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Excerpt: "New documents reveal that a police officer punched his wife multiple times in Homan Square, the Chicago police facility described by The Guardian as 'an off-the-books interrogation compound.'"

A protestor stands outside Homan Square, demanding an investigation into the site. (photo: Jim Young/Reuters)
A protestor stands outside Homan Square, demanding an investigation into the site. (photo: Jim Young/Reuters)


Chicago Cop Beat Wife in Homan Square 'Black Site,' Document Shows

By Ken Klippenstein and Paul Gottinger, Reader Supported News

28 April 15

 

ocuments obtained by Reader Supported News via the Illinois Freedom of Information Act reveal that a police officer punched his wife multiple times in Homan Square, the Chicago police facility described by The Guardian as “an off-the-books interrogation compound” that denied detainees access to legal counsel. Lawyers have described Homan Square as a domestic “black site.”

The Chicago Police Department insists that it “abides by all laws, rules and guidelines pertaining to any interviews of suspects or witnesses, at Homan Square.” They contend that Homan Square is secretive “because many officers who operate there are often involved in undercover assignments.”

A February exposé by The Guardian depicted Homan Square quite differently, stating:

“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.”

According to the documents obtained by RSN, which were authored by the Chicago city government’s Independent Police Review Authority (IPRA), officer Maurice Anderson “punched [his wife] on the chest, neck, back and struck her on the face.” Anderson’s wife, Sharita Lewis-Anderson, was then transferred to Mt. Sinai hospital in an ambulance.

Doug Johnson Hatlem, a filmmaker who has documented years of Toronto Police violence and is now a Chicago resident, told RSN: “It just goes to show that Homan Square is a completely lawless outpost. Imagine what they are doing to captives they have never vowed to cherish and love forever.”

The altercation traced back to Anderson’s theft of his wife’s service weapon. (Lewis-Anderson was also a police officer.) According to testimony provided by Lewis-Anderson’s son, after the theft, Anderson told his wife, “Try going to work without your gun.”

Maurice Anderson had been working out in Homan Square’s gym when Lewis-Anderson arrived to retrieve her service weapon, after which Anderson struck her.

Anderson was later arrested for theft of his wife’s service weapon, money, car keys, and for “contributing to the neglect of a child” whom he left unattended at the time that he punched his wife. All of these allegations were sustained in the IPRA’s inquiry.

Although the document does not specify what disciplinary measures Anderson received from the department, a previous incident in which Anderson struck his wife resulted in just 30 days of unpaid suspension.

Despite his actions, Maurice Anderson remains a police officer at the Chicago Police Department, from which he draws an $80,000 annual salary.

According to a report by The New York Times about the lack of accountability for police violence against spouses, “In many departments, an officer will automatically be fired for a positive marijuana test, but can stay on the job after abusing or battering a spouse.”

Victims of police domestic violence can be reluctant to come forward. As Diane Wetendorf, Chicago resident and author of “Police Domestic Violence,” states, “The biggest problem for a woman reporting that she’s been abused by her police officer husband or boyfriend is that nobody believes you.”

“The women get terrified, too, so the crime is very under-reported. There is a legitimate fear of retaliation.”

The release of the document on which this story is based comes amidst ongoing protests in the United States calling for police accountability. On Tuesday, riots and protests swept across Baltimore in response to Freddie Gray’s death while in police custody. Baltimore police have themselves admitted that Freddie Gray did not receive timely medical care while in their custody.

The body of Russian opposition politician Boris Nemtsov lies near St Basil’s cathedral. (photo: Dmitry Sereryakov/AFP/Getty Images)
FOIA document. (photo: Reader Supported News)

Ken Klippenstein is a staff journalist at Reader Supported News. He can be reached on Twitter @kenklippenstein or via email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Paul Gottinger is a staff reporter at RSN whose work focuses on the Middle East and the arms industry. He can be reached on Twitter @paulgottinger or via email.

Acknowledgement: This article could not have happened without the invaluable counsel of attorney Matthew Topic, who specializes in governmental transparency/freedom of information matters for the Loevy & Loevy civil rights law firm.

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Comments   

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+50 # Farafalla 2015-04-28 17:20
A friend of mine recently noted (while discussing the Baltimore death of Freddie Gray) that police departments hire sociopaths. I think it's true.
 
