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The [Wednesday] Papers

Another day, another Guardian story about Homan Square and the Chicago police. I count 11 stories so far (not counting this solicitation for victims or this Op-Ed about Chicago and "touchless torture") plus the two-part investigation into former Chicago police officer Richard Zuley that got the ball rolling.

Is that enough yet?

And, of course, there have been follow-ups at scores of outlets including the Intercept, Salon, and Al-Jazeera America.

The Chicago media? Denial.

After all, the CPD issued a statement.


Here's Guardian reporter Spencer Ackerman explaining the stories on Democracy Now!. Highly recommended.

Part 1: Homan.

Transcript here.


Part 2: Zuley.

Transcript here.


The thread of the Guardian's stories is the cross-pollination of interrogation techniques between the U.S. military and U.S. police. That's how Ackerman got onto the Zuley story - through Guantanamo Bay working backwards to Chicago - and that's how the use and techniques of Homan became a story for him. That context is crucial. It's not like he and the Guardian just decided to write about Chicago police abuses in general.


On Tuesday, WBEZ, which had previously dismissed the Guardian's reporting because Frank Main of the Sun-Times has been to the building for press conferences, interviewed (briefly) Tracy Siska of the Chicago Justice Project (disclaimer: a friend, though also the best criminologist in the city).

The interview followed an Op-Ed that Siska wrote for Crain's about the questions the Chicago media should be asking going forward, focusing on this one:

1. In 2012, the Chicago Police Department adjusted General Order G96-01-04, known as the "Arrestee and In-Custody Communications" general order. Why?

In the Crain's piece, Siska gives local reporters a head start.

I can help out with the first question: The order was changed in direct response to the Chicago Justice Project and other organizations including the Cook County public defender's office, American Civil Liberties Union and First Defense Legal Aid bringing the problems of Homan Square to their attention in 2011. We are part of a coalition of organizations that meets regularly with the Chicago Police Department's Internal Affairs Unit and individuals from its general counsel's office. We worked with both over the course of more than a year to have this general order changed so that arrestees could access counsel at the facility . . . That's how I know the Guardian story is true.

He was there. It happened.

Here's the WBEZ interview about those General Orders.

Note: The Guardian included a link to those General Orders in its first Homan story as documented, corroborating evidence.


Even the attempts by local media to knock down the story contain seeds of confirmation. Consider the end of the Tribune story - could've been the lead! - featuring "head-scratching" reporters and lawyers with no experience at Homan trying to figure out what all the fuss was about:

Attorney Michael Deutsch represented one of the three protesters prosecuted under the little-known state terrorism charge that police sought after federal authorities expressed little interest in charging the case. Deutsch and other lawyers challenged the handling of their clients by police, especially their difficulties getting access to the men at Homan Square. They filed a motion to suppress any statements Brian Church, one of the NATO 3, gave while being held at Homan square.

Deutsch said prosecutors withdrew Church's statement to police as trial evidence so the motion was never argued before a judge.

"I think that's the reason (they withdrew it) was to avoid that kind of inquiry into what happened," he said. "If you can't find your client, you can't present yourself so that's what happened with Brian Church. We weren't able to find him for almost 24 hours."

That story also featured "wary," disbelieving lawyers - why talk to lawyers with no knowledge of Homan instead of lawyers with knowledge of Homan? - calling the CPD's statement denying all allegations as "laughable."



Real-time accounts from 2012 (you can find more at @BeachwoodReport):


You may not like those activists - though I generally do - but, as I tweeted earlier, civil rights are not awarded by a personality test; if they were, Rahm Emanuel wouldn't have any.

In fact, even the guilty are owed their civil rights in this country ...

That's where the institutional racism - including from the dismissive local media - comes in.


No lessons learned.


Getting the point: This interview is well worth your time - it's not long. Excellent explainer.


Come with me now, on a journey through the land of reading comprehension: The Beachwood Radio Hour #46: Explaining Chicago's Black Site.

It's long, but I'm no longer going to be sheepish about length or sound quality or the (in my view) slow start. Listen to it and I'm pretty certain you will be rewarded.

(The Beachwood Radio Network's shows have been accepted for iTunes, by the way, which will make them easier to listen to for many of you, I'm told; I just have to take the last step on my end to make it happen. Will try this week.)


Fantasy Fix Baseball Draft Guide Pt. 2: The Middle Men
Baez vs. Alcantara vs. Ramirez vs. Castro.


* Almost All Arrests In Ferguson Between 2012-2014 Were Black People.

Compare and contrast: Gawker Media has taught us a lot about writing headlines - and it has nothing to do with SEO.

* Silver Room Leaving Wicker Park For Hyde Park, Says Hood No Longer Respects Art.

Colonization complete.

* Plane Spotting At Midway - Chicago's Other Airport.

* Dick Blau Wants His Polka Heartland Exhibit To Be A Feeling Experience.

* The Trews: Government Spying: Who's The Biggest Threat To Your Security?

* Chicago Sex In Cars.

* Bush White House's Repeated Torture Denials Led CIA Torturers To Seek Repeated Assurances.




It appears a lot of people do - just not in Chicago newsrooms filled with bruised egos.


The Beachwood Tip Line: Seat yourself.


Posted on March 4, 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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