[JURIST] Three former detainees filed a lawsuit [complaint] Monday against the City of Chicago [official website] and a number of Chicago police officers for alleged abuse at an “off the books” detention center. The lawsuit alleges abuses at the Homan Center including: being denied food, water and access to a bathroom and being handcuffed in a dark room. One individual also claims that an officer held a knife to his throat. The officers allegedly were interviewing the detainees about illegal guns and drugs and used racial slurs during this process. The lawsuit further alleges that officers falsified evidence and made bogus charges against the detainees. The suit is currently seeking an unspecified amount of damages for the actions of the police officers.
Claims of police abuse continue to generate controversy throughout the US. In September a Ferguson, Missouri, reform panel released a report calling for the consolidation of police departments [JURIST report] and municipal courts. Also last month month Baltimore City Circuit Judge Barry Williams rejected motions [JURIST report] to drop charges against six police officers implicated in the case of Freddie Gray, a black man who was injured in police custody and later died in April. In August the Chicago Police Department decided [JURIST report] to allow independent evaluations of their stop-and-frisk procedures that many have said specifically target African Americans under an agreement with the American Civil Liberties Union. In August of last year New York City formally dropped [JURIST report] the city’s appeal of rulings in lawsuits involving the New York Police Department’s (NYPD) use of stop-and-frisk tactics. Mayor Bill De Blasio’s administration agreed to end the lawsuit against the NYPD after reaching a settlement requiring three years of NYPD oversight by a court-appointed monitor.