Chicago settles lawsuits alleging police torture for $20 million

The city of Chicago has agreed to settle for nearly $20 million lawsuits filed by four former death row inmates who alleged they were tortured by police officers and wrongly convicted, a city alderman said Friday. The settlement of the lawsuits brought by Aaron Patterson, Leroy Orange, Stanley Howard and Madison Hobley mark the latest development in one of the darkest chapters of the history of the city's police force. Alderman Ed Smith applauded the city's decision to settle the lawsuits, saying that the allegations of torture carried out by former Lt. Jon Burge and his officers is the first step in healing frayed relations between the police department and residents, particularly the black community. "To have this case settled says the city has stepped up to try to amend what a bad police commander did to the general public," said Smith. "To bring this thing to fruition says to the general public that mistakes were made and we should try to clear it up and start trying to heal."