County commissioner has more questions than answers after Homan Square tour

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CHICAGO — Amid the allegations of detainee abuse, and protests surrounding the Chicago facility, a Cook County commissioner spoke out Thursday about the Homan Square Station.

Cook County commissioner Richard Boykin toured the Chicago Police Department facility after allegations that the rights of people detained for questioning are being abused there.

Boykin said he went away with more questions than answers.

The commissioner shared more about what he didn’t find inside. Some of the claims, like detainees being held for up to 24 hours, and no access to their lawyers couldn’t be tracked in the police database system. Overcrowded interrogation rooms and physical abuse during questioning prompted Boykin to take a look at the facility –a non-descript unmarked warehouse on the West Side where Chicago police do a lot of undercover work– for himself.

It is also a place where some detainees and their lawyers allege people who get arrested, practically fall off the map and become victims of police misconduct.

Boykin describes the facility on Monday as “eerily quiet.” “There were no suspects in custody and no officers in the area,” he said.

He said the interview rooms were small but equipped with cameras. There were no cameras in the lockup however, he said, and no ability to fingerprint anyone.

“They assured us if a detainee requested  a lawyer, they were given access to a lawyer,” he said.

Boykin is asking for the federal government to investigate further to make sure what doesn’t feel right to him is being reviewed thoroughly.

Chicago police maintain it is not a secret facility and never has been.



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