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The [Wednesday] Papers

"Detainees, legal advocates and activists testified on Tuesday at the first public hearing to examine Homan Square, the Chicago police interrogation facility exposed by the Guardian and falling under renewed scrutiny amid intense examination of the city's law enforcement officials," the Guardian reports.

"Police department officials were invited to attend Tuesday's hearing of the county commissioners."

Police department officials declined that invitation - but, as a matter of course, did issue a statement:

We have been clear about this for many months. The allegations regarding Homan square and CPD's operations there are completely false, and even a number of independent experts and lawyers have discounted the claims," said spokesman Anthony Guglielmi.

Translation: Even the Chicago media says it's not true - and they didn't even bother asking us questions!

"But seven people who were either detained or involved in exposing the detentions testified instead, for more than an hour of answers meant to push the city closer toward shuttering the West Side facility," notes the Guardian, which has produced more than two dozen articles about Homan Square and is currently engaged in a FOIA lawsuit with the city over documents relate to the facility.


"Flint Taylor, the longtime civil rights attorney who helped press for a landmark reparations ordinance earlier this year and whose clients are suing the city for unconstitutional 'widespread and interrelated Chicago police department patterns and practices' at Homan Square, gave a testimonial in front of the commission and sizable crowd of citizens who watched.

"Some of the activities in Homan Square fit into the definition of torture, internationally, under the UN's definition," Taylor said, "and Homan Square needs to be looked at under that light."

"He argued that allegations logged in lawsuits and a series of Guardian articles fit into a long history of police practices stemming from the police detective Jon Burge, who who tortured more than 200 Chicago citizens who were in police custody across two decades."


My friend Tracy Siska, of the Chicago Justice Project, also testified. Afterward, he told Progress Illinois this:

"I'm sick of hearing journalists telling me off the record that it couldn't have possibly happened in Chicago and that myself and everyone else are liars."


Chicago is actually the most likely (American) city this could possibly happen in. If it can't happen here, it can't happen anywhere. And we know it can.


It's also so not-hard to believe. It's not fantastical in any way - not nearly as hard to believe as Burge's torture chambers or even just the mind-blowing routine scandal around here.

(A decorated chief of detectives in Chicago once ran a nationwide jewelry ring for the mob! A police chief not too long ago resigned over his friendship with a mob-related murder suspect! C'mon!)


As far as I can tell, neither the Tribune nor the Sun-Times covered the hearing.

UPDATE: 11:10 a.m.: From the Guardian's Zach Stafford:

In a second tweet, Zach clarified further: "I am not 100% sure, but lets just say their marked seats were taken by the Guardian and P-IL due to being empty."


"The reality is, no one knows where that person is at Homan Square," said University of Chicago law professor Craig Futterman told the Guardian in October. "They're disappeared at that point."

Futterman was instrumental in the release of the Laquan McDonald dash-cam video.







Some commissioners tried to kill the hearing. Another, Deborah Sims, oddly feared even accepting handouts, as if they were Top Secret documents that could land her in a place like . . . Homan Square.


Finally, Chuy:


Previously in Homan Square:

* 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.

* The [Monday] Papers: Homan Squared.

* Chicago Politicians Push DOJ To investigate 'CIA Or Gestapo Tactics' At Secret Police Site.

* Chicago's Homan Square: Torture By Any Other Name . . .

* Amnesty International Calls For Federal Investigation Of Homan Square.


Council Commiseration
Of course, the "big" hearing yesterday was the one hosted by the Chicago City Council. Check out @BeachwoodReport for commentary on that - and find out why WBEZ's Natalie Moore was Tuesday's Best Person in Chicago (and who was a close second).



Both hearings at the same time in the same building on the same day. Draw a line, people.


A City Called Heaven
God's Posse and the critical role of Chicago in gospel music.

How Saddam's Men Help Islamic State Rule
Of Islamic State's 23 portfolios - equivalent to ministries - former Saddam regime officers run three of the most crucial: security, military and finance.

The Art Institute's New Contemporary
Iconic artists transform collection.


The Beachwood Tip Line: Protemporary.


Posted on December 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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