On November 2, 1983, Darrell Cannon was woken up by the Chicago police banging on his door. He knew the drill. As a longtime gang member, run-ins with the cops were common. He'd already served more than a decade behind bars for a murder conviction.
But that day, something unexpected happened: Darrell says the cops tortured him while they were questioning him. During the torture, Darrell confessed to a crime that landed him back behind bars for 24 years.
This didn't just happen to Darrell. Between the 1970s and the 1990s, more than 100 people—most of them black men—say they were tortured too, and the city of Chicago has officially acknowledged that this happened. In 2015, the city council approved a $5.5 million reparations package to 57 of the people who suffered at the hands of the police.
NPR's Noel King interviewed Darrell soon after he picked up his reparations check, back in 2016. We collaborated with her and the team at NPR's Planet Money on this episode, after she shared Darrell's story as part of a larger Planet Money episode called "Paying for the Crime." Planet Money just re-aired that episode last week, along with an update from Darrell.
To view the documents from the Invisible Institute's Police Torture Archive referenced in this episode, click here.