Deli Customers Dragged into Chicago’s Secret Prison by Masked Police

Cassius Methyl
Activist Post

On September 29th 2011, a group of masked men burst into the Paseo Boricua Grocery & Deli in Chicago.

Witnesses say they initially thought it was a robbery. It turned out to be the police showing up to kidnap five men taking them to the secret detention warehouse known as Homan Square, a facility just publicly uncovered last week that sparked a protests in Chicago and nationwide.

John Vergara, an art teacher, who was taken to Homan Square in this incident said:

At first I thought it was a robbery. I didn’t know it was the police until the sergeant walked in.

The cops had machine guns, according to Jose Garcia, one of the other men dragged into Homan Square. In his interview with The Guardian he claims:

…machine guns – I mean, I’m talking about rifles.

They all had masks, all of them. They looked like Isis – put it that way.

So John Vergara and Jose Garcia were taken to Homan Square with the deli manager and 2 others; they were detained for about 9 hours. They were, of course, denied access to a phone call, a lawyer, or any form of due process.

If you were unaware, Homan Square is a secret prison where people have been tortured and killed by the Chicago police, bringing up images of Guantanamo Bay in the minds of many. After the powerful revelation, the Twitter storm #Gitmo2Chicago not only trended on its intended platform, but it trended on Facebook as well. In addition to the storm, a protest of about 200 people occurred right outside the facility.

During their incarceration, police tried for hours to get them to falsely confess to crimes until one of the incarcerated men name-dropped a particularly good Chicago lawyer. They were then released on the condition that they never speak of what happened at Homan Square. Garcia:

We’re in an abandoned building, we’re freaking out, we’re seeing these guys with masks coming in and out, and John is telling them they’re bogus, ‘You guys are doing this illegally,’ and this and this and this.

Then they came back and all of a sudden they seemed scared.

John Vergara added:

I pretty much was kidnapped.

I did not have any idea where I was. I didn’t even know about that building until that day.

Referring to his employer who was falsely targeted by police, Garcia said

This guy’s never been in trouble, and the next thing you know, they come out with drugs [charges]. We’re like: ‘What?’

An original article from The Guardian about the incident said:

Unlike the seven other people held at Homan Square interviewed by the Guardian, Garcia and Vergara said all five of them were held in the same room. It was no ordinary cell: three sides of it were concrete and the fourth, containing a door, was metal-link fencing – reminiscent of the “cages” described by Homan Square arrestees Brock Terry and David Smith, as well as former police superintendent Richard Brzeczek.

Vergara says he was handcuffed to a metal bar by one hand and an elderly customer from the deli’s hospital bracelet by the other hand in a cage-like area he drew in the picture below.

We were cuffed to each other and to the bar,

Garcia said.

They thought I was a threat because of my size. I was like, ‘Dude, you don’t have to put me like I’m an animal.’

Vergara remembered what the police threatened him with:

If you guys don’t fess up, we’re gonna put all of this on you, we’re gonna split this up that we found, and we’re gonna put each and every one of you with a piece of this if you guys don’t talk.

So when Vergara mentioned the name of lawyer Blake Horowitz, he recalled:

When I mentioned his name, the whole game changed.

Garcia also said:

“Humboldt Park, everybody could be a paralegal there. That’s how much they fuck with you, the police. We know the ins and outs,” and “They probably thought we was some dumbass Ricans or whatever, we don’t know shit. So when we start spitting out some of this paralegal stuff we know – oh, shit, damn.”

Vergara paraphrased the deal eventually offered to him by a police sergeant:

‘You don’t say nothing and we’ll leave it at that.’ And I’m like, well, no – if I don’t say nothing, that means you guys uncuff us, take us back to the restaurant, and I won’t say nothing to the attorney.

Garcia said:

I said, ‘John, look, bro, just tell them anything so we can get the fuck out of here.’

Vergara recalled:

About an hour later, he came back and they uncuffed us all.

The Guardian article said:

Police drove them back to the deli – all, that is, except Calderon, who was taken to Central Male Lockup on 26th Street and California Avenue and charged with possession with intent to distribute cocaine.

Calderon eventually took a plea deal; he may have falsely confessed.

A local attorney named Billy Joe Mills said:

Vergara has shown the public that the Chicago police department can kidnap and secretly interrogate people for having done nothing more than get a cup of coffee at the wrong restaurant at the wrong time.

Garcia also said:

“I seen that, and I’m saying to myself, Chicago police officer? Wait a minute, those sons of bitches – that’s how they did us,” and ‘I said to myself, that’s how those fuckers did us, that same shit, that Guantánamo Bay shit.” “It was like we were terrorists, you know what I’m saying? Off some petty shit.

