Inside, Detective Kenneth Boudreau was speaking on a panel at the 2013 International Gang Specialist Training Conference on “The Chicago Police Department’s Gang School Safety Team.” Boudreau is among a number of Chicago police officers accused of torturing suspects in custody under the command of Lt. Jon Burge at Police Area 2 in Chicago during the 1970s, 1980s and early ’90s. Boudreau has been named in 38 such cases.
In 2006 special prosecutors assigned to probe torture allegations determined there was sufficient evidence to convict Burge and others, but no charges could be brought because the federal five-year statute of limitations for the crime had passed. Burge, however, was convicted in June 2010 on federal charges of perjury and obstruction of justice for lying in a civil lawsuit about the torture. In January 2011 he was sentenced to four and a half years in prison.
“Why should my son be in jail while Boudreau still walks the streets?” said Jeanette Plummer, speaking through a megaphone to picket line participants and passersby. “My son was 15 years old when Boudreau tortured him. What Boudreau did was criminal.”
Plummer’s son Johnnie was arrested in August 1991 and interrogated by Boudreau and other detectives about a murder he insists he had nothing to do with. He was allegedly threatened and beaten by officers Michael Kill and Boudreau until he provided self-incriminating statements and was subsequently sentenced to 50 years in prison. He is a named plaintiff in a class-action petition filed last November seeking new hearings for the more than 100 still-incarcerated victims.
“My son, Marcus Wiggins, was 13 years old when he was tortured by Boudreau and other officers into making a false confession,” said Caroline Johnson. “How can a man who tortured children be asked to speak about children’s safety? Boudreau and all those who did what he did should be in jail.”
Joining Plummer and Johnson in speaking at the picket were cop torture victim Mark Clements, who won release after serving 28 years in prison; Wallace Bradley, a leader of the fight to win release of torture survivors; Annabel Perez, mother of Jaime Haude, who was tortured by Chicago police; Ted Pearson of the Chicago Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression; attorney Elliot Zinger; and John Hawkins of the Socialist Workers Party.
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