News ID: 139444
Published: 0630 GMT April 12, 2016

Chicago police have ‘horrible reputation’ with blacks: Journalist

Chicago police have ‘horrible reputation’ with blacks: Journalist

The Chicago Police Department has a “horrible reputation” in its relationship with the city’s African American community and routinely violates their human rights, says an American activist and journalist.

The department’s brutal interrogation techniques on suspects are a form of torture and a “total violation of fundamental civil rights and human rights of people in the city of Chicago,” said Abayomi Azikiwe, editor at the Pan-African News Wire.

“This contributes to the negative image of the police, both inside the United States and indeed internationally,” Azikiwe said in a phone interview with Press TV on Tuesday.

Police documents show that the Chicago Police Department operates a secret interrogation compound where officers use physical force on mostly African American prisoners.

Police used punches, knee strikes, elbow strikes, slaps, wrist twists, baton blows and Tasers at Homan Square against the detainees, the Guardian reported on Monday.

The British newspaper said it gained access to the documents in the course of its transparency lawsuit about the interrogation warehouse, which civil rights lawyers say is the domestic equivalent of a CIA black site.

According to the documents, over 7,300 people, more than 6,000 of them African Americans, have been detained and interrogated at the site without a public notice of their whereabouts or access to an attorney.

The Guardian has conducted a series of investigative reports about the site, which the newspaper says is used to isolate suspects from family members or proper legal counsel while they are interrogated.

“This is another outrageous act on the part of the Chicago Police Department which has a horrible reputation in its relationship to the African American community,” Azikiwe said.

“In order for America to become a true democracy, they have to eliminate police brutality in this conduct,” he added.

The United States has suffered from an epidemic of racial discrimination throughout its history, which some experts say has increased after the election of President Barack Obama.

Human Rights Watch published a scathing report in February criticizing the United States for violating human rights in a range of areas.

According to the report, US laws and practices violate internationally recognized human rights in incarceration, racial disparities, criminal justice, police killing of African Americans and foreign policy to name a few.

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