Report: Chicago Cops Hid 7K Suspects at 'Black Site'

Homan Square is a scary place, lawyers say
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 20, 2015 4:49 AM CDT
Updated Oct 20, 2015 6:19 AM CDT
Chicago Cops Detained 7K Suspects at 'Black Site'
A Chicago Police vehicle is reflected in a mirror as pedestrians cross a street in downtown Chicago .   (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)

Over the course of 11 years, police in Chicago took more than 7,000 suspects to a "black site" for interrogation where their lawyers and families had no hope of finding them, according to documents obtained by the Guardian in its latest report on the notorious Homan Square warehouse. Some 7,185 people from all over the city were taken to the site after being arrested, according to documents disclosed under the Guardian transparency lawsuit—and that number doesn't include people who were questioned there but not charged. Fewer than 1% of the detainees had access to lawyers while at Homan Square, the records show, and a disproportionate number of those were white.

Most of the arrestees taken to Homan Square were eventually charged with drug offenses, according to police records. Former detainees have described multiple abuses, including physical and sexual assault. "Not much shakes me in this business," a lawyer whose client was questioned at Homan Square after a marijuana bust tells the Guardian. "That place was and is scary. It's a scary place. There's nothing about it that resembles a police station. It comes from a Bond movie or something." In the latest involving the facility, three former detainees filed a lawsuit on Monday, accusing police of abusing them at the site before coming up with "bogus" drug charges that sent them to jail for 15 months, Fox 32 reports. (More Chicago stories.)

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