You’ve got to read this one to believe it. Even in this age of so much police abuse, this is pretty extreme. With Jeff Sessions leading the U S D O J, there can be no reasonable expectation that those responsible will be held accountable.
Excerpts from the Article:
From around 2004 to 2015, the Chicago Police Department ran a detention center that functioned more like a CIA black site. The police detained more than 7,000 people at the site but kept no records in the PD’s electronic ecterecord system, effectively disappearing thousands of people for years without evidence or cause. The site is called Homan Square, and even as more information comes to light about police corruption in the city, the horror stories of their victims just go deeper and deeper.
Homan Square was a secret because the police involved claim this was a law enforcement necessity to effectively utilize criminal informants and infiltrate criminal gangs. However, the stories of beatings, extreme racial profiling, and even death overshadow any legitimate intent of the detention center.ore information through court-ordered means. As the harsh conditions of Homan Square started coming to light, former detainees claimed they’d been forced to give the Chicago Police false information just to end their extreme conditions of Homan Square. Although Homan Square is reportedly still operating as an interrogation facility today, the state Department of Justice has an ongoing investigation as it reviews what actually went on there.
The Chicago Police Department has reportedly interrogated more than 7,000 people “off the books” from August 2004 to June 2015 at the warehouse-like “black site,” Homan Square. However, only about 3,500 were logged as booked, which is fewer than HALF the number of actual arrestees who were present at Homan. Attorneys who had clients detained at the location sounded alarms suggesting that the black site like interrogations could happen to anyone without recourse because no one is notified of the arrestee’s whereabouts and the victims are given no rights.. Homan Square has been described as “a secretive detention center,” which the Chicago Police Department used to walk the thin line of lawful interrogation. Some sources suggest they crossed that line.
Out of more than 7,000 Homan Square arrestees who have been discovered, 6,000 (or about 82%) of them are African American. The Guardian noted “represents more than twice the proportion of the city’s population.” In a city rife with racial tension and violence, the existence of Homan Square simply adds fuel to that fire.
Julia Bartmes, a Chicago attorney, has stated that when she can’t find an arrested client in the system, “she assumes” they are at Homan Square. Bartmes recounts that on one occasion, she had a 15-year-old client whom the Chicago police detained for 13 hours. She claims that the minor did not have any contact with family during that time. Bartmes also claims that she was denied access to the Homan Square warehouse when she went looking for her client. After 13 hours of custody, the 15-year-old boy was returned home, without charges getting filed. Another boy was only 17 when he was detained.
Records regarding Homan Square were kept outside of the Chicago Police Department’s electronic record keeping system. Before 2016, the only way to tell if someone was at the Chicago PD’s Homan Square was to review the “Arrestee Movement” records in the “Automated Arrest Application.” However, these records aren’t available to the public. Instead, the system worked to create a log of arrestee movement for the Chicago Police Department’s benefit. So, it was impossible for attorneys and family members to know that an arrestee was initially detained at Homan Square.
Detainees Were Beaten, Sexually Abused, And Two Even Died
Some outlets reported that at Homan Square police used physical force to coerce information out of arrestees. The force included punching and using tasers. Two deaths were also reported as occurring during police custody at Homan Square. One victim who died at Homan Square was Jaime Galvan, who has been confirmed as being a prisoner detained at Homan Square. An autopsy report revealed that Galvan died after ingesting narcotics, however, the family is suspecting foul play since Galvan died during his detainment at Homan Square. Others reported being sexually abused in the warehouse-like detainment site.
Attorneys Were Denied Access To Their Clients
Attorneys describe Homan Square as the “find your client game.” A Guardian report showed that fewer than 1% of the 7,000 people detained by the Chicago PD at Homan Square were provided access to their attorneys. The police site was described as a place where officers “don’t play by the rules.” Furthermore, attorneys have reported to the Guardian that Homan Square doesn’t even resemble a police station. “It’s a scary place,” reported David Gaeger, an attorney whose client was taken to Homan Square in 2011.
It’s suggested that the restriction and absolute authority of Homan Square were necessary for police leverage. The site is located near notoriously rough sections of Chicago and the ability to keep an arrestee isolated from family, friends, and co-conspirators in theory makes it possible for police to gather information and intelligence for other criminal enterprises. However, the Chicago police denied civil rights violations such as denying an arrestee the right to counsel. An arrestee could invoke a right to counsel during questioning, or after Miranda-Warnings could decide to speak with police or even cooperate. Most detainees questioned by reporters alleged by unable to call an attorney or family member. The only two prisoners who admitted to being allowed phone calls were white.
Kory Wright, a computer program analyst, claims that Chicago police detained him at Homan Square, alleging he was zip-tied in a hot room without water. Wright also stated that he provided false information to police only so he could leave the secret police interrogation quarters. Wright’s story is like many that reporters have discovered after looking into the Chicago police interrogation center. With so much pressure mounting against the black site, it’s curious why the Chicago Police do not open up operations at Homan Square to more transparency. It’s possible that the secretive nature of Homan Square gives some theorists about the nature of Homan Square more credence.