In April 2017, the California Department of Corrections agreed to stop an ongoing trial and provide $950,000 in settlement to an ex-prisoner who in 2012 was pepper sprayed during a cell extraction and then strapped naked to a gurney for 72 hours.
Police Torture: News and Publications
On Friday, October 7th, a federal jury awarded over $1.6 million to two cousins, Miguel Conreras and Miguel Vazquez, who were beaten by batons and stomped on by Long Beach, California police officers in November 2010.
On Tuesday, May 31 2016, a Cuyahoga County, Ohio jury returned a verdict in the amount of $22 million for Arnold Black, who in 2012 was severely beaten by detective Randy Hicks. Hicks had erroneously identified Black's truck as one he had been tipped off would contain a kilogram of cocaine, and when he realized his mistake, he began to punch Black in the face and head. Hicks' partner, patrol officer Jonathan O'Leary, held Black upright during the assault.
On January 12, 2013, Pennsylvania State Police engaged Stephen R. Gracey in a dangerous vehicle pursuit near Scotland in Franklin County, P.A. Police were able to disable Gracey's vehicle; tackling and slamming him facedown to the ground. During the assault, some PA state troopers watched on while others restrained him. Several troopers piled on top of Gracey after he was down, one trooper admitted to striking him with a closed fist and kneeing him in the back.
On March 8, 2014, an incident occurred that resulted in Steve Widdowson being arrested by Sgt. Ray Corll and charged with Public Drunkenness. During the course of the arrest, Sgt. Corll struck Mr. Widdowson. Widdowson’s friend, Tami Jones, was also cited and arrested for public drunkenness. Widdowson filed a complaint with the Lancaster Bureau of Police (LBP) alleging that the force used by Corll was excessive. The Lancaster Police Bureau investigated and concluded that Mr.
On August 31, 2015, New York City agreed to pay a $450,000 settlement to Robert Hinton, who in 2012 was subjected to a brutal beating by five corrections officers and their captain in a solitary confinement unit for men classified as mentally ill at the Rikers Island jail complex. The aggressors beat Hinton's face so severely that his nose was broken and his eyes swollen shut; after their attempts to cover up the beating did not meet with success, they were fired this past January.
The Illinois Appellate Court overruled a former Cook County judge and threw out the murder conviction of a man who was tortured by a detective who had worked under former Chicago police Cmdr. Jon Burge (see more about Burge in other recent news items below).
The court found evidence that former Chicago police Detective James Pienta, who took the confession of Mr. Whirl, and had also invoked his Fifth Amendment right at Whirl's most recent hearing, had long been involved in the torture of suspects. Whirl pleaded guilty to murder after he was tortured into making a false confession.
Joey Mogul is a partner at the People’s Law Office who has represented Burge torture survivors for the last 18 years. Mogul co-founded the Chicago Torture Justice Memorials and drafted the original reparations ordinance. Here is a piece by Joey entitled Reparations: A Blueprint to Address Systemic Police Violence.
Civil rights attorney and NPAP member Joey Mogul of People’s Law Office spoke during a news conference after a City Council vote made Chicago the nation’s first city to approve reparations for victims of police torture.
Over a period of nearly 20 years, Chicago Police Cmdr. Jon Burge and his “midnight crew” tortured at least 119 people, forcing them to make confessions.