Police records confirm Chicago Police have “disappeared” over 7,000 people in an interrogation warehouse. This figure is almost double the number of detentions previously put forward. Between August of 2004 and June 2015 almost 6,000 detained in the off-the-books interrogation warehouse were black which proportionately was over twice the city’s population. Only 68 detained were granted access to lawyers and/or a public notice as to their whereabouts as confirmed by police records.
These new revelations have come to light via an ongoing transparency lawsuit by The Guardian. The report lays bare the troubling detail and is yet another tilt at the American law enforcement system sliding relentlessly towards a para military police state. Chicago police have attempted to mitigate Homan Square as no more than a ‘below the radar’ narcotics outpost while the Mayor confirms police “follow all the rules.”
Detainees and their legal representatives are at odds with police records and the ‘below the radar’ portrayal of Homan Square. They put forward that if this can happen to those already detained it will happen to anyone. One of the few detainees who had the luxury of an attendant lawyer on surrendering to police told of police questioning him irrespective his attorney told officers he would not comment.
Data obtained by The Guardian in September confirms over an 11 year period Chicago police granted access (by lawyers) for a mere 0.94% of 7,185 logged arrests. This is representative of Chicago police practice of restricting attorney access in the crucial early stages of interrogation. This when self incrimination is most likely and flies in the face of an individuals constitutional rights.
According to lawyers Homan Square is hardly typical of a Chicago Police Department precinct house. Trying to find a client (detainee) is like trying to pin a tail on a donkey. One lawyer said that it resembles something out of a Bond movie after his client was arrested in 2011 for possession of marijuana. Police records further confirm that units (gang, vice and narcotics) that operate at Homan Square detain arrestees there from across the city. The police records data obtained by The Guardian confirm 53% of arrestees (disclosed) come from over 2.5 miles away from Homan Square.
The narcotics, vice and anti-gang units operating out of Homan Square, on Chicago’s west side, take arrestees to the nondescript warehouse from all over the city: police data obtained by the Guardian and mapped against the city grid show that 53% of disclosed arrestees come from more than 2.5 miles away from the warehouse. No contemporaneous or corresponding public record exists of an individuals’ presence at Homan Square. Neither are bookings generated as per a sworn deposition by a police researcher around late September. This further clouds attempts by family or lawyers to locate individuals detained there. For the August report by The Guardian post the transparency lawsuit please follow this link.
Additional Reference: Police Records confirm routine spying by Law Enforcement