‘An international disgrace’: Jesse Jackson calls for Chicago to close Homan Square

jesse jackson

Source: The Guardian

By   in Chicago and  in New York

The Rev Jesse Jackson has called for Chicago police to close the warehouse it uses for thousands of incommunicado detentions and interrogations, condemning Homan Square as an “international disgrace”.

Criticism from the civil rights leader comes as the Chicago police department is under heavy pressure for reform, following a mayoral taskforce’s conclusion last week that the force is plagued by institutional racism and an ongoing US Justice Department investigation into its patterns and practices.

“Homan Square is an international disgrace,” Jackson said of the warehouseexposed by the Guardian, at a Monday press conference reacting to the police accountability taskforce’s report.

“People will go without police protection, without equal protection. They are violated and whipped into submission and some of them never return alive.”

A minimally marked warehouse, Homan Square houses the headquarters of anti-narcotics, anti-gang, anti-vice and intelligence units, as well as the property reclamation unit.

But a Guardian investigation and transparency lawsuit has revealed, based largely on the Chicago police’s own internal documents, that at least 7,300 people have been held at Homan Square without a contemporaneous public record of their whereabouts. More than 80% of known Homan Square detainees are black, a figure disproportionate to Chicago’s population. Fewer than 1% of arrestees at Homan Square, according to police records, received access to an attorney. Activists and lawyers have called Homan Square the domestic equivalent of a CIA black site.

Read more

Leave a Reply