Though over 30 years have passed since Chicago police officers tortured him into falsely confessing to taking part in a murder, Darrell Cannon is still fighting the legal battle of his life.
As In These Times reported in an article published last month, Cannon was brutally shocked in the genitals with an electric cattle prod, beat with a flashlight and "shot" mock-execution style before he was wrongly convicted in 1983 and imprisoned for 24 years. He is one of over 100 African-Americans who fell victim to abuse from the Chicago Police Department under Police Commander Jon Burge, who is now behind bars after being convicted of perjury and obstruction of justice -- but is still collecting his $3,000-a-month city pension.
While some of the victims who were wrongly incarcerated as a result of Burge-era police torture have received millions of dollars worth of settlements, others, like Cannon, have not. Earlier this year, the U.S. Court of Appeals ruled that the $1,247 in compensation he received as part of a 1988 settlement -- after getting questionable legal guidance and before more evidence of the breadth of brutality was known -- was all the money he would get.
Alongside his attorney G. Flint Taylor of the People's Law Office, Cannon appeared on HuffPost Live on Wednesday and shared his story.
"Even here in America you don't expect for police officers to conduct themselves like that, but in that instance here everything they did to me they had did previously to other Afro-Americans which I wasn't aware of until years later," Cannon said.
"They told me before they tortured me that I could scream all I want and nobody was going to hear it. And it was true. Nobody heard me and now it is not far-fetched for anybody to think that such things could exist or did exist."