As pointed out by one of the victims, this is hardly a typical sentence. But things being what they are, it's remarkable that this police officer was convicted at all. Imagine just how bad it had to be:
(AP) CHICAGO - A decorated former police officer whose name has become synonymous with police brutality in the city was sentenced Friday to 4½ years in federal prison for lying about the torture of suspects.
Dozens of suspects — almost all of them black men — have claimed for decades that Jon Burge and his officers electrically shocked, suffocated and beat them into confessing to crimes ranging from armed robbery to murder. After the hearing, several victims and their supporters said the sentence wasn't nearly stiff enough.
"It's outrageous," said Mark Clements, who claims Burge's officers tortured him into giving a false confession in 1981 when he was 16. Tears ran down his faced and his voice rose in anger. "It's not justice."
Standing nearby, community activist Fred Hampton Jr. echoed the outrage, saying the white officer's sentence was disproportionately low compared to what others receive for lesser crimes.
"People in our community get more time than this for fist fights," said Hampton, whose father was a Black Panther leader killed by police before the Burge era.