Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s Chicago Police Department is operating a CIA-style black site on the city’s West Side, according to an explosive new report from The Guardian’s Spencer Ackerman. The facility, an otherwise plain warehouse known as Homan Square, also houses military-style vehicles, according to Ackerman.
The Guardian reports that the CPD detains mostly poor, black and brown people at Homan. Once at the site, detainees are allegedly beaten by police, shackled for hours and denied access to counsel. There is no booking at Homan Square, so details about who has been detained at the facility are scarce. “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,” Ackerman wrote. “Lawyers and relatives insist there is no way of finding their whereabouts.”
One detainee, 44-year-old John Hubbard, died in an interview room at Homan. There are no official records — or a coroner’s report — concerning Hubbard’s official cause of death, or why he was detained in the first place.
Jacob Church, a member of the NATO Three, was also held at Homan. The NATO Three — three men charged with conspiracy to commit terrorism when the NATO summit convened in Chicago in 2012 — also included Jared Chase and Brent Betterly. It was the first terrorism case Chicago had seen. Church told The Guardian that he was chained to a bench for 17 hours and denied phone calls. His lawyer eventually tracked him down and was allowed to speak to him through a weird “floor-to-ceiling chain-link metal cage.”