US: The Torture of Democracy

The disappeared: Chicago police detain Americans at abuse-laden ‘black site’

  • Exclusive: Secret interrogation facility reveals aspects of war on terror in US
While US military and intelligence interrogation impacted people overseas, Homan Square – said to house military-style vehicles and even a cage – focuses on American citizens, most often poor, black and brown. ‘When you go in,’ Brian Jacob Church told the Guardian, ‘nobody knows what happened to you.
’ 
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.

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.

Continue reading

US: For decades, Chicago Police tortured many Black men; cop now sentenced to 4 1/2 years

// //
Quantcast

Jon Burge Sentenced To 4 1/2 Years In Prison: Convicted Of Lying About Police Torture

KAREN HAWKINS

01/21/11

CHICAGO — Decades after young black men in Chicago first began claiming that a white policeman shocked, burned and suffocated them to get confessions, former officer Jon Burge is headed to federal prison.

He goes to serve to 4 1/2 years behind bars not as the decorated, tough detective who rose quickly in the department, but as a cancer patient with a drinking problem who is, by his own admission, broken. His name has become synonymous with out-of-control police in the country’s third-largest city.

U.S. District Judge Joan Lefkow sentenced Burge on Friday, bringing an end to an ugly chapter in the city’s racially charged history after he was convicted last summer of lying about the torture of suspects.

Dozens of people – almost all of them black men – claimed for decades that Burge and his officers tortured them into confessing to crimes ranging from armed robbery to murder. Continue reading