Amnesty International USA Calls on Department of Justice to Investigate Allegations of Chicago Police Abuse

Press Release
March 18, 2015

Amnesty International USA Calls on Department of Justice to Investigate Allegations of Chicago Police Abuse

WASHINGTON — Amnesty International USA called on the Department of Justice to investigate allegations of beatings and disappearances of detainees at a Chicago Police Department facility in Homan Square and to determine whether these allegations of ill-treatment and other abuses are, in fact, systemic throughout the Chicago Police Department.

“International law…obligates governments to investigate allegations of human rights violations; disclose the truth about violations; prosecute those responsible; and ensure remedy for victims, including reparations, truth and justice,” wrote Steven W. Hawkins, executive director of Amnesty International USA.

“In the light of the national conversation around policing, it is clear that the United States government can and must do much more to ensure policing practices both in Chicago and nationwide are brought into line with international human rights standards.”

Amnesty International USA sent a letter to Chicago mayor Rahm Emanuel last month about the facility after the allegations surfaced in The Guardian. To date, there has been no response.

"The report on the Homan Square facility comes as the City of Chicago continues to fall far short in meeting its obligations under international human rights law to ensure accountability and reparations for torture and other ill-treatment by Chicago Police operating under the direction of former Commander Jon Burge from 1972-1991,” Hawkins wrote.

Read Amnesty International USA’s letter to the Justice Department here:

amnestyusa.org/pdfs/HomanSquare.pdf