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  1. Of the complaints you've seen made against officers for things like stop and search, use of force, and arrests, how many are justified or at least partly justified (maybe the officer is in the right but you can see why the complaint was made) compared to completely unjustified complaints with no grounds whatsoever? What happens to an officer if they carry out an unreasonable search, complaint is made, and the complaint is upheld/the person reviewing the BWV agrees the grounds for that search were not there. I'm assuming it can depend on a few things, such as if it's the first such incident for that officer, was it blatantly unreasonable or just pushing the boundaries a little bit.
  2. If you arrest someone for a summary only offence, say common assault and they run off into their address, are you able to force entry in pursuance of them? (No other offences, no one has laid handcuffs on them, there are no other offences to hand) Or not allowed full stop as it's a summary only offence?
  3. Hello, I have a question: if parents call the police at home because they seen 12 years old daughter to use drug, if during the arrest the girl becomes aggressive and resists arrest, can cop hold the girl bent over his knee to calm her with parents permission?
  4. Ironic

    Once upon a time in January 2021

    I posted a couple of these a few years ago and got some decent reception, I thought it would be nice to write a couple more of my experiences more recently. I am approaching 5 years with Thames Valley at the time of writing this. …Sometime in January 2021. Location: [Redacted] Night shift. ….The night is young. I tend to leave for work as late as possible. I recently moved so it is a bit of a trial and error to see how much time I can chip away at the commute before getting to work. 15 minutes is not too bad. The station has plenty of parking, certainly makes things easier. I do feel sorry for the officers who are not so fortunate to be able to park at the station in some of our sister stations. I used to cycle in a lot but these days I tend to prefer to drive. Nothing is more demoralizing then a long shift, sometimes overtime then having to face the realization you cycled in and it will be 40 minutes home. I walk into the locker room and get kitted up; my locker looks something like something resembling a hoarder’s paradise. I should probably tidy it up at some point! On goes the DPV and belt. Our kit these days is a mix of Old/New issued vests, with some of us wearing newer issued MOLLE-type and some with the older DPV/kit belt. Eventually we will all match I expect… I walk upstairs a short distance to the briefing room. It is a large room formerly occupied up until recently by a different team. The room has a large pull-down projector screen and an assortment of chairs in a COVID-19 friendly social distancing seating layout. I used to brief the team, but I tend to let that be done by the newbies these days to get some experience. Not to brag, but I once got an email informing me how well I briefed the team from an inspector sitting in on our briefing. (Rolling eyes emoji) Haha. There is an art to briefing appropriately without sentence by sentence. Short punchy sentences! We are issued our callsigns/crewing’s for the night by the skipper. We get the arrest-car callsign which will be to hunt down some wanted persons. I am in a three-officer crewing in a caged vivaro. Not too bad. At least it is not a bed/scene/cell watch or a prisoner…. Could be worse! One of my crewmates is a PC In her probation who was formerly a special Constable, and an actual Special Constable. Both are eager to crack on with the attempts. I am the driver. Like any set goal, we spend a bit of time getting to know our quarry. Some of the faces have been outstanding for a while. We decide to travel out of area to a different LPA to do our first attempt and will swing by more local areas on outbound journey. We kit up the van with our kitbags. I have noticed that in the last year or so, a good chunk of PC’s have migrated to using MOLLE rucksacks (Myself included), they are easier to carry and are just as good as the old box-shaped kitbags that used to be popular years back. I do my vehicle checks and then we depart the station on our taskings. Our first few attempts are negative. We arrive 40 minutes later at our most distant attempt. We disembark and the house is in darkness, with the distant sound of a barking dog the only sign of activity in a rural area a few miles from the nearest town. One of my crewmates tries the door. It is a peculiar premise, a flat above a shop, but it is not actually obvious where the front door is, whether the access is via the store or a separate entrance… We try for 10 minutes to get some attention. There is CCTV, it is probably likely the person will know what we were there for. We get no success, so we depart back to our home LPA, with a tactical diversion via McDonalds. Eat when you can! We make our way back to our base-station to update taskings. Up until this stage, good portion of the night we have spend driving. An hour or so later we are dispatched to a domestic incident as a triple-crew. We make on immediate graded response and arrive 10 minutes later. It is a domestic incident involving a couple, one of whom is subject of a DVPO that he has allegedly breached. We go upstairs to speak to our caller; her ex-partner has just left the area but had allegedly assaulted her. We know he is not supposed to