Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

United States v. Burge

October 27, 2009

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, PLAINTIFF,
v.
JON BURGE, DEFENDANT.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Judge Joan H. Lefkow

OPINION AND ORDER

On October 16, 2008, Jon Burge, a commander within the Chicago Police Department ("the Department") during the 1980s and early 1990s, was indicted based on allegedly false interrogatory answers he submitted in Hobley v. Jon Burge, et al., No. 03 C 3678, a civil rights case filed in this court (referred to herein as "Hobley"). The two sets of interrogatories at issue concerned Burge's participation in and knowledge of an alleged pattern and practice of physical abuse and torture of the Department's Area Two detainees. Counts I and III charge Burge with obstructing justice in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1512(c)(2) by signing false answers to the first and second sets of interrogatories propounded in Hobley. Count II charges Burge with perjury in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1621(1). Presently before the court are the following motions filed by Burge:

(1) dismiss the indictment for failure to state an offense, because it is duplicitous and for various other defects [#50];

(2) to strike [#45];

(3) to dismiss on the basis of preindictment delay [#77];

(4) to produce exculpatory and impeachment information [#51];

(5) for discovery and hearing on issue of grand jury abuse [#57, 67]; and

(6) various other motions in limine [#34, 35, 37, 39, 41, 43, 47, 48]. The court's ruling on each motion is set forth below.

RELEVANT FACTS*fn1

I. The Allegedly False Statements at Issue in this Case

Hobley, filed in this court on May 30, 2003, alleged civil rights violations by Burge and several police detectives, and the City of Chicago. The 16-count amended complaint alleged that in January 1987, while investigating an arson that killed Hobley's wife and infant son, Area Two detectives, whom Burge commanded, attempted to coerce a confession from Hobley through torture, by beating him, suffocating him with a plastic typewriter cover, using racially offensive language and repeatedly threatening him. See Hobley Am. Compl. ¶¶ 12-14, 16-18. Hobley alleged that the detectives, unable to coerce him into making a confession, manufactured a false oral confession, planted incriminating evidence, withheld exculpatory evidence and bribed witnesses, all with intent to falsely implicate him at trial. Id. ¶¶ 20-29. He alleged that his injuries were caused by "a pattern and practice of misconduct which occurred with Defendant Burge's knowledge and consent in his supervisory capacity," id. ¶ 30, and that the City of Chicago was responsible for his injuries because the Department had a policy and practice of tolerating, even condoning, the officers' conduct. Id. ¶¶ 35, 49-56. Hobley's claims included numerous violations of due process and equal protection under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, and a Monell claim against the City based on its failure to adequately train, supervise, control, and discipline its officers.

In discovery, Hobley's attorneys propounded two sets of interrogatories regarding Burge's participation in and knowledge of the alleged pattern and practice of torture at Area Two.*fn2 The first set of interrogatories and Burge's November 12, 2003 responses thereto are as follows:

QUESTION #13: State whether you have ever used methods, procedures or techniques involving any form of verbal or physical coercion of suspects while in detention or during interrogation, such as deprivation of sleep, quiet, food, drink, bathroom facilities, or contact with legal counsel and/or family members; the use of verbal and/or physical threats or intimidation, physical beatings, or hangings; the use of racial slurs or profanity; the use of physical restraints, such as handcuffs; the use of photographs or polygraph testing; and the use of physical objects to inflict pain, suffering or fear, such as firearms, telephone books, typewriter covers, radiators, or machines that deliver an electric shock. For each such use of verbal or physical coercion identify the detainee(s) and/or suspect(s), any other officers or individuals involved, the date of the incident, the specific conduct in which you or any officer engaged, and whether you or any other officer was the subject of any complaint or discipline as a result of said conduct.

ANSWER: Defendant objects to Interrogatory no. 13 because said question is overly broad, unduly vague, ambiguous and calls for a legal conclusion. Subject to and without waiving said objection, I have never used any techniques set forth above as a means of improper coercion of suspects while in detention or during interrogation.

QUESTION #14: State whether you were aware of any Chicago Police Officer, including but not limited to officers under your command, ever using methods, procedures or techniques involving any form of verbal or physical coercion of suspects whole in detention or during interrogation, such as deprivation of sleep, quiet, food, drink, bathroom facilities, or contact with legal counsel and/or family members; the use of verbal and/or physical threats or intimidation, physical beatings, or hanging; the use of racial slurs or profanity; the use of physical restraints, such as handcuffs; the use of photographs or polygraph testing; and the use of physical objects to inflict pain, suffering or fear, such as firearms, telephone books, typewriter covers, radiators, or machines that deliver an electric shock. For each such use of verbal or physical coercion identify the detainee(s) and/or suspect(s), any other officers or individuals involved, the date of the incident, the specific conduct in which you or any officer engaged, and whether you or any other officer was the subject of any complaint or discipline as a result of said conduct.

ANSWER: Defendant objects to Interrogatory no. 14 because said question is overly broad, unduly vague, ambiguous and call for a legal conclusion. Subject to and without ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.