EXCLUSIVE: Inside Chicago PD’s 'Illegal' Shadow Site

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The unmarked facility in Chicago’s Homan Square is a frightening place where the arrestees are forced to give false confessions and lawyers are denied access to clients, Illinois attorney told Sputnik in an exclusive interview.

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MOSCOW (Sputnik), Daria Chernyshova — The shadow compound of the Chicago police department in Homan Square is a coercive place where arrestees are held incommunicado and forced to give false confessions, an attorney specializing in criminal defense matters in the State and Federal courts in Illinois told Sputnik news agency Wednesday.

“It is a very coercive atmosphere there,” Anthony Hill told Sputnik, underlining that the facility itself forces arrestees to give false confessions, while at the same time they cannot contact a lawyer or family to inform them of their whereabouts.

“The problem is that just because the people are afraid, they are brought in to this warehouse instead of the police station.”

There are about 25 police stations spread across the city of Chicago, all of them marked as police departments on the outside. However, the facility in Homan Square is different – it has no signs identifying it as a police station, and the officers there do not wear regular police uniforms.

Hill noted that the police themselves are likely to acknowledge that the compound is “more of a base of operation for specialized units within the police department,” which deal with drug trafficking and firearms among other crimes.

Hill admitted he had been inside the facility when he was looking for one of his clients a few years ago. According to the attorney, he was very lucky to get in as normally, attorneys are denied access to clients held in Homan Square. The interior of the facility is akin to the black sites of the CIA, and the police interrogate the arrestees there.

“When lawyers go out to see their clients there – sometimes they are allowed in and sometimes are denied access to their clients. People can be held for several hours, sometime as many as 48 hours before they are being charged or released,” Hill said.

He stressed that the arrestees are held incommunicado in Homan Square, which is a violation of their rights as “under the Chicago police department policy, if you are arrested, you are supposed to be given a reasonable amount of phone calls within reasonable amount of time since the arrest.”

According to Hill, there could be no legal justification for such a facility and if people are arrested they should not be interrogated at Homan Square, but brought to a police station, provided with a lawyer and due process.

However, Chicago police denied holding suspects at the compound illegally or torturing them, adding that lawyers can visit their arrested clients at the facility, so that no rights are violated whatsoever.

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