be there (and has breached his DVPO), so we take an initial account. Body-worn cameras are a great tool and allow you to focus on the person you are speaking to. A few minutes later, we became aware that the suspect had returned to the location and was stood outside, heckling his partner. We hastily run downstairs to detain the suspect. He is known to us, talks a lot of tripe but normally will calm down and come quietly. Not tonight. I speak to him and engage; he is quite agitated. Possibly under the influence of drugs. He is smoking and holding a plastic bag that I assume holds some of his living belongings. He is upset at his ex-partner (shouting and swearing) and is unhappy that he thinks POLICE do not listen to him. We make attempts to calm him down and let him finish his cigarette, he is not making any attempt to run but we position him with his back to the door, so he is contained. He begins to become more hostile. The signs are all there and he knows he is about to be arrested The great thing when you have trust in your crewmates is you do not need to say anything to them, merely a cursory glance at each other and a slight motion will usually emphasize the point. It is time to get this chap under control, we are not going to be able to talk him down and we are going around in circles. Me and my SC crew mate each take an arm and I get the magic words. Your nicked…. He begins to tense up, I have seen this too many times before, and it is time to roll the dice once again. He is warned about tensing his arms, but he is not having any of it. He refuses to put his arms behind his back. I make the decision he needs to be on the floor to obtain full control of him. He does not like this. He is surprisingly strong for a chap who is shorter and skinnier. I suspect drugs have something to do with it. He is goading us with his alleged fighting experience and is trying to pull away and is shouting /screaming. I am struggling to get him on his front, I stumble and fall holding his arm, he begins to try and get up and run. His resistance is more than expected, our Special Constable crewmate who was on the other arm is also struggling to keep him down. My crewmate loses his grip and then deploys captor on him. I make a call for assistance. (I had not heard, but my PC colleague here also called for assistance) The chap stood up 2-3 times before I was able to get his arm in a pin position and he began to fatigue, but he was still aggressively resisting. We are rolling around in the mud. The only other option would be a distraction strike but fortunately he begins to tire and with one last heave he is on his front with my full body weight on his left arm. I am plastered in mud and resemble a mud wrestler. I am exhausted. With how we fell, I was the main driving force to get him down on the ground, a little one on one. The captor did not have any effect until much later. He was far too agitated/wired to pay any attention to it. We get his arms behind his back and finally have him under control. He is also arrested for resisting arrest. We were probably rolling around with him for 1-2 minutes. The cavalry arrives and assist with moving him in to the cage. I am battered and bruised but can drive the vivaro. Although I do cringe at the amount of grunting, I was doing in the body-worn video later. My trousers are coated in mud. We arrive back at the station; I depart to clean myself off and write my statement. I later learned he was a delight to deal with in custody and was positively bouncing off the walls as he was being booked in. There was a welcome party for him in the custody dock…. I spend the next 1-2 hours writing my statement and sorting other enquiries related to the matter. My knees are swollen and bloody, but relatively superficial. I book off relatively on time. I slept like a log!
  5. Jamie1983

    Special Warnings

    Can anyone clear a few points up with special warnings? My understanding is that you an arrest under prompt and effective to make a special warning available to you, should it be a significant fact a person has a mark. object or was in a place (MOP)at the time of a crime. This would make the investigation more effective as otherwise you could not use these and the courts could not take a negative inference against a no comment in interview. A colleague said, however, they were not applicable in some cases, such as when a person was arrested for possession of class A/B and they admitted it was such om the street pre-caution, therefore to arrest them to utilise a special warning was not applicable. (I appreciate there may be other reasons to arrest in this situation). Can anyone clear this up for me? Many thanks, J
  6. How do police choose who to arrest while leaving other protesters alone? I saw one video of a guy being arrested while they just ignored the guy with a megaphone standing right beside them
  7. I love the police response. And looking at the video seems like he got a good beating with those wooden poles lying on the floor!
  8. Code G states one of the necessities for arrest is - Prevent offence against public decency. Public decency makes me think automatically of things like exposure and indecency. Am i barking up the wrong tree? I'm wondering if it could be a useful necessity for Public Order offences? Can anyone give any examples of offences where it might be necessary to arrest to prevent an offence against public decency? I'm trying to use P+E as little possible now and when another necessity exists, i will use that.
  9. Pathca

