Amid controversy over the Chicago Police Department’s off–the-books interrogation site, the Chicago Sun-Times ran a piece fully exonerating the police department, by basing the article entirely off statements made by the police department.
Don’t worry good citizens, the police have investigated themselves in less than 24 hours and found they’ve done nothing wrong.
Police officials responded that the facility isn’t used to violate suspects’ rights — and isn’t even secret.
The Guardian never claimed the building was secret; it even had photos of it. Everybody knows Guantanamo Bay exists as a Navy base. Does that mean the treatment of prisoners there isn’t secret? A person can drive right up the gates of the Central Intelligence Agency, therefore there are no secrets inside. It’s quite a leap of logic, isn’t it?
The “news” outlet in Chicago goes on to allow a Police Department spokesperson to state:
If lawyers have a client detained at Homan Square, just like any other facility, they are allowed to speak to and visit them.
Of course immediately after the quote, the article describes that they aren’t treated the same as any other facility. In fact, they have to be taken to another facility for booking. Until a suspect is booked, they aren’t in the computer. If they aren’t in the computer, they can’t be found no matter how long cops detain them at the secretive holding facility. In other words, the cop confirmed that detail of The Guardian’s story.
Then the article goes on to talk about how a specific suspect wasn’t beaten by police at the location. He was just handcuffed in an uncomfortable position. The article doesn’t make any attempt to refute the allegation that he was denied his lawyer after explicitly requesting him. In fact, it doesn’t even bring that allegation up. It’s not hard to figure out why.
The police then gave the Chicago Sun Times the most illogical of all responses in order to take attention away from the death of a suspect in custody, and the paper obediently printed it:
The Guardian also ominously noted that John Hubbard, 44, was found unresponsive in an interview room at Homan Square and pronounced dead on Feb. 2, 2013. The Guardian said the Cook County medical examiner’s office couldn’t locate a record indicating his cause of death.
But on Tuesday, the office told the Sun-Times that Hubbard died of an accidental heroin overdose. He was taken into custody after he allegedly bought drugs from an undercover officer, arrest records show.
This story doesn’t even pass a basic logic test. So the undercover officer sold Hubbard heroin, then allowed him to shoot up the evidence, then he OD’d, then they arrested him? Or did he shoot up while in custody? When was he arrested again? Or was he given a hot load by officers conducting an interrogation? We won’t ever know. If he bought drugs from the officer, immediately recovering the drugs sold by the officer would be necessary to preserve the chain of custody in the event of a trial.
Typically people who have shot up so much heroin that they are on the verge of overdosing, don’t go buy more dope. So he shot up after the sale. How did this happen? Why weren’t these records available to The Guardian, but were immediately available once the allegation of wrongdoing came out? I’m willing to bet the ink is still wet on those reports. The report is missing for two years, but magically appears after the controversy.
Sorry, this response is too little, too late. It raises more questions than it answers and it doesn’t address even half of the allegations. This story will not end because a media outlet says “Nothing to see here. Move along.”
Police accountability activists, the Anonymous collective, some militia groups, and civil rights groups are planning a national day of protest over the facility. There are also plans to establish a vigil outside the building to photograph every person that enters the facility, and publish the photos on the Web. For some reason, I think the facility that isn’t secret will send cops over to remove the activists.