Police Abuse

The Chicago Police Department Has a 'Black Site'

People detained for hours without being charged or being able to contact lawyers.


Homan Square
The Guardian

Dog bites several area men. Via The Guardian:

The Chicago police department operates an off-the-books interrogation compound, rendering Americans unable to be found by family or attorneys while locked inside what lawyers say is the domestic equivalent of a CIA black site.

The facility, a nondescript warehouse on Chicago's west side known as Homan Square, has long been the scene of secretive work by special police units. Interviews with local attorneys and one protester who spent the better part of a day shackled in Homan Square describe operations that deny access to basic constitutional rights.

Alleged police practices at Homan Square, according to those familiar with the facility who spoke out to the Guardian after its investigation into Chicago police abuse, include:

  • Keeping arrestees out of official booking databases.
  • Beating by police, resulting in head wounds.
  • Shackling for prolonged periods.
  • Denying attorneys access to the "secure" facility.
  • Holding people without legal counsel for between 12 and 24 hours, including people as young as 15.

At least one man was found unresponsive in a Homan Square "interview room" and later pronounced dead.

Read more here. There's also an accompanying video interview with somebody who had been detained there for 17 hours, handcuffed to a bench, without any access to his lawyer. Reporter Spencer Ackerman previously wrote a two-part investigation of Chicago Police Detective Richard Zuley, detailing his role in bringing Chicago's brutal interrogation techniques to Guantanamo Bay.