    Arrest or not

    Not wishing to take the other thread further off topic Is successful policing about arresting people? Or looking at alternatives that may bring about the same conclusion? I remember a conversation where a Regular officer in company with a Special picked up another Special to take them somewhere. This Specials first comment was ' So how many people have you arrested then? ' Before the other SC could reply the Regular jumped in and said 'It's not about arresting people it's about how many you haven't arrested and finding other solutions as well ' That conversation took place over 20 years ago . When I take part In role play, the new recruits are expected to arrest the 'criminals ' but be aware of alternatives like Voluntary Attendance and that they would possibly be used in a real life setting Personally I feel we don't have to arrest to bring about a solution that is effective, but others obviously disagree
  10. James255

    Swedish Police Arrest

    Watch from the beginning to 5.36. They seem to have the same problem as the UK police with people filming and trying to obstruct them. The arrest doesn't look too good.
  11. Mdon

    Facebook video of BTP

    Just seen this on Facebook, don't know if this is the wrong place so please feel free to move mods. Whats everyones thoughts? I'm so surprised she didn't get locked up?! https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2016/jul/28/man-complains-after-police-place-spit-hood-over-head-during-arrest-london-bridge
  12. David

    Time to rethink arrest

    For once in a way I am speechless. Full article can be found here http://www/news/live/enews-new-35705750
  13. This has come up a few times recently and I was looking for some clarification. The special warnings are covered by S.37/S.38 of the Criminal Justice Act 1994: Legislation.gov link This seems to cover things like inferences being drawn from your presence at or near a crime scene with suspicious marks, matching footwear, being covered in blood, glass shards, etc. but I can't find any references to this special warning being required to be given post-arrest? Is it just given as per the normal use of the when and now caution?
  14. Hi all, I am currently finalising my dissertation for my masters and would be grateful for some help if possible. Please see the below. If you would like to help I would be grateful if you would click on the link below and complete the questionnaire. The purpose of the study is to identify whether a mandatory arrest policy, as present in many States within America, works in reducing domestic violence incidents and if so whether it could work in England and Wales. The study is being conducted purely for an educational purpose and as part of the researchers MSc final dissertation in Criminology and Criminal Psychology. Thank you all in advance. Research Request Kind Regards Laura Institute of Criminal Justice Studies T: +44 (0)23 9284 3933 E: icjsapplicatio[email protected] A: Ravelin House Museum Road Portsmouth PO1 2QQ
  15. West Midlands Police also twice as likely to use force when not wearing body CCTV equipment, chiefs told Full Story - Birmingham Mail
  16. MajorDisaster