The Homan Square revelation was a turning point in the movement to oppose the police state; the revelations about this continue coming and they have extreme implications. Protesters of Homan Square have specifically expressed concern for the police’s ability to legally detain and kill anyone they want with no due process. All made possible by the NDAA (National Defense Authorization Act).

Another protest is coming to Homan Square this Saturday along with another Twitter storm to spread the word about Homan Square. The last one was enormously successful.

You can participate in the Twitter/Facebook hashtag storm by posting as much as you’d like informing people of this facility with the hashtag #Gitmo2Chicago.

It truly is effective. If you ask people how they heard about Homan Square, you may be surprised to learn that several people discovered it from the Twitter storm. It’s the very least you can do if you cannot show up to the Shut Down Homan Square protest in person.

Please share this with beyond as many people as possible.

This is the perfect issue to bring together activists and concerned citizens of all kinds; this is your opportunity to exercise your ability to spread information. It’s time to organize as people to fight back against pure tyranny and abuse of power.

This can’t continue. Let’s actually do something about this.

Cassius Methyl writes for,where this first appeared. Tune-in to The Anti-Media radio show Monday-Friday @ 11pm EST, 8pm PST.

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5 Comments on "Deli Customers Dragged into Chicago’s Secret Prison by Masked Police"

  1. Feel free to shoot and kill any masked men posing as cops cops don’t wear black ski masks only thugs do.

  2. Have I fallen asleep and awoken in another time and place, this is certainly not the country I have grown up in. Why is this place still open? Why aren’t the people who are behind this illegal bullshit in jail? Where the fuck is the mayor of Chicago, he approves of this? Things have gone too far and we must push back, now!!!!!!!!!!!!

  3. so far my comment is the 3rd at this thread. THREE frickin’ comments!!! Well anyway, in principle police have been doing this for decades, framing people for what they did not do or would not have done without criminal prompting. Then if they can’t even pull that off, they will commit the crime themselves suing a look-alike of their target, then arrest their targeted person. Then they’ll intimidate the person into signing a statement to the effect that police didn’t violate their rights. “Is it illegal to say “they need to be killed”?. If so, they can suck my appendage and act out their criminal psychopathies by going home and diddling their children.

  4. This story (or a better version) needs to be printed & posted everywhere around Chicago. EVERY bus stop, streetlight & corner. Not to big or they’ll catch on. Too bad I don’t live there.

  5. The people running the US Government are psychopaths, sociopaths, and pathological liars.

    The US Government is the Biggest Organized Crime Syndicate on the Planet and they are Politically Targeting Citizens, Activists and Journalists for High Tech Surveillance Monitored Crimes now, using Ex-Military, DHS, special operations personnel and equipment to carry out their crimes now.

    People like Kay Griggs, Michael Hastings, Phillip Marshall, Judi Bari and myself have been targeted by these special ops teams involved in
    criminal operations in the US. They have been promoting and rewarding war criminals for years from the CIA and Military Black Sites and Torture Facilities, into Homeland Security, FBI, Law Enforcement, and other government agencies across the country, to target citzens for surveillance and crimes.

    Watch Kay Griggs videos on you tube, as she gives her testimonial for what has been going on for a long time now.

    Since 2011, I’ve been targeted for surveillance burglaries, vandalism, pet
    torture, vehicle tampering as well as the planting of stolen and unknown origin property and malicious prosecution. My safe deposit box was even burglarized. No one would help me, out of the dozens and dozens of organizations and attorneys I’ve contacted. I can’t get my FOIA Requests fulfilled for information on my surveillance “Watch List” targeted crimes and it’s even common knowledge in Washington state that Homeland Security personnel are involved in my targeted surveillance and gang stalking crimes.

    The only hope people have is to get out of the country before the dollar
    collapses. As a targeted activist, who can’t find an attorney or a civil rights
    or constitutional rights organization to help me, my only hope is to possibly try to leave the country. My cruise control stopped working on my 140 mile trip back from Spokane WA, on Thursday February 26th (about a week and 1/2 ago), and I was gang stalked on the road by multiple vehicles (one of them with a Big Transformer Decal on the Back Window, one with a Big US “Infantry” sticker on his back window, as well as by WA license plate # WEPLAY2) and after they all turned off and I got past Colville, WA, I tried my cruise control again and it started working. I know they have had remote control over my car alarms on my vehicles for a long time now, and it looks to me that they can also remote control my cruise control as well now……


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