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The [Monday] Papers

Let the runoff debates begin!

Aww, do we have to?

We know how this will go.

Rahm will filibuster instead of answering questions, and attack Chuy for not putting more meat on the bones of his platitudes. "Where's the beef?" may actually make a comeback.

Chuy will spend 99 percent of his time attacking Rahm as Mayor 1%, and remind us that he is a neighborhood guy and Rahm is not.

Neither will be particularly honest, though Rahm will be far more disingenuous.

Each side will then claim victory - the tweets and press releases have already been written.

I'm planning to live-tweet the whole affair, so keep your eyes peeled to @BeachwoodReport.

Homan Squared
Let's get up to date on the many developments on Chicago's biggest blacked-out story since the mainstream media didn't believe for 10 years that Jon Burge was torturing suspects at Area 2.

* How Does Rahm Know?

"We follow all the rules," the mayor says of Homan Square. "Everything's done by the books."

How does he know? Did he ask police chief Garry McCarthy about Homan? Or is he just talking out of his ass?

Is he saying that the dozen or so victims cited by the Guardian and other outlets - along with at least seven lawyers - are lying?

Does he think Homan should at least be reviewed? Should the claims be checked out? Or is he satisfied to leave it alone?

Finally, does he believe that every arrestee has the right to an attorney? Because even Homan skeptics say the CPD has a decades-long practice of hiding detainees from lawyers.

* Cook County Commissioner: More Questions Than Answers After Homan Tour.

The Guardian also reported on the tour:

On Monday, at least two politicians got an inspection of their own - however carefully orchestrated - when Al Wysinger, a superintendent with the Chicago police, gave county commissioner Richard Boykin and local alderman Willie Cochran a tour of Homan Square with selected members of their staff.

The Guardian spoke with Boykin immediately following his visit inside Homan Square, which he said he found "eerily quiet".

Upon arrival, Boykin said, the elected officials were told the facility had not been "cleaned up" for their visit. However, the commissioner said that he saw no people being held in detention and that they rarely ran into any officers.

Police took the two politicians "to the detention center part of the facility, where people had made allegations of about being in tiny holding rooms, about being in cages and stuff like that", Boykin said. "I must confess [the lock-up area] does look like a cage scenario."

Question: Why is the CPD willing to give a couple pols a "tour" of the facility but refuses to answer a single question from reporters?


One aspect of Homan Square that caught the attention of Boykin and his staff was an apparent lack of a fingerprinting operation, which he said differed from other police facilities he had visited.

"They said though that the lack of ability to finger print in that facility didn't mean that a legitimate arrest wasn't taking place," said Boykin's policy director, Adam Salzman, who was also on Monday's tour. "There were other ways to make a record and verifying the subject's identity."


Boykin said he would attempt to convene a town hall meeting with officers and citizens. He also joined politicians from Chicago to Washington in calling for a US Department of Justice investigation into the allegations of detention inside Homan Square.

The justice department has not responded to multiple requests for comment about Homan Square.

And from DNAinfo Chicago's kiddie report:

There were no cameras in the lockup, he said.

"I asked why were there no cameras in the lockup areas, and [police] said that was something they're going to add," he said.


* More Stories, More Victims.

"The Guardian has interviewed nine people who have told strikingly consistent stories about police holding them in Homan Square for hours without providing any way to notify their families or their lawyers as to where they are."

Whoops, that's no longer accurate:


"The story of Marc Freeman's disappearance inside Chicago's Homan Square police warehouse on a marijuana offense last year exists between the lines of his arrest report - as his time in custody was not logged on the books until he surfaced at a police station seven hours after his arrest . . . "

* Carol Marin's Blinders & What Tom Durkin Really Said.

(Hint: Durkin said Homan Square was analogous to a CIA black site.)

* Homan Is Hell.

Flint Taylor had some pretty interesting things to say on This Is Hell!. Best to listen for yourself, but from my notes:

"Here in Chicago, [the story] got a lot of resistance. Our media are playing catch-up . . . 'black site' is a term one of the people used who was taken there . . . by whatever name you want to call it, the real idea is there's a lot of unconstitutional conduct; there appears to be violations of human rights there . . . it's unique in that it's a centralized place, off the books, a place where you can take people who are of special interest . . . sweat them to find more information . . .

