Perhaps you’ve heard of them from the released CIA torture report, or from NPR coverage of similar sites in China, but apparently even the Chicago Police Department uses at least one “black site,” according to The Guardian.
For those unfamiliar with the term, a black site is “an off-the-books interrogation compound.” It’s a term used by the military that refers to secret locations run by the CIA where people are locked away and/or interrogated to various degrees without anyone’s knowledge. One can be swiped up off the street out of the blue and just disappear into one of these locations for an indefinite amount of time with virtually no oversight and entirely against one’s will.
To make matters worse, the discovery follows on the heels of slews of allegations that the Chicago PD focuses on African American neighborhoods more than anywhere else. How many black folks may have been stolen off the streets against their will with no recourse as to what happened to them once they found themselves inside one such site? Further, how many may have never found their way back out? Have any been killed inside such a site? How many may still be “indefinitely detained?”
The shocking story was published Tuesday by The Guardian US’s national security editor, Spencer Ackerman.
Ackerman’s piece stated:
The facility, a nondescript warehouse on Chicago’s west side known as Homan Square, has long been the scene of secretive work by special police units. Interviews with local attorneys and one protester who spent the better part of a day shackled in Homan Square describe operations that deny access to basic constitutional rights.
According to Ackerman’s story, the Chicago black site is a place for the interrogation of suspects and witnesses outside the scope of the normal, constitutional legal system. It’s fascist anarchy brought to you by those allegedly present to protect and serve, so long as one forgets momentarily that the Supreme Court has come to believe, unbelievably, that the police actually are not present to protect and serve.
F*ck the Constitution, this black site is used to hide citizens away from any searchable database that would let anyone know where they are. While detained, these folks are not allowed to speak to anyone; not family, and certainly not an attorney. Some detained in this fashion have even been as young as 15 years old.
Criminal defense attorney Anthony Hill told The Guardian:
They just disappear until they show up at a district for charging or are just released back out on the street.
Ordinarily, as far as anyone knows, black sites are typically used outside of the U.S., but news coming out of Chicago is certainly enough to suggest they exist within the American borders, as well.
It’s pretty hard to believe Chicago would be the only one. If there is one, there are others.
None of the unlucky folks abducted and thrown into Homan Square are officially booked, according to numerous lawyers representing citizens who have gone through the site and made it back out. Inside the facility, witnesses state there are military-type vehicles, cells for interrogation, and a cage. Yes, a CAGE! And just like the numerous allegations against the CPD would suggest, Homan Square is known for people of color passing through its cold, iron doors more so than any other group.
Naturally, the CPD refuses to respond to The Guardian’s tell-all story, and last Friday, an anonymous man even shooed away one of the paper’s reporters, stating:
This is a secure facility. You’re not even supposed to be standing here.