CITY HALL — Mayor Rahm Emanuel issued an apology Wednesday for the police torture committed under notorious Cmdr. Jon Burge, but urged the city to "reconcile the past" and "move on."
The City Council on Wednesday formally approved $6.15 million settlements to both Ronald Kitchen and Marvin Reeves, co-defendants in a 1988 multiple-murder case in which they were convicted after Kitchen's false confession compelled by torture. Cook County courts dismissed the cases and granted them certificates of innocence 21 years later.
In a statement after the settlement approval, Kitchen attacked Burge and former Mayor Richard M. Daley, who was Cook County state's attorney at the time of many of the Burge torture cases.
"No amount of money can give me and my family back what was so viciously stolen from me by Burge, Daley and all of those who worked with them," Kitchen said. "It upsets me greatly that Mayor Emanuel refuses to apologize to Marvin Reeves, myself and our families for all the harm that Burge, the Chicago police and former Mayor Richie Daley did to us and to all the many torture victims."
Kitchen's attorneys also called for Cook County President Toni Preckwinkle to apologize.
After Wednesday's City Council meeting, Emanuel pointed to the settlements, adding, "This is a way of saying all of us are sorry about what happened here in the city."
Emanuel called it "a stain on the city's reputation" and said, "This is a dark chapter of the history of the City of Chicago."
Yet he added, "We have to close the books on this. We have to reconcile the past.
"That is not who we are," Emanuel said, adding the city and the Police Department had learned from past mistakes and adopted "a new way of doing business."
Pressed on whether that constituted a formal apology, Emanuel said, "I am sorry this happened. Let us all now move on."
Preckwinkle's office did not immediately respond to requests for comment.