Chicago has 22 police districts, each with its own police station and commander. But but there’s evidence that police brass believe they need at least one additional place – one that doesn’t appear on the City’s official directory of police stations. It does appear on Google maps, though, as the Chicago Police Department Evidence and Recovered Property Section. But back in February the very well-respected Guardian Newspaper said this facility, at Homan Square, was more than that. That it was also a place where the CPD could “disappear” arrestees for hours at a time, presumably for questioning, and free from such legal niceties as Miranda rights and lawyer representation.
The police denied this, of course, so the Guardian sued, and the results of that litigation just dropped yesterday in a new article. The important numbers – at least 3,540 people have been held there since the place opened for business, apparently in 2004, and fully 2/3 of that activity has happened since Rahm Emanuel became Mayor and appointed Garry McCarthy as his police chief. And it’s important to note that these more than 3,000 people, 80% of them black, are those who ended up getting charged with something. At this point we have no way of knowing how many people have been taken there, interrogated and released.
In media interviews, one of the Guardian’s reporters said he was tipped to the existence of this place by the head of the Chicago Justice Project, Tracy Siska.
Tracy Siska is our sole guest on the program today.
You can watch the show above for the entire conversation, including Sitka’s takes on IPRA (400 police shootings, only one found unjustified), and on the recent advice to African Americans to “comply now, contest later”. The problem with that, Siska says, is that “in reality though, there is no ‘contest’.”
Transcript: CN audio 080615 show #104
And here’s the original Guardian story.