Homan Square: Buried "Under the Rug of Denial"

[Content Note: Police misconduct; civil rights violations; racism.]

Spencer Ackerman and Zach Stafford have another update for the Guardian on Homan Square, the secret detention facility used by Chicago police. This time, they detail how the interrogation site was disproportionately used to interrogate black people picked up by police and how their civil rights are routinely violated:
More than 82% of the Homan Square arrests thus far disclosed – or 2,974 arrests – are of black people, while 8.5% are of white people. Chicago, according to the 2010 US census, is 33% black and 32% white.

...Lawyers and former police officers say that lack of access to a lawyer after the arrest and before booking – particularly during any interrogation, and particularly people from poor minority communities – puts a suspect’s rights in jeopardy.

...Despite the quadruple-digit number of arrestees held at Homan Square, the Chicago police proffered only three arrestees receiving visits from lawyers between 3 September 2004 and 1 July 2015. Two of them occurred on the same day in January 2013.

Unless approximately 3,500 people in custody waived their right to counsel, the revelation complicates – if not contradicts – the police's March statement that "any individual who wishes to consult a lawyer will not be interrogated until they have an opportunity to do so."

Former Homan Square detainees, lawyers and activists whom the Guardian has interviewed since February have claimed the majority of people held at Homan Square are black and Hispanic. Since the police did not disclose data on race for the vast majority of the 3,621 acknowledged detentions, the Guardian conducted its own review of arrestees' records.

In the tranche of detention records, more than four out of every five people taken to Homan Square are black; about 6.7% are Hispanic.

..."The only reason you're brought to Homan and Fillmore is to extract information," [Charles Jones] said in an interview at his home, surrounded by his three small children and referring to the cross streets of 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.

"It's easy to just go grab someone, throw 'em somewhere – no food, no water, no access to the outside world, intimidating and threatening 'em," he said.
I highly recommend you read the whole thing.

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