Resembling a spy-film script, a recent report from the British Guardian newspaper details the existence of a top-secret facility belonging to the Chicago police where suspects are taken, interrogated and abused, without any documentation or possibility of judicial intervention.
“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,” reacted Julia Bartmes, a Chicago lawyer.
Spencer Ackerman, reporting for the Guardian, spoke with several Chicago legal and human rights figures who shared what they knew about the possibly illegal facility. The United States military and intelligence services are known to operate detention sites of questionable legality, including Guantánamo Bay in Cuba and Abu Ghraib prison, in Iraq – both the sites of alleged abuse. Never has such an accusation been lodged against the Chicago Police Department.
Criminologist Tracy Siska, executive director of the Chicago Justice Project, spoke to the Atlantic, adding, “99 percent of the people from this site are involved in some form of street crime: gang activities, drugs – urban violent crime…That’s what makes the site even worse. It takes Guantanamo-style tactics on urban street criminals and shreds the Bill of Rights.”