The Chicago Police Department has long been known as one that executes corrupt practices. However, recently, the top was blown off of one of its darkest secrets. That secret is a facility called Homan Square, which can be likened to the CIA’s black sites. Suspects are brought in unbeknownst to family and attorneys.
Homan Square has been in operation for about 40 years according to reports. It said to be “the scene of secretive work by special police units.” Reports indicate that Chicago police keep detainees out of official booking databases, administer beatings which cause head wounds, shackle suspects for extended periods and deny lawyers access to the facility. Suspects as young as 15 years old are held there between 12 and 24 hours. At least one man was found dead in one of the “interview rooms.” The facility reportedly holds several military-style vehicles, interrogation cells and a cage. Detainees there are most often poor Black and brown individuals.
According to The Guardian:
Unlike a precinct, no one taken to Homan Square is said to be booked. Witnesses, suspects or other Chicagoans who end up inside do not appear to have a public, searchable record entered into a database indicating where they are, as happens when someone is booked at a precinct. Lawyers and relatives insist there is no way of finding their whereabouts. Those lawyers who have attempted to gain access to Homan Square are most often turned away, even as their clients remain in custody inside.
In a statement, the Chicago PD said:
CPD [Chicago police department] abides by all laws, rules and guidelines pertaining to any interviews of suspects or witnesses, at Homan Square or any other CPD facility. If lawyers have a client detained at Homan Square, just like any other facility, they are allowed to speak to and visit them. It also houses CPD’s Evidence Recovered Property Section, where the public is able to claim inventoried property.
For more about Homan Square, click here.