America's eyes were opened to police brutality when officers of the L.A.P.D. were videotaped viciously beating Rodney King. But for 20 years in Chicago, the press and authorities turned deaf ears to allegations of brutal interrogations and torture by Chicago Police Commander Jon Burge. Was this simply an aberration or an extreme example of a system wide policy of racist abuse?
As victims speak out, THE END OF THE NIGHTSTICK investigates charges of institutional racism, violence and cover-up. It also tells the story of a resistance movement, as local activist groups, including the Task Force to Confront Police Violence, refuse to let testimonies of police violence remain buried.
"A disturbing exploration of institutionalized racism. It makes one wonder how much we would have heard of Rodney King if a video camera had not been there to capture his beating."—People Magazine
Silver Hugo Winner, 1994 Chicago Film Festival
"It makes you think: If electrical shocks are condoned for the sleaze-balls, what happens to you on that one cold, rainy night when you find yourself in the wrong place dressed the wrong way?"—Robert Goldber, Wall Street Journal
"NIGHTSTICK casts an awfully dark cloud over a police department and mayor who defended Burge, contending to the end that he'd done nothing wrong."—Chicago Tribune
"The point of view that emerges is that civil rights organizations must stay vigilant about police brutality because public officials are often willing to protect bad cops until they become a political liability."—Dallas Morning News