Over the past several weeks the Chicago Anti-Bashing Network (CABN) has been working with other groups to initiate a city-wide March Against Police Brutality and Racism. The march will assemble at 12 noon, Saturday, June 2nd in Touhy Park, Chicago (Clark Street, ½ block south of Jarvis) and will be held in solidarity with a march in Cincinnati on the same day.
A particular focus of this march will be the failure of Cook County States Attorney Dick Devine to deliver justice.
Anti-police brutality activists are angry at Devine for his failure to prosecute crooked cops and sheriff’s deputies in several high-profile cases, such as the gay-bashing of Terry Phalen, the police killing of LaTanya Haggerty, and the racist beating of Jeremiah Mearday. In each of these cases, internal investigations by the Sheriff’s Department and the city’s Office of Professional Standards have found law enforcement officers guilty of serious brutality, yet Devine has refused to criminally prosecute these officers. In fact, Devine contemptuously dismissed Mearday’s appeal for help as a “soap opera” claim for justice (3/25/98 Chicago Defender).
Anti-death penalty activists are upset at Devine for his refusal to allow new trials for death row inmates who likely were found guilty of crimes through the use of police torture-induced confessions, according to investigations by Amnesty International and others. They point out that Devine was the #2 man to then-States Attorney Richard M. Daley during the early 1980s, part of the time when the State’s Attorney’s office used these “confessions” to send ten Black men to death row, and dozens more to prison for long terms.
In response to community protest, the City finally fired the lead torturer, Commander Jon Burge, for “physical abuse” in February 1993, yet Devine and his predecessors never criminally prosecuted Burge nor his several known accomplices. Devine personally defended Burge in a civil rights suit brought by one of Burge’s victims and his law firm received over $800,000 in city money to defend Burge. With Devine hopelessly compromised, activists are demanding a special prosecutor to investigate these torture cases.
Besides CABN, the current list of endorsers for the march includes: Comité Exigimos Justicia, The Christian Council on Urban Affairs, Campaign to End the Death Penalty, The Justice Coalition of Greater Chicago, Latino Union of Chicago, News & Letters, International Socialist Organization, Chicago Committee to Free Mumia Abu- Jamal, Chicago Day Labor Organizing Committee, October 22nd Coalition, Chicago Direct Action Network, Prison Action Committee, Freedom Road Socialist Organization, Queer to the Left, United Church of Rogers Park, and the Chicagoland Greens.
How You Can Help:
Literature promoting the march is now available, and we need YOUR help distributing it! If you would like to get literature to distribute, or help others distribute the literature, please call us at 888.471.0874 and we will make arrangements.
If you are a leader or member of an organization which has not yet endorsed the march, we welcome your endorsement and active participation. To endorse or get more information, please call the Chicago Anti-Bashing Network at 888.471.0874 or e-mail us at: CABNstopthehate@aol.com