The disappeared: Chicago police detain Americans at abuse-laden 'black site'
- Exclusive: Secret interrogation facility reveals aspects of war on terror in US
- ‘They disappeared us’: protester details 17-hour shackling without basic rights
- Accounts describe police brutality, missing 15-year-old and one man’s death
While US military and intelligence interrogation impacted people overseas, Homan Square – said to house military-style vehicles and even a cage – focuses on American citizens, most often poor, black and brown. ‘When you go in,’ Brian Jacob Church told the Guardian, ‘nobody knows what happened to you.’ Video: Phil Batta for the Guardian; editing: Mae Ryan
24 February, 2015
24 February, 2015
The Chicago police department operates an off-the-books interrogation compound, rendering Americans unable to be found by family or attorneys while locked inside what lawyers say is the domestic equivalent of a CIA black site.
Chicago’s Homan Square 'black site': surveillance, military-style vehicles and a metal cageThe secretive warehouse is the latest example of Chicago police practices that echo the much-criticized detention abuses of the US war on terrorism. While those abuses impacted people overseas, Homan Square – said to house military-style vehicles, interrogation cells and even a cage – trains its focus on Americans, most often poor, black and brown.
‘Never going to see the light of day’: the search for the Nato Three, the head wound, the worried mom and the dead man
Jacob Church learned about Homan Square the hard way. On May 16 2012, he and 11 others were taken there after police infiltrated their protest against the Nato summit. Church says officers cuffed him to a bench for an estimated 17 hours, intermittently interrogating him without reading his Miranda rights to remain silent. It would take another three hours – and an unusual lawyer visit through a wire cage – before he was finally charged with terrorism-related offenses at the nearby 11th district station, where he was made to sign papers, fingerprinted and photographed.
Brian Jacob Church, Jared Chase and Brent Vincent Betterly, known as the ‘Nato Three’. Photograph: AP/Cook County sheriff's office
It’s almost like they throw a black bag over your head and make you disappear for a day or two
Brian Jacob Church
‘That scares the hell out of me’: a throwback to Chicago police abuse with a post-9/11 feel
‘The real danger in allowing practices like Guantanamo or Abu Ghraib is the fact that they always creep into other aspects,’ criminologist Tracy Siska told the Guardian. Photograph: Chandler West/Guardian
I’ve never known any kind of organized, secret place where they go and hold somebody before booking for hours and hours
James Trainum, former detective, Washington DC