Chicago PD denies paper's claims of 'black site'
British newspaper that alleged people have been illegally detained, beaten and denied access to counsel in a Homan Square facility
By Jeremy Gorner and Meredith Rodriguez
CHICAGO — The Chicago Police Department in a statement Tuesday night denied accusations in a story by a British newspaper that alleged people have been illegally detained, beaten and denied access to counsel in a Homan Square facility.
The Police Department issued a statement in response to the Tuesday story in The Guardian. The department said violence does not happen as a part of interviews with suspects or anyone else and that lawyers have access to any clients at the West Side facility. The site also houses the department's Bureau of Organized Crime, SWAT unit evidence technicians and the CPD ballistics lab, the department said.
"CPD abides by all laws, rules and guidelines pertaining to any interviews of suspects or witnesses, at Homan Square or any other CPD facility," department spokesman Martin Maloney said in a statement. "If lawyers have a client detained at Homan Square, just like any other facility, they are allowed to speak to and visit them. It also houses CPD's Evidence Recovered Property Section, where the public is able to claim inventoried property."
The British newspaper's story, which describes the Homan Square facility as being akin to a CIA black site, quoted a few attorneys and Brian Church, who was part of the so-called NATO 3. That three men were convicted last year on explosives charges, not more serious state terrorism charges, on allegations that they made crude Molotov cocktails in the lead-up to the 2012 NATO summit in Chicago.
Church is quoted as saying he was handcuffed for 17 hours and interrogated by police at the Homan Square facility while being denied access to an attorney. Church and two others received sentences ranging from five to eight years.
The story characterizes the facility as being "off the books," but in his statement, Maloney said, "There are always records of anyone who is arrested by CPD, and this is not any different at Homan Square."
"The allegation that physical violence is a part of interviews with suspects is unequivocally false," Maloney said. "It is offensive, and it is not supported by any facts whatsoever."
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