New law expands scope of panel investigating police torture

CHICAGO (AP) — A proposal expanding the scope of a panel tasked with reviewing claims of police torture has been signed by Gov. Bruce Rauner.

The Illinois Torture Inquiry and Relief Commission was created by a 2009 law in response to allegations that former Chicago police Lt. Jon Burge and several subordinates tortured suspects into confessing. Nearly all suspects were black men.

The law takes effect immediately. It allows the commission to review any Cook County claims, not just Burge-related ones. It also extends the time period the commission can accept claims.

Burge served a 4 ½-year sentence for lying about torture in a civil case and was released from a halfway house last year.

The commission has faced troubles, including a slow start and funding cuts.