    The County Show

    Rank:SC Experience: 9 Months Duty: Two days at the County Show. The County Show is the premier annual event in our neck of the woods - it runs for three days but I only did the first two. Summary of how it went. Day 1: 0730 - Meet up at Station with NPT Sgt, Special Sgt and several other officers. We go up to the show ground and locate the police tent. We are sharing with the PCC rep, a drug outreach charity, a military charity and the council crime prevention dept. There are things for the kids, dressing up stuff, two officers who are on light duties are making up thumbprint keyrings - a great idea and very popular. Outside is a JCB with police markings and a blue light bar and, thanks BBC Wales, a full size TARDIS. There is also some recruiting literature for the Specials. My Special colleague and I spend most of the day on foot patrol. It is very hot and we get through a lot of water. The stands are very busy but we stop and talk here and there. We and out hundreds of wristbands that parents can write their number on and attach to their offspring in case they get lost. Two hand bags are reunited with their owners and a missing child is located. One dog is found in a car and the owner responds to a PA broadcast which includes the information that if not released shortly we would be putting the window in - thankfully the dog is gone by the time we get back to the vehicle. I left about 1600 though some of my colleagues stayed on until 1800. Day 2: Much the same but the weather is foul. It is hoofing it down. This is not good for the stallholders but it is better for us - we talk to them and have ore time to stop and chat to those punters who have braved the weather. We get tea and biscuits from one stall then more from the Mothers' Union. By lunchtime the weather is brightening up and it is a bit busier. A lost teenager is located, then... 1600 - A call up, a stallholder has reported someone that he has seen lurking round the fairground performing 'an act of public indecency' on himself (guess). We are nearby and as we arrive I spot a chap matching the description - the stall holder has a picture and points him out too. I catch up with the lad, detain, arrest, caution and cuff. It is clear he has some learning difficulties but he understands what is going on. The NPT van is brought round and a regular and I head for custody where he is booked in. His parents address is in his wallet so they are contacted. I go upstairs and do a short statement. One of the others will get the informant's statement. 1700 - Knock off. The others were coming back in as I left. Two excellent days that hopefully reflect well on the Force in general and the Specials too. We were able to help boost numbers and we got the arrest. Me and one of the PCSOs with our latest mode of transport!
  17. MajorDisaster

    Saturday Night Time Economy

    Saturday Night, Response, 2000-0400. All timings approx 2000: Get in in a bit of a rush but looking forward to it as Code B are on and they are very Special Friendly - also one particular officer (Joe) is on and there's never a dull moment when I'm paired with him-at this point however he is out with RPU and some of the others are on another task so... 2015: Another officer and I head off with a Sgt from the south of the county to look for a specific habitual drink driver. On the way a car pulls out suddenly on us so we pull him over. My colleague breath tests him while I do the check. A moment's excitement when it comes back as no insurance or MOT, but he produces an MoT certificate dated two days ago and it turns out he has Traders insurance. He blows zero so is sent on his way with advice to be careful in the future. We do not find our target but on the way back we do a Licence Check on a local pub that has had noise problems. All is in order and the girl singing in the bar was actually quite good. 2100: Status 4 - I'd taken a chinese in which matched what the rest of the two codes now in were having (the other code are slightly less SC Friendly but individually are still ok). We hear that the NPT Sgt who had been in coordinating an Op has passed his Inspector's board so there is much congratulating and good natured p***taking. 