An exclusive Guardian investigation details allegations of abuse inside a secretive facility called Homan Square, which is operated by the Chicago police department.
Jesse Ventura has already reported on why United States has the most “tragic” prison system in the world. If you missed that episode of "Off The Grid," you can watch here --
Now, we're furious to report that there are even worse allegations concerning the police state in America.
Imagine if you will, being detained in a secret police location, being denied access to a lawyer, even being denied a phone call, and while you were in custody, you were tortured and threatened until you either confessed to a crime or promised to be an informant to the police.
If you try to seek justice, there is no record of you being booked by the police at this facility, therefore no one believes what happened to you.
This reportedly takes place in America, in Chicago, to be more precise, at Homan Square, and it doesn’t allegedly happen to murderers – it happens to those who commit minor drug offenses.
The Guardian has interviewed close to 20 people since February who were taken to a warehouse on Chicago’s west side called Homan Square. While these people were allegedly detained, they claim that they were denied a lawyer and treated inhumanely, all to gain access to names of other possible drug offenders so that the police can conduct sting operations.
The only reason this secret site has become public knowledge is because The Guardiansued the Chicago Police Department after the agency would not disclose public records.
The Chicago police department has maintained –even as the Guardian reported stories of people being shackled and held for hours or even days without legal access – that “the warehouse is not a secret facility so much as an undercover police base operating in plain sight.”
However, thanks to the Freedom of Information Act, The Guardian was able to do its own independent analysis of arrest records (after it sued for access, of course), and reporters determined that the Chicago PD’s statements about Homan Square are reportedly untrue.
“There are always records of anyone who is arrested by CPD, and this is no different at Homan Square,” the police asserted in a March statement – meanwhile, this has proven to be false.
The Guardian reports:
Between September 2004 and June 2015, around 3,540 people were eventually charged, mostly with forms of drug possession – primarily heroin, as well as marijuana and cocaine – but also for minor infractions such as traffic violations, public urination and driving without a seatbelt [at Homan Square].
Here are just some of the illegal and inhumane actions The Guardian uncovered at Homan Square:
- A 42-year-old civil rights activist says he was abducted by masked officers,shackled, held on false charges and “with no food, no water, no access tothe outside world” at the behest of “covert operations”. He is one of atleast 118 people whom police have detained at Homan Square since theGuardianexposed the warehouse’s usage as a detentionfacility in February. His wife described the ordeal as feelingtheir family had been “lost” by the police.
- One young man, held at the warehouse for 14 hours without any public listingof his whereabouts, was just shy of his 18th birthday; the courtssentenced him to community service and probation.
- Another man, not included in the disclosed data, said he fled Chicago afterresisting police pressure to become an informant during multiple stintsinside Homan Square.
- Jose Martinez is alleged to have been cuffed to a bench for nine hours before being booked at an actual police station in September 2011. He claims that he was shackled “without food, water or use of the restroom” in a “locked room that smelled like urine and feces”.
- Two other individuals, Estephanie Martinez and Calvin Coffey, described relieving themselves while shackled in Homan Square interrogation rooms. Martinez, locked up in August 2006, was told by a guard that she did not have the key to Martinez’s handcuffs and could not take her to the bathroom. Coffey, taken to Homan Square on 6 February 2015 on suspicion of “narcotic activity”, defecated on the floor after two hours of fruitless requests for the bathroom. A police officer “made Calvin clean it up with his skull cap”, the lawsuit alleges.
- No contemporaneous public record of someone’s presence at Homan Square is known to exist. Nor are any booking records generated at Homan Square, as confirmed by a sworn deposition of a police researcher in late September, further preventing relatives or attorneys from finding someone taken there.
- Twenty-two people have told the Guardian that Chicago police kept them at Homan Square for hours and even days. They describe pressure from officers to become informants
- So far, more than 7,000 people went to the at off-the-booksinterrogation warehouse in Chicago from August 2004 to June 2015
However, most of data documenting the full scope of detentions and interrogations at Homan Square remain undisclosed. The Guardian admits its investigation is by no means "a full accounting of police detentions" at Homan Square, which Chicago has owned since 1995.
What do you think of The Guardian's investigation? Sound off below!
The views and opinions expressed herein are those of the authors alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of Ora Media, LLC its affiliates, or its employees.
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