapons, leadership and military history.[3]

He attended the University of Missouri but dropped out after one semester,[4] which ended his draft deferment.[3] He returned to Chicago to work as a stock clerk in the Jewel supermarket chain in 1966.[4]

In June 1966, Burge enlisted in the army reserve and began six years of service, including two years of active duty. He spent eight weeks at a military police (MP) school in Georgia.[3] He received some training at Fort Benning, Georgia, where he learned interrogation techniques.[4] He volunteered for a tour of duty in the Vietnam War,[4] but instead was assigned as an MP trainer. He served as an MP in South Korea, gathering five letters of appreciation from superiors. On June 18, 1968, Burge volunteered for duty in Vietnam a second time,[4] and was assigned to the Ninth Military Police Company of the Ninth Infantry Division. He reported to division headquarters, where he was assigned to provide security as a sergeant at his division base camp, which was named Đồng Tâm by William Westmoreland. Burge described his military police service as time spent escorting convoys, providing security for forward support bases, supervising security for the divisional central base camp in Dong Tam, and serving a tour as a provost marshal investigator.[3]

During his military service, Burge earned a Bronze Star, a Purple Heart, the Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry and two Army Commendation Medals for valor, for pulling wounded men to safety while under fire.[4][5] Burge claimed to have no knowledge of or involvement in prisoner interrogation, brutality or torture in Vietnam. Burge was honorably discharged from the Army on August 25, 1969.[3]

Other Languages
български: Джон Бърдж
Simple English: Jon Burge
Türkçe: Jon Burge