Tag Archives: Taser

Chicago Police In Widespread Campaign of Torture of African-American Citizens with Electroshock – Using Tasers

The Chicago Tribune has reported that the Chicago Police – still supposedly recovering from the exposure of the practice of torturing African-American and Hispanic suspects into making false confessions to murders using “black box”-style electric shock devices from 1972 to 1985 – is now engaged in an even wider program of using electric shocks to torture people suspected of even minor crimes – this time using hand-held Taser weapons to do the job.  The annual number of victims of this outrageous use of electric shock to compel “co-operation” of unarmed, non-violent suspects is in the thousands.

Dozens of victims of the infamous Chicago Police Department’s torture unit – run by Commander Jon Burge
at the Area 2 headquarters – have been released from jail and many from Illinois’ now-closed Death Row in the wake of the alternative weekly “Chicago Reader”‘s expose of the Chicago Police torture program.

So, now we find out that, according to an in-depth study published by the Chicago Tribune on July 20, 2012, the Chicago Police are continuing to torture people on a daily basis in the city of Chicago – only now they use Taser weapons instead of cattle prods and black boxes.

And – big surprise – the victims of this widespread use of electroshock weapons to “control” uppity… we mean suspects who are “resisting arrests” are… black Chicagoans, who make up 32.9% of the city’s population, but 78.9% of all victims of police Tasering!  And socialists are ridiculed for characterizing the Chicago Police Department as being racist.

This obviously racist use of Taser weapons against African-Americans was blithely ignored by the Chicago Tribune study, which should come as no surprise to anyone.  Both the big pro-capitalist newspapers in Chicago – the Rupert Murdoch-owned “Sun-Times” and the “Chicago Tribune” “missed” the enormous Chicago Police Torture story, even though they must have known what was going on for years.  It was left up to the independent “alternative” weekly Chicago Reader to handle that Pulitzer-worthy coverage, which it did with gusto and persistence in the face of a complete blackout of coverage by any of the big media outlets in Chicago during the decade that the Reader revealed this stunning tale of torture at Area 2, where Jon Burge and a gang of racist cops routinely tortured predominantly black suspects into “confessing” to crimes including murder.  The State’s Attorney (run by none other than former mayor Richard M. Daley from 1980-1989) was often at the scene of these torture events, dutifully taking down the suspects’ “confessions” immediately after torture sessions.  In some cases, State’s Attorneys went in and out of the interrogation rooms to see if the suspect was “ready” to confess yet, and then left so another session of torture could commence if the suspect was not yet “ready to co-operate”.

The “Tribune” article makes much of what they see as an “ironic” aspect to the story: Tasers were originally marketed as “a tool to reduce shootings by officers”; but in Chicago, as Taser use by cops has skyrocketed, police shootings – and killings – have actually increased between 2009 and 2011.  But there’s nothing ironic about it: the Chicago cops are gun-crazy and shoot at people even in situations where the firing of police weapons places innocent bystanders in the line of police fire.  The cops in Chicago routinely pull their guns on non-violent citizens and shoot at anyone who runs away from them.  In this Democratic Party-run city, to be black and young places a person at tremendous risk for abuse at the hands of the Chicago Police.  That putting Tasers into the hands of these racist, trigger-happy cops would result in widespread shootings of black citizens with these portable torture devices is as predictable as it is unacceptable – and there’s nothing “ironic” about it.

According to the Tribune, in 2009, when only a couple hundred Chicago cops – had the Tasers, the weapons were used 195 times.  In 2010, using a grant from the Obama government, the city bought hundreds more Tasers and began deploying them across the city.  They placed at least one in every police car and gave them to tactical units and other special operations teams.  Predictably, the use of the Taser against the citizenry surged – to 840 incidents in 2011.

In the two quarters of 2012 there have been 367 uses of Tasers reported to the city’s worthless “Independent Police Review Authority”.  Those are “reported” uses – god only knows how many times the cops use these devices and don’t bother to report it.

If you live in the Democratic Party-run City of Chicago, this is the way it breaks down racially:

Race/ethnicity of person shocked with Taser, from 2009-2011 (numbers in parentheses are each ethnic group’s percentage of the city’s population):

Black: 78.9% (32.9%)

Hispanic: 13.2% (28.9%)

White non-Hispanic: 7.5% (31.7%)

Other: 0.4% (~6.5)

[Note: these racial categories are from the Tribune’s analysis of the Independent Police Review Authority’s reports.  Wikipedia’s entry for “Chicago, IL” has a more complex breakdown based on the 2010 US Census.  We have used a rough combination of the two to give approximate percentages so they add up to 100%.  On top of all this confusion, the IPRA’s data leaves out the ethnicity of 80 reported victims of police Tasering.  See Wikipedia: “Chicago” ]

The neighborhoods that suffer most at the hands of the Chicago Police Department’s mobile torture units are in the heavily black west and south sides.

Such is life in the city from whence the United States’ first black president came.   In 2011, the IPRA reports that there were 60 shootings of “suspects” by police:  that is “shootings” with “guns”.  80% of the people shot were African-American.

The Chicago Police Department claimed that the reason the police were shooting and Tasering more is because there were more incidents where the police were being assaulted by suspects.  Unfortunately for the  cops, their own statistics show that simply isn’t true: according to the Chicago Police Department itself, the number of “batteries” of police officers by suspects actually declined from 2009 to 2011, from 3,299 incidents to 3,105.

Damned facts!  Always getting in the way of the “spin doctors” of the Chicago Police Department!

And here are some more facts that should make the Chicago Police Department uncomfortable: their use of Tasers on the very young and the elderly.

“Forty-nine boys and girls under age 16, including children young as 8, were shocked from 2009 through 2011.  Chicago Police used Tasers on 11 people 60 or older, the oldest being an 82-year old man who was listed as having an irregular heartbeat after the encounter”.


You can find the source articles via the links we posted above.  We especially recommend the series of articles by John Conroy of the Chicago Reader which revealed the use of torture techniques in Area 2 by Jon Burge and his racist cohorts.