There is an off-the-books warehouse in the Chicago's Homan Square neighborhood where suspects are kept out of official databases, denied constitutional rights such as legal counsel and abused, according to a recent investigative report published by The Guardian.
Lawyers describe the controversial prison the domestic equivalent of the CIA's so-called “black sites” that are usually offshore to interrogate terrorists – sort of like the Guantanamo Bay detention camp in Cuba.
There are even armored vehicles and surveillance gear parked outside.
“It’s not really a secret location, but it’s kind of a cloistered location,” Richard Brzeczek, a former Chicago police superintendent, was quoted as saying.
Brian Jacob Church – who was allegedly taken to Homan Square on terrorism charges after a raid on his NATO protest group in 2012 – told the Guardian that the officers cuffed him to a bench and interrogated for nearly 17 hours, without being read his Miranda rights to remain silent or given access to an attorney.
“Essentially, I wasn’t allowed to make any contact with anybody,” Church stated.
"Suspected criminals are just picked up and thrown into the back of unmarked cars by police officers wielding assault rifles and wearing bulletproof vests. Describing the process as highly militarized would be fair,” Anthony Hill, a criminal defense attorney, told Business Insider.
"It's a black hole," he added.
While the Chicago Police Department denies black site-style abuse at Homan Square, the Guardian reports that detainees there are not only detained without charge, they are not even entered into official databases.
“It’s sort of an open secret among attorneys that regularly make police station visits, this place – if you can’t find a client in the system, odds are they’re there,” said Julia Bartmes, Chicago lawyer.
The Guardian’s report comes almost a week after the newspaper accused a Chicago police detective Richard Zuley of assisting in interrogations at Guantanamo Bay in 2002.