“When you go in, no one knows what’s happened to you.” – Brian Jacob Church (The Guardian)
I didn’t intend for our article on the Jackie Robinson West fallout to be the first of a series, but Chicago’s really messed up. Not talking political indignities or high crime rates, which are to be expected. We’re talking Shonda Rhimes must have written it messed up. The type of stuff that’s unbelievable at best.
As tempting as it was to make this story about Derrick Rose and his Series of Unfortunate Events, Rose’s situation isn’t messed up. It’s sad. Okay, it’s really sad. It’s sad for him, it’s sad for his family, it’s sad for his team, and it’s sad for Chicago. The matter here, however, isn’t sad. It’s superlatively messed up.
In a nutshell. A legit international news source claimed this week that the Chicago Police Department has been illegally harboring and interrogating suspects on domestic soil for years, denying legal counsel, basic rights, and causing significant injury (think: torture and possibly death) to detainees.
The Black Site and the Guardian’s Coverage: Tuesday, the Guardian published their findings from an investigation on Homan Square and folks went nuts. What is Homan Square? Depends on who you ask. Some still think of it as the former Sears warehouse on Chicago’s west side. According to police, the building’s home to the department’s Organized Crime Bureau. According to the Guardian, however, it houses something much more sinister. It mainly functions as a domestic off-the-books interrogation compound. No family or lawyers allowed. Super illegal. Super shady. Those are mighty strong words coming from the newspaper. Hence, the subsequent fall out and media circus.
A Growing Supporting Cast. As the story picks up steam, whistle blowers are coming forward with tales ranging from mundane to insane. So far, major interviewees were arrested in connection with protests; Brian Jacob Church, one of the “Nato 3” shared his experience.
Yesterday, a reporter and photographer for the Guardian reported seeing a man wearing a jumpsuit and ski mask (pictured above) driving out of Homan Square’s parking lot, in broad daylight, joking that he was CIA.
Amnesty International USA has demanded that Mayor Rahm Emanuel launch his own independent investigation into the Guardian’s allegations.
Liar, Liar. The Chicago Police are flat-out calling the Guardian a bunch of liars. In addition to assuring the city that lawyers are most definitely allowed into the facility, Mark Maloney, a spokesman for the Chicago Police Department also condones the Guardian’s strong insinuation that a detainee died while undergoing illegal interrogation techniques within the walls of Homan Square. “The allegation that physical violence is a part of interviews with suspects is unequivocally false, it is offensive, and it is not supported by any facts whatsoever.” (Sun Times)
“Holy” Mission or “Holey” Story: Regarding the insinuation of death while under investigation, the Guardian specifically stated, “At least one man was found unresponsive in a Homan Square “interview room” and later pronounced dead.” That, however, doesn’t seem to be 100% factual. The Sun Times was able to confirm with the medical examiner’s office that the man in question died of an accidental heroin overdose.
What’s Messed Up
Who knew about it? Apparently, no one. Rahm Emanuel and a handful of politicians in-the-know are claiming to have no information about this alleged black site.
“I hadn’t heard of the sort of CIA or Gestapo tactics that were mentioned in the Guardian article until it was brought to my attention.” Cook County commissioner Richard Boykin (The Guardian)
I got questions.
How, if true, would something like this be kept under wraps, hidden from a mayor who has his hand in everything?
Why was this story released on Election Day?
Originally, the story claimed that many victims of these illegal methods were black and brown people. However, it seems no black or brown folks have come forward with their story.
Under the hysteria of 9/11 this country agreed to give up a lot of assumed rights under the Patriot Act. If those arrested and detained were suspected of practicing some form of domestic terrorism, could this type of so-called black site be legal – and one of many?
Lastly, when exactly is someone going to call Olivia to fix this?