2200: The duty inspector wants boots on the ground in pairs for town patrol, as Joe is tied up with a traffic job I hang around for a bit catching up on the e brief and some bits and bobs. 2245: Joe comes back and we grab the cage van, park up in town and start our wanderings. We run into the other pair and head down to the skate park, now in darkness. There we sneak up on 4 lads who are having a smoke. One is very sus and Joe searches him while we sniff round the others (literally). They are fine, and not too drunk but our dodgy one (who has plenty of previous) is getting gobby and only the intervention of his mates stops him getting nicked. They decide to head back into town. 0030. There are still only a few hundred in town. The clubs are only about a quarter full. One of the local weirdos is causing trouble but is sent on his way and we head back into the main square. 0100. The other pair on patrol take the van back up to the nick for a brew and we agree we'll stroll back in slow time, but as we are about to set off Joe spots a scrote about to relieve himself in a doorway. In the ensuing discussion the lad gets sufficiently gobby that he is nicked under S5. We get the girls to bring the van back for him, but it is getting a bit antsy as his friends are being very difficult. As luck would have it another CS and a traffic unit happen to arrive in town and order is restored. Our boy's girlfriend is furious - with him or us it is impossible to tell (all will be revealed later). 0115. We head off to the nick to process our lad, as we pass the Leisure Centre we are flagged down by a car who tells us 'he's up there' - Who? Turns out he'd phoned in a man smashing up a car but we hadn't heard the call in the hoo ha in town. Other units are coming down - it's only 200 yards from the nick - but by coincidence we are first on scene. We head up where he directs and end up running down a street to find the attacker. I arrest and caution at which point he coughs. He'd walloped his ex's windscreen with a hammer (recovered). Joe processes our S5 (Q: Have you ever been arrested before? A :yes Q:When? A: Last night!!!!) and I process our Crim Dam. Upstairs for a brew, and short statements. The inspector is well pleased as officially Joe and I managed two arrests in under 5 minutes. Specials getting arrests are flagged up as the Chief Constable likes us and is recruiting actively! 0230. Files completed we head back into town for chucking out. I see several of my students - I call them The Usual Suspects, though they are not bad lads. One of them got punched and has bled well on his shirt but he isn't bothered by it being a rugby player and well anaesthetised. I get him to peel back his lip but it isn't serious. There's a bit of banter flying round but there are a few niggles surfacing and we put the word out for some extra bodies. We eventually finish up with about ten officers - more than I have seen before at that time (not many by big city standards but quite a few from our rural perspective) including two student officers and a traffic unit. 0315. Sure enough - big kick off. Battling parties separated and two nicked. I go back up the station with one of them and help process him in. About this time there is a call for officers to go round the front where a woman is kicking off. It turns out to be the girlfriend of the lad we nicked earlier. I seems it was us she was p***ed off at and she ends up reunited with him, well in the same cell block after being arrested! That causes much chortling in the custody suite. 0345: Finish booking in all and sundry, back upstairs and book off.
  18. To prevent a complete hijack of @Krycek topic of thought I'd start a new one as I'd never herd the term before. As I understand it they have no actual legal status and are perhaps slightly bias towards the protesters. Has anyone had any dealings? Positive or negative experiences?
  19. Just came across this on YouTube. It is footage from a police worn body camera that, from reading the description on YouTube, the defendant obtained from CPS because he is choosing to represent himself at court. Thoughts? I assume that we can't de-arrest someone that has been sprayed, even if the necessity/offence no longer remains?? Good after care given for the use of captor spray I thought
  20. Burnsy2023

