Homan Square: Chicago Police Dept’s Continuing Criminal Enterprise 

October 19, 2015 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us



From readers in Chicago:

The UK Guardian released today more information about the extent of torture and kidnapping carried out by the Chicago police at a notorious off-the-books former warehouse called Homan Square that the CPD uses to disappear thousands of people. (“Homan Square revealed: how Chicago police ‘disappeared’ 7,000 people”) And this is a continuing criminal enterprise!

The statistics alone are breathtaking: The Guardian reveals that more than 7,000 people have been taken to Homan Square without even a formal arrest, far more than previously known. (See Revolution coverage of February 2015 revelations and protests.) And 99 percent are denied any access to a lawyer. Black people were disappeared there at a rate (82.2 percent) more than twice as high as their percentage of the population of Chicago (32.9 percent).

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The Guardian notes that the use of Homan Square by the Chicago police has increased in recent years: “Nearly 65% of documented Homan Square arrests since August 2004 took place in the five years since Rahm Emanuel, formerly Barack Obama’s top aide, became mayor.”

When someone is taken to Homan Square, family and friends simply don’t know where their loved one is. Think about that. Imagine your son or daughter, sister or brother, roommate or best friend just vanished. You’d be frantic. You’d call jails and hospitals, maybe even the morgue. But you wouldn’t call Homan Square because there is no phone listing for it. 

Those taken by the police to Homan Square are not people suspected of violent crimes. Overwhelmingly, they were picked up (not charged—there are no booking procedures at Homan Square!) for minor drug violations. The cops take them there to try to force them to confess, to finger someone else, or to interrogate them without a lawyer. They are held there for hours or even days, prevented from calling relatives or attorneys. The parallel to Guantánamo and CIA secret torture chambers (or “black sites”) around the world is not far-fetched. David Gaeger, a Chicago lawyer quoted in the Guardian who had a client who was taken to Homan Square in 2011 after a marijuana bust, called Homan Square a “near-paramilitary wing of the government” and said, “That place was and is scary. It’s a scary place.”

This torture chamber is located on the West Side of Chicago, an overwhelmingly Black and poor area inundated with the occupying army of CPD. The Guardian article notes that CPD brings people from around the city to Homan Square, but it is an ominous presence in the midst of a community of the oppressed. This is terror. Homan Square must be shut down!

This is one more reason why we say: STOP Police Terror.

How long will this go on? Which side are you on?

NOW is the time to be out in the streets. Without resistance, there will be no change for the better.



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