Jon Burge is still in the news, though he died in 2018. Often referenced as the disgraced and notorious former police commander of the Chicago Police Department, Burge, who served half of his prison sentence and was allowed to keep his police pension and serve some of his confinement near his Florida home, is again newsworthy because of the release of the Chicago Police Torture Archive. On the police website, the first image is of a broken storefront and a request by the police for the public’s help with the “looting and civil unrest task force.”
The police equate pilfering with protest – even if these protests are protected under the First Amendment. This conflation reflects hostility and is part of the calculus many members of the public are forced to consider at all times. Studies have found that victims of interpersonal violence, undocumented individuals, and members of other marginalized communities are less likely to call the police for fear of being further harmed by antagonistic police officers or unsupported by wrongful policies and procedures.