“Torture can be an open secret in a democratic society. Apparently, successive Chicago police superintendents suppressed internal investigations that revealed torture, successive state’s attorneys knew of the torture but refused to investigate, and the state’s Felony Review Unit knowingly elicited and used tortured confessions. Approximately one-third of the current Cook County criminal court judges are former assistant state’s attorneys or Area 2 detectives who were involved in the torture cases. Courts and the public will also look the other way.” – Darius Rejali, Torture and Democracy
La Mostra – Cibo spazzatura e alimenti sani Cosa “siamo” de Chicago al Carso, Il Piccolo di Trieste, 1 marzo 2016, p. 25.
Mayor of Chicago Announces Measures to Curb Use of Deadly Force by the Police by Mitch Smith December 30, 2015 CHICAGO — Under intense pressure to change the behavior of the police force, Mayor Rahm Emanuel on Wednesday announced a series of steps intended to rein in the use of deadly force, promising to buy hundreds of Tasers and to train officers to be less confrontational. […]
An image of mine from Chicago’s Black Friday protests on Michigan Avenue, Chicago’s “Magnificent Mile” and longest shopping street, following the release of a dashcam video of police shooting Laquan McDonald is included in the best news pictures of the year selected by my agency, Corbis Images. You can view the entire gallery on their website.
This was a year of terrorist attacks, mass shootings a-plenty, mass exodus from the Middle East, North and East Africa and the AfPak region which does not include India but a small number from Bangladesh, rising xenophobic far right sentiment, and an uptick in hostility towards Muslims unprecedented since immediately after the September 11, 2001 attacks. The far right so far has been kept on the back burner, but the slow slide into what I liken to the Brezhnev years of the Cold War for the Global War on Terror (GWoT) years is upon us. The American presidential elections offer little reason or occasion for hope. The state of affairs in Syria, too, offers little occasion for hope. “Assad must go” has converted into the new “red line,” as US Secretary of State John Kerry concedes Assad can stay because the US has no one else to pluck out of an abyss of alternatives. The whole world has heard of the Islamic State and the international media relishes any opportunity to put the group’s name …
I was quoted briefly late last week in a Deutsche Welle article, “A rare win for accountability advocates in Chicago,” in connection with my efforts to document the stories and faces of the torture victims of Area 2 and Area 3 from 1973-1991 under former Chicago Police Commander Jon Burge: For the first time in 35 years, a Chicago officer faces a first-degree murder charge for an on-duty fatality. The period includes scores of police killings and 20 dismissed complaints alleging bias, violence and illegal searches by Van Dyke. It also includes many of the years in which Chicago police ran a torture regime in which more than 200 men, the vast majority of them black, were shocked, beaten and subjected to mock executions. In May, the city council agreed to pay out $5.5 million to survivors of the program, many of whom spent years in prison after confessing under duress to crimes they had not committed. The city also continues to pay Commander Jon Burge, who ran the program, a $3,000 monthly pension. “His …
If you follow my Instagram account (@amandarivkin) or my photography Facebook page, you have noticed I have been busy the last few days photographing the 2016 Chicago Taxi Driver Calendar. Each day I am featuring one of our calendar cabbies along with some fun facts and highlighting different moments from behind the scenes of our shoot. Taxi drivers provide an essential service like police, firemen, food industry workers or EMTs. Sales of the calendar and Mr. February tote bags (below) will begin at midnight tonight in time for Black Friday in the U.S. Proceeds will benefit the legal costs for a suit against the City of Chicago on behalf of the taxi drivers.