Homan Square

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Place.png Homan Square
(Black site)
Homan Square.jpg
LocationsChicago, USA
A black site that even after its exposure in February 2015 continued to be used by Chicago police for a range of off-the-books activities.

Homan Square is a black site used by the Chicago Police Department. Guardian investigative reporter Spencer Ackerman "sparked a firestorm"[1] on 24 February 2015 under the headline "Chicago’s Homan Square 'black site': surveillance, military-style vehicles and a metal cage". [2] Their series of reports would last almost a year, and include over 20 first-hand accounts of imprisonment in the facility.[3]

The Guardian reported that no booking records were generated at Homan Square, in fact no "contemporaneous public record of someone’s presence at Homan Square is known to exist"[4] and that prisoners in Homan Square were not only denied legal access, but shackled and held for hours or even days.[5]

Official denials

The Chicago Police Department issued a statement that "the allegation that physical violence is part of interviews with suspects is unequivocally false."[6] In late 2015, the USDOJ announced that they would launch an investigation.[7] Asked by The Guardian whether Homan Square would be included in the federal investigation into police violence, the US Attorney General, Loretta Lynch replied that “The issues that you raise are extremely important [but] They are not at this time within the purview of our investigation.”[8]


At 08:55, 26 February 2015‎ GangofOne created a single sentence page about the site, but at 21:46 IjonTichyIjonTichy redirected it to a subsection of the Chicago Police Department page within 13 hours.[9] As of January 2018, this section had 10 sentences, centered on the Guardian reports.[10]


After the facility was exposed by The Guardian on 25 February 2015, other commercially-controlled media picked up on it, such as the Daily Mail, which published a story about the facility the next day under the headline "Chicago police are operating a CIA-style black site where suspects are 'disappeared,' denied lawyers and shackled for up to 17 hours, activists say"[11] However, the CPD continued to use the facility thereafter.[12]

A Facebook event, Shut Down Homan Square was created for 7 March 2015, with ~1600 people reporting that they went.[13]

In October 2015, The Guardian reported that "narcotics, vice and anti-gang units operat[e] out of Homan Square", and upped the number of people who had been taken there to over 7000, who were held without access to an attorney.[14]

Protests against the site were ongoing in 2020, alleging its continued use as a black site.[15]


The commercially-controlled media has shown little interest in the facility since the 2015 announcement from the USDOJ that they would launch an investigation. The Guardian's last known report on Homan Square was on 14 January 2016.[16]


The Guardian reported that Nicholas Roti, the chief of the bureau of organized crime, resigned from the Chicago police department in mid March 2015, "after attorneys for three Homan Square victims announced that they would file the first civil rights lawsuit over the facility with the aim of shutting down the complex likened by attorneys and activists to the domestic law enforcement equivalent of a CIA “black site.”"[17]


The Guardian reported in August 2015 that "At least 3,500 Americans have been detained inside a Chicago police warehouse described by some of its arrestees as a secretive interrogation facility, newly uncovered records reveal. Of the thousands held in the facility known as Homan Square over a decade, 82% were black. Only three received documented visits from an attorney, according to a cache of documents obtained when the Guardian sued the police."[12]

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  1. https://www.huffingtonpost.com/g-flint-taylor/chicago-homan-square-tort_b_6843750.html
  2. https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2015/feb/24/chicago-homan-square-black-site
  3. https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2015/oct/19/chicago-homan-square-police-abuse-lawsuit
  4. http://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2015/oct/19/homan-square-chicago-police-disappeared-thousands
  5. http://www.theguardian.com/us-news/homan-square
  6. http://abc7chicago.com/news/cpd-releases-fact-sheet-on-homan-square-facility/539346/
  7. http://edition.cnn.com/2015/12/07/us/chicago-police-justice-department-laquan-mcdonald-investigation/index.html
  8. http://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2015/dec/07/us-attorney-general-homan-square-findings-are-extremely-important
  9. https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Homan_Square&action=history
  10. https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Chicago_Police_Department&oldid=820086652
  11. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2968140/The-shocking-claims-Chicago-s-Homan-Square-dubbed-domestic-black-site.html
  12. a b http://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2015/aug/05/homan-square-chicago-thousands-detained
  13. https://www.facebook.com/events/772047659539836
  14. http://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2015/oct/19/homan-square-chicago-police-disappeared-thousands
  15. http://radio4all.net/index.php/program/106322
  16. https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2016/jan/14/homan-square-justice-department-investigation-chicago-police-
  17. https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2015/mar/19/senior-chicago-police-commander-resigns-homan-square