Last February, The Guardian published details on Homan Square, a Chicago police facility it described as the equivalent of a CIA black site. Now, new details are emerging about the facility, prompting renewed calls for the Justice Department to investigate.
According to The Guardian:
- 3,500 Americans have been detained at the facility since 2004
- Of those detained, only 3 received documented visits from a lawyer
- Some were detained for minor infractions including “public urination” and “driving without a seatbelt”
- Multiple detainees claim to have been abducted by masked officers who falsely accused them of crimes, or threatened to do so
- At least one detainee has made allegations of sexual abuse
- A minor was allegedly detained in secret for 14 hours
- 82% of those detained at Homan Square were black
Although the police presence at Homan Square is clearly visible, it has often been referred to as a “secret interrogation facility.”
“The only reason you’re brought to Homan… is to extract information,” said Charles Jones, who has been detained at the facility. “The police probably feel they need those covert operations because that’s the only way to get the intel they need instead of doing the good work – the hard work.“
Jones was detained when police found a gun in his home while executing an unrelated search warrant. He was handcuffed to a wall and questioned for six to eight hours and was repeatedly denied access to a lawyer. His family was also kept in the dark in regard to his whereabouts, which prevented them from sending in a lawyer on their own.
"It’s easy to just go grab someone, throw ’em somewhere,” Jones said. “No food, no water, no access to the outside world, intimidating and threatening ’em.”
In the wake of the allegations, Congressman Danny Davis, whose district is home to the facility, is calling for a full investigation.
“The revelations that you are pointing out are indeed shocking in the city of Chicago,” Davis said. “African Americans, feel with justification that we do not receive equal protection under the law, nor equal justice in our country. Those are indeed bones of contention and they will not go away. The feeling about it will not change unless something is actually done.”
Read more about this story at The Guardian.