By Associated Press - Wednesday, August 19, 2020

CHICAGO (AP) - After nearly 30 years behind bars, a man who claimed he was tortured into confessing to a murder he didn’t commit by detectives working under Chicago Police Cmdr. Jon Burge is now free.

Keith Walker was released from custody last week after the Illinois attorney general’s office agreed to drop the case against Walker.

Walker, 52, claims he was forced to sign a false murder confession to the fatal 1991 shooting of a teenager from Arlington Heights. He says police beat him with a phone book and shocked his genitals. In 1994, he was sentenced to life for the murder.

“I was saddened, hurt, away from family, being incarcerated for something I never did, it was hurtful,” Walker told the Chicago Sun-Times on Wednesday. “I can never make up for that time it’s impossible.”

Walker, who is now staying with relatives in a Chicago suburb, says he is trying to get his life in order. He said he plans to reunite with his four children and keep himself busy.

“He was yet another victim of a systemic regime of racism, torture and oppression by the Chicago Police Department,” said Walker’s attorney Sean Starr.

Burge was fired in 1993 for torturing the suspect in the killing of two cops. He was convicted in federal court in 2010 of perjury and obstruction of justice after jurors found he lied when, during a contested lawsuit, he denied witnessing torture or abusing suspect. Burge spent 4½ years in prison and on home confinement. He died in 2018.

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