Sunday, November 18, 2012

Police Brutality

Recently in class we have been discussing various amendments, such as the 8th amendment which is that no person detained can be treated to cruel or unusual punishment. Something that was brought up by our guest speaker this past week, was Jon Burge. Jon Burge was a former Chicago Police Detective and Commander who was convicted of torturing detainees into confessing to their alleged crime.

Jon Burge was found guilty of torturing in physical and physiological ways such as beating them up, electrocuting them, and even giving them death threats. These horrific ways of torture were used on hundreds of "convicted" criminals, who were then sent to jail because of "confessing" to their crimes. Burge was breaking many amendments like cruel and unusual punishment as well as being forced into confessing to your crime. Although Burge did end up being sentenced to federal prison for 4 and a half years, that sentence is nothing to the death sentences and over 30 year sentences that were given to the people he tortured.

Just because he was a former police officer his sentence was not nearly at all as long as it should of been. No matter how horrific his crimes were, because he was a cop it made him look better then he actually was. It also made me wonder how many other people who we see as "good guys" turn out to be "bad." It also makes me wonder how police are portrayed in the media and in the country in general. Most likely, the majority of the police officers in this country are actually helping us and keeping us safe. But what about those few other cops? How are they portrayed after being convicted of something like what Jon Burge did?

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