The Chicago police department operates an off-the-books interrogation compound, rendering Americans unable to be found by family or attorneys while locked inside what lawyers say is the domestic equivalent of a CIA black site.
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.
Alleged police practices at Homan Square, according to those familiar with the facility who spoke out to the Guardian after its investigation into Chicago police abuse, include:
- Keeping arrestees out of official booking databases.
- Beating by police, resulting in head wounds.
- Shackling for prolonged periods.
- Denying attorneys access to the “secure” facility.
- Holding people without legal counsel for between 12 and 24 hours, including people as young as 15.
At least one man was found unresponsive in a Homan Square “interview room” and later pronounced dead.
Brian Jacob Church, a protester known as one of the “Nato Three”, was held and questioned at Homan Square in 2012 following a police raid. Officers restrained Church for the better part of a day, denying him access to an attorney, before sending him to a nearby police station to be booked and charged.
“Homan Square is definitely an unusual place,” Church told the Guardian on Friday. “It brings to mind the interrogation facilities they use in the Middle East. The CIA calls them black sites. It’s a domestic black site. When you go in, no one knows what’s happened to you.”
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“It’s sort of an open secret among attorneys that regularly make police station visits, this place – if you can’t find a client in the system, odds are they’re there,” said Chicago lawyer Julia Bartmes.
Chicago civil-rights attorney Flint Taylor said Homan Square represented a routinization of a notorious practice in local police work that violates the fifth and sixth amendments of the constitution.
“This Homan Square revelation seems to me to be an institutionalization of the practice that dates back more than 40 years,” Taylor said, “of violating a suspect or witness’ rights to a lawyer and not to be physically or otherwise coerced into giving a statement.”
[ … ]
When a Guardian reporter arrived at the warehouse on Friday, a man at the gatehouse outside refused any entrance and would not answer questions. “This is a secure facility. You’re not even supposed to be standing here,” said the man, who refused to give his name.
One of the hallmark signs of evil, totalitarian societies is secrecy. Note that the Chicago police didn’t deny the place existed. On the contrary, they insisted that the place be kept secret from the balance of society so that they could continue with their illegal activities. Light scatters the darkness, and they desire the darkness rather than the light. They aren’t scared of being found out, they don’t fear the courts, prosecutors, the justice department, lawyers or anyone else. They have become a law unto themselves. They do what is right in their own eyes and dare anyone to try to stop them.
And note that it is a so-called “open secret” among attorneys that this place exists, this place where basic God-given rights are violated. This isn’t a trivial thing, so don’t look past this to the horror of such a place on American soil just yet. These attorneys are officers of the court. They are bound to obey the law and ensure that others do as well, and are obligated to report illegalities. They know the place and practices exist, and yet they do nothing about it.
The existence of this facility is an affront to God’s law, and thus constitutes cosmic treason against the most high. Of the protection of God’s law for the individual and the family, R. J. Rushdoony says in his commentary on Deuteronomy 24:10-11:
This law sets down a premise which has had a major impact on Christendom. When, in colonial America, Judge James Otis decreed that “a man’s home is his castle,” he had reference to this law. Intrusion into a man’s house is a violation of his freedom. God’s law protects a man from the malice and interference of powerful men. To protect men’s houses and properties is to uphold God’s order, because God has established the legitimate boundaries of the family’s jurisdiction and freedom.
And this malice and interference of powerful men, this protection of men’s property that doesn’t occur any more in our society, has been illustrated for us in the recent case on which I commented concerning the immorality of asset forfeiture laws. Even today we learned of more asset forfeiture of guns as a norm in society.
As for the role of presumably free men in all of this, our responsibilities are growing and loom very large.
Madison and Jefferson gave a critical template of how states and local governments should respond when outside threats are used as the pretext by the federal government to curtail the liberty of law-abiding citizens. Both men took up their pens to oppose the Alien and Sedition Acts which violated the First Amendment’s right to free speech and the Fifth Amendment’s due process clause. In response to these unconstitutional edicts, Jefferson and Madison separately drafted resolutions for the individual states to take up in their legislatures to oppose the abusive acts. Jefferson’s work became the Kentucky Resolutions of 1798, and Madison’s the Virginia Resolutions of 1798.
In the Kentucky Resolutions, Jefferson stated “that whensoever the general government assumes undelegated powers, its acts are unauthoritative, void, and of no force.”
Madison was equally direct. In the Virginia Resolutions, he declared that “the powers of the federal government” are “limited by the plain sense and intention” of the Constitution “and that in case of a deliberate, palpable, and dangerous exercise of other powers, not granted by the said compact, the states who are parties thereto, have the right, and are in duty bound, to interpose for arresting the progress of the evil, and for maintaining within their respective limits, the authorities, rights and liberties appertaining to them.”
In maintaining that the states were “duty bound, to interpose,” Madison was standing on a long legal tradition dating back to the Magna Charta when England’s nobles demanded that King John honor the rights of Englishmen or be deposed.
In this case, the offending authorities are the local ones, but anyone who believes that the federal government would step in to ensure rights against illegal search and seizure is foolish.
Every law enforcement officer who knows about this illegal and immoral site and doesn’t shed light on its existence and practices may as well be a perpetrator of said practices. There are no guiltless parties, from the LEOs to the attorneys who keep this “open secret” to judges and city managers who allow it to happen. They will all be held accountable.
The U.S. has become a banana republic. It isn’t on the horizon somewhere, we don’t have actions we need to take to ensure that it doesn’t happen. It has already happened. It is past tense. Since this is cosmic crime against God’s law, it would be cosmic justice if this facility burned to the ground, every one of the LEOs who participated in these activities held to account, and every attorney and judge who knew of this facility disbarred and sent to prison.