    FTA warrants

    If you're arresting someone for a fail to appear warrant do you caution them? Obviously you don't need a necessity as it's not a PACE arrest and I don't think you need to caution as there will be no questioning as the investigation is complete, but I end up cautioning purely out of habit. Do you caution and do I need to?
  21. I have no words, I hope this brightens your day. :)
  22. https://www.facebook.com/ow.shiiiiiiit/videos/vb.1396053575/10206703428889794/?type=2&theater Doing the rounds on facebook today.
  23. https://youtube.com/watch?v=esWoyH5vZSk I have zero clue as to the context. However I thought it was well handled by the officers in what I perceived to be an incredibly challenging but not unseal environment. Yes I could say I would of done things differently, but I'm sitting down and not there. I suspect most officers, even if it's not for long, reflect after a scrap and evaluate what they did well or could of done differently. I do. I also think the youtube commenters have got the right idea as well.
  24. The Chicago police department operates an off-the-books interrogation compound, rendering Americans unable to be found by family or attorneys while locked inside what lawyers say is the domestic equivalent of a CIA black site. Held for hours at secret Chicago 'black site': 'You're a hostage. It's kidnapping' The facility, a nondescript warehouse on Chicago’s west side known as Homan Square, has long been the scene of secretive work by special police units. Interviews with local attorneys and one protester who spent the better part of a day shackled in Homan Square describe operations that deny access to basic constitutional rights. Alleged police practices at Homan Square, according to those familiar with the facility who spoke out to the Guardian after its investigation into Chicago police abuse, include: Keeping arrestees out of official booking databases. Beating by police, resulting in head wounds. Shackling for prolonged periods. Denying attorneys access to the “secure” facility. Holding people without legal counsel for between 12 and 24 hours, including people as young as 15. At least one man was found unresponsive in a Homan Square “interview room” and later pronounced dead. Brian Jacob Church, a protester known as one of the “Nato Three”, was held and questioned at Homan Square in 2012 following a police raid. Officers restrained Church for the better part of a day, denying him access to an attorney, before sending him to a nearby police station to be booked and charged. Chicago’s Homan Square 'black site': surveillance, military-style vehicles and a metal cage “Homan Square is definitely an unusual place,” Church told the Guardian on Friday. “It brings to mind the interrogation facilities they use in the Middle East. The CIA calls them black sites. It’s a domestic black site. When you go in, no one knows what’s happened to you.” The secretive warehouse is the latest example of Chicago police practices that echo the much-criticized detention abuses of the US war on terrorism. While those abuses impacted people overseas, Homan Square – said to house military-style vehicles, interrogation cells and even a cage – trains its focus on Americans, most often poor, black and brown. Unlike a precinct, no one taken to Homan Square is said to be booked. Witnesses, suspects or other Chicagoans who end up inside do not appear to have a public, searchable record entered into a database indicating where they are, as happens when someone is booked at a precinct. Lawyers and relatives insist there is no way of finding their whereabouts. Those lawyers who have attempted to gain access to Homan Square are most often turned away, even as their clients remain in custody inside. “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 Chicago lawyer Julia Bartmes. Chicago civil-rights attorney Flint Taylor said Homan Square represented a routinization of a notorious practice in local police work that violates the fifth and sixth amendments of the constitution. “This Homan Square revelation seems to me to be an institutionalization of the practice that dates back more than 40 years,” Taylor said, “of violating a suspect or witness’ rights to a lawyer and not to be physically or otherwise coerced into giving a statement.” Much remains hidden about Homan Square. The Chicago police department did not respond to the Guardian’s questions about the facility. But after the Guardian published this story, the department provided a statement insisting, without specifics, that there is nothing untoward taking place at what it called the “sensitive” location, home to undercover units. “CPD [Chicago police department] abides by all laws, rules and guidelines pertaining to any interviews of suspects or witnesses, at Homan Square or any other CPD facility. If lawyers have a client detained at Homan Square, just like any other facility, they are allowed to speak to and visit them. It also houses CPD’s Evidence Recovered Property Section, where the public is able to claim inventoried property,” the statement said, something numerous attorneys and one Homan Square arrestee have denied. “There are always records of anyone who is arrested by CPD, and this is not any different at Homan Square,” it continued. The Chicago police statement did not address how long into an arrest or detention those records are generated or their availability to the public. A department spokesperson did not respond to a detailed request for clarification. When a Guardian reporter arrived at the warehouse on Friday, a man at the gatehouse outside refused any entrance and would not answer questions. “This is a secure facility. You’re not even supposed to be standing here,” said the man, who refused to give his name. A former Chicago police superintendent and a more recently retired detective, both of whom have been inside Homan Square in the last few years in a post-police capacity, said the police department did not operate out of the warehouse until the late 1990s. But in