Righting Injustice: Minister Louis Farrakhan Supports Jon Burge Torture Victims
In 1990, Chicago native Cortez Brown, 19, was charged and found guilty of the murders of two men and was sentenced to death for the crimes. After having his sentenced commuted to life in prison, Brown filed an appeal alleging that he confessed to the murders after Chicago Police detective Jon Burge and his team of rogue officers beat him into making a false confession.
Now 38, Brown is still fighting for his freedom and his case has captured the attention of Minister Louis Farrakhan and other prominent members of the black community. Recently, Farrakhan hosted a rally for Brown and other victims of Burge’s tactics and police corruption. Joined by Rev. Michael Pfleger; Brown’s attorney, Locke Bowman; and Alderman Ed Smith, Farrakhan led a rousing community rally at Life Center Church of God and Christ.
According to a report compiled by the Ministry of Justice for the Nation of Islam, between the years of 1972 and 1991, 135 Black men and women were arrested and tortured by Burge and his henchman. In many of these incidents, the victims were forced to admit to crimes they didn’t commit.
During the address, Bowman, Pfleger and Farrakhan shared their thoughts on the issue. Below are some of most memorable quotes from the event. Brown is set for a hearing April 29 in Chicago.
–gavin philip godfrey
Attorney Locke Bowman
“Everyone knows that John Burge and the men that worked for him were torturers. The courts have said it was an open secret and obvious. Cortez Brown — from the day he was arrested he said, ‘These folks took me and hid me from my family. I said to them, I want to speak to a lawyer. They laughed at me.’ ”
Rev. Michael Pfleger
“John Burge and his team of torture officers forced confessions and caused people to say and admit to things because they were scared of dying — admitting confessions in order just to live. No human being should have to go through that kind of torture and that kind of misery and fear …”
Min. Louis Farrakhan
“Every time an act of injustice is done, you strengthen the enemy. All of the wickedness that has been carried on by government has strengthened the enemies of America. … Nobody can teach hate better than the perpetrators of injustice. When you do to people what was done [to these torture victims], it’s only a miracle that they don’t hate.”