CHICAGO (CBS) — The Chicago Police Department has denied allegations in a British newspaper report that officers sometimes use a West Side facility as the equivalent of a CIA black site, where they illegally detain suspects for questioning, and deny their attorneys access.
In an article published on Tuesday, The Guardian reported the Homan Square facility, 1011 S. Homan Av., is operated as an “off-the-books interrogation compound,” where people who have been arrested are questioned and beaten by police, while keeping the arrests out of official booking databases. Chicago attorneys who spoke to The Guardian claimed they have been denied access to the facility after learning their clients were held there, sometimes for 12 to 24 hours
The Police Department has issued a statement denying the allegations.
“CPD abides by all laws, rules and guidelines pertaining to any interviews of suspects or witnesses, at Homan Square or any other CPD facility. 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 statement said. “There are always records of anyone who is arrested by CPD, and this is not any different at Homan Square.”
Sara Gelsomino, an attorney with the People’s Law Office, told WBBM Newsradio police have essentially hidden defendants at Homan Square, and denied them access to counsel, family, or phone calls.