"Sarah Gelsomino spent 17 hours looking for [her client] . . . it's been endemic for decades across the city . . . they took several suspects to several stations to throw family and lawyers off the scent . . . we know who the reporters are or were who will take these things seriously . . . Conroy for over 15 years . . . he thought it would be big scandal ... and yet, there was a silence . . . silence through the entire 15-week trial of Andrew Wilson when we were uncovering . . . the 'House of Screams.' Silence. [The Reader was] just befuddled, I guess, that the straight media didn't cover it or even respond to John Conroy's article . . .

"We're fighting on reparations, trying to get it on the mayoral [campaign] agenda . . . it hasn't made it into the debates . . .

"If a major demonstration is taking place, they arrest in advance to get information, you take them to Homan. Hold a day or so, shackle in little cells, see if you can sweat them for more information . . .

"Sort of open secret among attorneys who do this . . . why weren't lawyers not reporting this to the media, making a bigger deal of it? Perhaps some of them tried . . . it wasn't a sexy story for them, and they didn't make the connections that Ackerman's made . . .

"When we we started to uncover torture in '80s . . . different judges pooh-poohed it . . . some lawyers didn't believe it. This couldn't have happened . . . an individual lawyer is more concerned with their client; it's in their interests to not raise a stink . . . other lawyers advise clients to to not talk about this, you have a case in court and the state's attorney might come down on you . . . there's reason to be circumspect . . .

"The WBEZ reporter who did that tried for 20 minutes to get me to say it's exaggerated. The next day, Ackerman comes out with four more people, blacks, how they were mistreated; sounds like more serious physical abuses. If you look at Gitmo, it isn't waterboarding, it's the kind of systemic sensory deprivation, shackling, beating when not getting answers, fear of not knowing where you are, when you get out, lack of contact. I don't [calling it a black site] think it's necessarily an exaggeration . . . it's a developing story, at this point . . .

"Whatever you call it, there is an analogy to a black site in the sense that people are taken there and they don't know where they're going and they're incommunicado from their people . . . it was client who used the term, quotes around black site . . . obviously there's something naysayers can pick on . . . naysayers have to run and hide . . . it's just going to blow over because the local press doesn't want to deal with it . . . "


Previously in Homan:
* The [Monday] Papers: Suddenly, the CPD is a fine upstanding trustworthy institution.

* The Beachwood Radio Hour #46: Explaining Chicago's Black Site.

* The [Wednesday] Papers: Another day, another Guardian story.

* The [Thursday] Papers: John Conroy vs. the Chicago media. Again.

* The Beachwood Radio Hour #47: What Chicagoans Aren't Being Told.

* The Beachwood Radio Hour #48: Carol Marin's Blinders & What Tom Durkin Really Said.


SportsMonday: Illinois In (And Out) Of NCAA Tourney
Players, but not teams.

Derrick Rose, Honey Badger
Bigger jerk than Cutler? Plus: NFL Free Agency Gone Wild; The Bears' Trinity; Blackhawks Stand On Heads; Illinois Basketball FAIL; and The Chicago Fire Did Something This Week.

Chicagoetry: Spring Song
Bang a gong.

The Week In Chicago Rock
Featuring: Echosmith, Immortal Technique, Daniel Romano, Bobby Bare Jr., Marcus Miller, Amicus, Red, and Ben Ottewell.


Sunshine Week Special
* Illinois FOIA Process Hampered By Years-Long Backlog.


* Painting Bought For 50 Cents In Indiana Going Up For Auction In Chicago.

* Five Myths About College Sports.

* Kanye West Receiving Honorary Doctorate From Art Institute.


A sampling.





The Beachwood Tip Line: Sunshiney.


Posted on March 16, 2015

MUSIC - Chief Keef Changed The Industry.
TV - Vizio's Best Product Is You.
POLITICS - UIC: Soda Taxes Work.
SPORTS - More McCaskey Malpractice.

BOOKS - All About Poop.


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