detailing episodes involving their clients over the past several years, lawyers described mad scrambles that led to the closed doors of Homan Square, a place most had never heard of previously. The facility was even unknown to Rob Warden, the founder of Northwestern University Law School’s centre on Wrongful Convictions, until the Guardian informed him of the allegations of clients who vanish into inherently coercive police custody. “They just disappear,” said Anthony Hill, a criminal defence attorney, “until they show up at a district for charging or are just released back out on the street.” ‘They were held incommunicado for much longer than I think should be permitted in this country – anywhere – but particularly given the strong constitutional rights afforded to people who are being charged with crimes,” said Sarah Gelsomino, the lawyer for Brian Jacob Church. Jacob Church learned about Homan Square the hard way. On May 16 2012, he and 11 others were taken there after police infiltrated their protest against the Nato summit. Church says officers cuffed him to a bench for an estimated 17 hours, intermittently interrogating him without reading his Miranda rights to remain silent. It would take another three hours – and an unusual lawyer visit through a wire cage – before he was finally charged with terrorism-related offenses at the nearby 11th district station, where he was made to sign papers, fingerprinted and photographed. In preparation for the Nato protest, Church, who is from Florida, had written a phone number for the National Lawyers Guild on his arm as a precautionary measure. Once taken to Homan Square, Church asked explicitly to call his lawyers, and said he was denied. “Essentially, I wasn’t allowed to make any contact with anybody,” Church told the Guardian, in contradiction of a police guidance on permitting phone calls and legal counsel to arrestees. Church’s left wrist was cuffed to a bar behind a bench in windowless cinderblock cell, with his ankles cuffed together. He remained in those restraints for about 17 hours. “I had essentially figured, ‘All right, well, they disappeared us and so we’re probably never going to see the light of day again,’” Church said. Though the raid attracted major media attention, a team of attorneys could not find Church through 12 hours of “active searching”, Sarah Gelsomino, Church’s lawyer, recalled. No booking record existed. Only after she and others made a “major stink” with contacts in the offices of the corporation counsel and Mayor Rahm Emanuel did they even learn about Homan Square. They sent another attorney to the facility, where he ultimately gained entry, and talked to Church through a floor-to-ceiling chain-link metal cage. Finally, hours later, police took Church and his two co-defendants to a nearby police station for booking. After serving two and a half years in prison, Church is currently on parole after he and his co-defendants were found not guilty in 2014 of terrorism-related offenses but guilty of lesser charges of possessing an incendiary device and the misdemeanor of “mob action”. It’s almost like they throw a black bag over your head and make you disappear for a day or two Brian Jacob Church The access that Nato Three attorneys received to Homan Square was an exception to the rule, even if Jacob Church’s experience there was not. Three attorneys interviewed by the Guardian report being personally turned away from Homan Square between 2009 and 2013 without being allowed access to their clients. Two more lawyers who hadn’t been physically denied described it as a place where police withheld information about their clients’ whereabouts. Church was the only person who had been detained at the facility who agreed to talk with the Guardian: their lawyers say others fear police retaliation. One man in January 2013 had his name changed in the Chicago central bookings database and then taken to Homan Square without a record of his transfer being kept, according to Eliza Solowiej of Chicago’s First defence Legal Aid. (The man, the Guardian understands, wishes to be anonymous; his current attorney declined to confirm Solowiej’s account.) She found out where he was after he was taken to the hospital with a head injury. “He said that the officers caused his head injuries in an interrogation room at Homan Square. I had been looking for him for six to eight hours, and every department member I talked to said they had never heard of him,” Solowiej said. “He sent me a phone pic of his head injuries because I had seen him in a police station right before he was transferred to Homan Square without any.” Bartmes, another Chicago attorney, said that in September 2013 she got a call from a mother worried that her 15-year-old son had been picked up by police before dawn. A sympathetic sergeant followed up with the mother to say her son was being questioned at Homan Square in connection to a shooting and would be released soon. When hours passed, Bartmes traveled to Homan Square, only to be refused entry for nearly an hour. An officer told her, “Well, you can’t just stand here taking notes, this is a secure facility, there are undercover officers, and you’re making people very nervous,” Bartmes recalled. Told to leave, she said she would return in an hour if the boy was not released. He was home, and not charged, after “12, maybe 13” hours in custody. On February 2, 2013, John Hubbard was taken to Homan Square. Hubbard never walked out. The Chicago Tribune reported that the 44-year old was found “unresponsive inside an interview room”, and pronounced dead. After publication, the Cook County medical examiner told the Guardian that the cause of death was determined to be heroin intoxication. Homan Square is hardly concerned exclusively with terrorism. Several special units operate outside of it, including the anti-gang and anti-drug forces. If police “want money, guns, drugs”, or information on the flow of any of them onto Chicago’s streets, “they bring them there and use it as a place of interrogation off