The Burge Affair: A Look Back from the Front Row


During the 1980s and 1990s, Chicago Police Commander Jon Burge was the target of allegations that he and others tortured suspects into falsely confessing to crimes. As a result, the City of Chicago has been a key participant in civil litigation, costing tax payers more than $100 million to date.

The wrongfully convicted have been released from prison, and Burge himself was incarcerated for perjury. How did such a destructive person elude prosecution for so long? How did all this litigation play out in the courtrooms?

Join us as Mark Iris takes us through a sordid chapter in Chicago’s history and explains its far-reaching impact. Iris, PhD, is a lecturer at Northwestern University and former executive director of the Chicago Police Board.


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