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    A protestor stands outside a police facility called Homan Square, demanding an investigation into a media report denied by police that the site functions as an off-the-books interrogation compound, in Chicago, Illinois, March 5, 2015

    Chicago Police Violated UN Torture Convention at 'Black Site' - Attorney

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    Chicago 'Black Site': Homegrown Torture Revealed? (27)
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    The case should be escalated to the UN if local and federal officials fail to conduct an adequate investigation into the reported abuses at Homan Square, civil rights attorney Flint Taylor told Sputnik.

    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — Techniques employed on arrested people by the Chicago Police Department (CPD) at a reported "black site" in Homan Square, violated the UN Convention Against Torture (CAT), prominent civil rights attorney, Flint Taylor, told Sputnik.

    "The examples given by The Guardian, with regard to the shackling, with regard to the sensory deprivation, with regard to the beatings, the kicking in the groin, and the food deprivation, amount to torture or cruel and unusual and degrading treatment under CAT," Taylor said on Friday.

    In February, the Guardian reported that the CPD operated a "domestic black site," similar to US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) interrogation sites overseas, in Homan Square on the city's Westside.

    Another key aspect that adds even more legitimacy to the charge of torture, according to Taylor, is the fact police employed the tactics to squeeze out information, intelligence and confessions.

    Taylor said the case should be escalated to the UN if local and federal officials fail to conduct an adequate investigation into the reported abuses at Homan Square.

    "If there is not a sufficient investigation here [Chicago], or by the [US] Justice Department, then people should consider taking it to the United Nations," Taylor added.

    Taylor has experience in bringing cases of Chicago police brutality to the attention of international human rights institutions. Abuses committed by former Chicago Police Chief Jon Burge were classified by Taylor as torture, when the local press refused to call it torture and were reluctant to cover it. The issue remained neglected, so Taylor and his law partners took matters into their own hands.

    "In the mid-2000s we did take it internationally, both to the Organization of American States, their human rights commission, and to the CAT itself in Geneva. My partner Joey Mogul presented it to the CAT," Taylor explained.

    "And they [the UN] came out with a statement that called for prosecutions of Burge and others for the torture here in Chicago and put it on the same plane with Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo. So that was an international vindication of our position that it was systemic torture under Burge," Taylor added.

    Taylor and his partners at the People's Law Office in Chicago defended the family of slain Black Panther leader Fred Hampton, who was killed during an FBI-coordinated raid in 1969. Thirteen years later, the People's Law Office won a $1.8 million settlement for the Hampton family after a US Supreme Court ruling, in what was then the largest civil rights settlement of its kind, according to the firm's website.

    More than 100 Chicago residents of color were tortured between 1972 and 1991, according to Amnesty International USA. Jon Burge, the then-Chicago police chief, was convicted in a federal court for perjury and obstruction of justice, but was never prosecuted for torture. Burge was released after serving fewer than four years in prison.

    Chicago 'Black Site': Homegrown Torture Revealed? (27)


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    black site, investigation, torture, police, Homan Square, UN Convention Against Torture, Chicago Police Department, Flint Taylor, United States, Chicago
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