the books,” Hill said. ‘That scares the hell out of me’: a throwback to Chicago police abuse with a post-9/11 feel Homan Square Facebook Twitter Pinterest ‘The real danger in allowing practices like Guantanamo or Abu Ghraib is the fact that they always creep into other aspects,’ criminologist Tracy Siska told the Guardian. Photograph: Chandler West/Guardian A former Chicago detective and current private investigator, Bill Dorsch, said he had not heard of the police abuses described by Church and lawyers for other suspects who had been taken to Homan Square. He has been permitted access to the facility to visit one of its main features, an evidence locker for the police department. (“I just showed my retirement star and passed through,” Dorsch said.) Transferring detainees through police custody to deny them access to legal counsel, would be “a career-ender,” Dorsch said. “To move just for the purpose of hiding them, I can’t see that happening,” he told the Guardian. Richard Brzeczek, Chicago’s police superintendent from 1980 to 1983, who also said he had no first-hand knowledge of abuses at Homan Square, said it was “never justified” to deny access to attorneys. “Homan Square should be on the same list as every other facility where you can call central booking and say: ‘Can you tell me if this person is in custody and where,’” Brzeczek said. “If you’re going to be doing this, then you have to include Homan Square on the list of facilities that prisoners are taken into and a record made. It can’t be an exempt facility.” Indeed, Chicago police guidelines appear to ban the sorts of practices Church and the lawyers said occur at Homan Square. A directive titled “Processing Persons Under Department Control” instructs that “investigation or interrogation of an arrestee will not delay the booking process,” and arrestees must be allowed “a reasonable number of telephone calls” to attorneys swiftly “after their arrival at the first place of custody.” Another directive, “Arrestee and In-Custody Communications,” says police supervisors must “allow visitation by attorneys.” Attorney Scott Finger said that the Chicago police tightened the latter directive in 2012 after quiet complaints from lawyers about their lack of access to Homan Square. Without those changes, Church’s attorneys might not have gained entry at all. But that tightening – about a week before Church’s arrest – did not prevent Church’s prolonged detention without a lawyer, nor the later cases where lawyers were unable to enter. The combination of holding clients for long periods, while concealing their whereabouts and denying access to a lawyer, struck legal experts as a throwback to the worst excesses of Chicago police abuse, with a post-9/11 feel to it. On a smaller scale, Homan Square is “analogous to the CIA’s black sites,” said Andrea Lyon, a former Chicago public defender and current dean of Valparaiso University Law School. When she practiced law in Chicago in the 1980s and 1990s, she said, “police used the term ‘shadow site’” to refer to the quasi-disappearances now in place at Homan Square. I’ve never known any kind of organized, secret place where they go and hold somebody before booking for hours and hours James Trainum, former detective, Washington DC “Back when I first started working on torture cases and started representing criminal defendants in the early 1970s, my clients often told me they’d been taken from one police station to another before ending up at Area 2 where they were tortured,” said Taylor, the civil-rights lawyer most associated with pursuing the notoriously abusive Area 2 police commander Jon Burge. “And in that way the police prevent their family and lawyers from seeing them until they could coerce, through torture or other means, confessions from them.” Police often have off-site facilities to have private conversations with their informants. But a retired Washington DC homicide detective, James Trainum, could not think of another circumstance nationwide where police held people incommunicado for extended periods. “I’ve never known any kind of organized, secret place where they go and just hold somebody before booking for hours and hours and hours. That scares the hell out of me that that even exists or might exist,” said Trainum, who now studies national policing issues, to include interrogations, for the Innocence Project and the Constitution Project. Regardless of departmental regulations, police frequently deny or elide access to lawyers even at regular police precincts, said Solowiej of First defence Legal Aid. But she said the outright denial was exacerbated at Chicago’s secretive interrogation and holding facility: “It’s very, very rare for anyone to experience their constitutional rights in Chicago police custody, and even more so at Homan Square,” Solowiej said. Church said that one of his more striking memories of Homan Square was the “big, big vehicles” police had inside the complex that “look like very large MRAPs that they use in the Middle East.” Cook County, home of Chicago, has received some 1,700 pieces of military equipment from a much-criticized Pentagon program transferring military gear to local police. It includes a Humvee, according to a local ABC News report. Tracy Siska, a criminologist and civil-rights activist with the Chicago Justice Project, said that Homan Square, as well as the unrelated case of ex-Guantánamo interrogator and retired Chicago detective Richard Zuley, showed the lines blurring between domestic law enforcement and overseas military operations. “The real danger in allowing practices like Guantánamo or Abu Ghraib is the fact that they always creep into other aspects,” Siska said. “They creep into domestic law enforcement, either with weaponry like with the militarization of police, or interrogation practices. That’s how we ended up with a black site in Chicago " http://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2015/feb/24/chicago-police-detain-americans-black-site
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