- Associated Press - Thursday, October 2, 2014

CHICAGO (AP) - Some men who said they were tortured by Jon Burge on Thursday renewed calls for compensation from the city of Chicago as the former police commander left a North Carolina federal prison for a halfway house in Florida.

Anthony Holmes is among more than 100 men who have accused Burge and officers under his command of shocking, suffocating and beating them into giving false confessions.

Holmes, 69, said he still has nightmares about being shocked and having a plastic bag put over his head by Burge in order to force a murder confession out of him. He spent 30 years in prison before being released.

“I need some help. I still have nightmares. I don’t know what withdrawals they can help me from. But if they can help vets who came back from Vietnam, then they can help me,” said Holmes, whose conviction hasn’t been overturned.

Burge, 66, has never been criminally charged with torture, but he was convicted in 2010 of lying about it in a civil case. Burge is serving a 4 1/2-year sentence for lying about the torture in a civil case. He left the Federal Correctional Institute in Butner, North Carolina to serve the remainder of his time in a halfway house in Tampa. He is scheduled to leave federal custody in February 2015.

Holmes and others are pushing for an ordinance that has languished in the City Council for more than a year that would require Chicago establish a $20 million fund to compensate 94 torture victims who couldn’t sue, either because the city concealed wrongdoing, or because, as in Holmes’ case, the statute-of-limitations expired.

Flint Taylor, a Chicago attorney who has represented alleged Burge torture victims, said most have gotten no compensation, and a fund would “level the playing field a little bit.” He said $20 million is the amount the city has spent defending Burge and other officers who took part in torture.

“This is not an apology, but takes it to the next level … to something more concrete,” he said.

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