CHICAGO -- In 1982 a Cook County public defender checking out a client's story of police abuse walked into Citizens Alert's downtown Chicago offices looking for its files on cattle prods, according to Mary D. Powers, who still works for the watchdog organization.
The lawyer, who had been told by accused cop killer Anthony Wilson that detectives at Chicago's Calumet Area detective division, led by Cmdr. Jon Burge, had used electrical shock to torture him into a confession, was checking for similar cases.
While Citizens Alert had no files on cattle prods, the question only hinted at a larger story looming.
Over the next three decades, Burge faced growing allegations of widespread torture and abuse from dozens of criminal suspects. Now his day of reckoning nears as a two-day sentencing begins Thursday for Burge, who was convicted in June by a federal jury of lying under oath about the abuse.