 
+43 # Merlin 2015-04-28 17:53
Agricanto 2015-04-28 17:20

They are also recruiting the veterans returning from the ME war zone. With the fact that these men joined the volunteer army, they were predisposed toward violence to start with. Exposure to death. killing and maiming, plus the mentality drummed into them about the "Savages" as the American sniper called them, just make things worse.

Back in the 50s when I was drafted, the soldiers did not want to be there. The mindset was different.
 
 
+37 # lorenbliss 2015-04-28 19:03
All of which reveals as yet another self-serving delusion the absurd and patently false belief U.S. soldiers will do as their Tsarist Russian counterparts did in 1917 and refuse to obey orders to fire on unarmed crowds of fellow citizens.

Those Russian troops were draftees. Today's U.S. troops -- though driven into the service by the abject horrors of otherwise inescapable poverty -- are nevertheless volunteer killers for the most relentlessly murderous empire in human history.
 
 
+3 # Johnny 2015-04-29 10:15
I remember that the Airborn Division from Fort Hood that the government flew to Chicago to repress protests at the 1968 Democratic Party convention stayed locked behind a chain link fence, because the government scum who flew them there were not sure which way they would shoot if they sent them out to suppress the protests.
 
 
+6 # NAVYVET 2015-04-29 02:22
I am sick of reading slander against all volunteer veterans! Stop sounding like a bunch of propagandized trolls. What you write is cruel & divisive, and you forget that the Draft is a form of slavery--involu ntary servitude.

I know plenty of Iraq veterans who are peace-loving members of Iraq Veterans Against the War. Most of them believed that joining after 9/11 was their patriotic duty, or they were poor and out of work, or they needed money for college. I am a Vietnam vet, and as a woman I too was a volunteer. I remained a civil rights activist throughout my 12 years in the Navy and resigned from a Navy career because of the Vietnam war--which opened my eyes. In my resignation letter I told them, bluntly, that I disapproved of US foreign policy, most specifically the war in Vietnam.

The vast majority were never "killers" until they were trained to be! The percentage of sociopaths, genuine killers, is very low, but propaganda has permeated military training since 2001. You would be surprised at how many volunteers recognize it & resist it.

Yes, there have been veterans, draftee or volunteer, from ALL wars who came home with serious PTSD & brain damage--who have emotional control issues. The only answer is to get a government that ends imperialism on behalf of the Oligopoly, and therefore loses its need for incessant war. As for police departments, historically they have been racist, and the real problem is WHITE SUPREMACY--not veterans!
 
 
+3 # Texas Aggie 2015-04-29 10:01
Historically it is true that White Supremacy was a major problem with police departments, but we're not talking about history. We're talking about now. It is difficult to maintain that a draft where you are forced to join the military by legal methods is anymore involuntary servitude than being forced to join by economic methods such as a lousy job environment. And there is no doubt that a drafted, involuntary military will be much less likely to be all gung-ho for killing people than a "volunteer" military.

Thus, the returned veterans, especially those who choose to go into being a cop, are now very likely to have issues that former veterans in general did not have, or if they did, they didn't get themselves into a situation where they could express those issues. When has the US police force ever been as militarized as it is now, both in material and in attitude?
 
 
+4 # lorenbliss 2015-04-29 11:25
I too am a Vietnam era veteran -- Regular Army enlistment, three years active duty 1959-1962, overseas service in Korea extended by the Berlin Crisis, honorably discharged from the reserves in 1965.

Please therefore note that in the above comment I distinguished between yesteryear's draftees (including draft-compelled enlistees like myself) versus the U.S. military of today.

While it is true today's enlistments are forced by the economic savagery of capitalism, it is also true the reason the draft was abolished was Ruling Class fear that it, like the Imperial Russian draft of World War I, was training the revolution.

The entire purpose of today's "all-volunteer" army is to produce a military force that is as close to 100 percent politically reliable as possible.

That this approach is successful is proven by many things, not the least the fact the entire imperial war machine is a malevolently Christian theocracy. Note too the parallel penchant of today's U.S. troops for using dead foes as trophies and even for flying Nazi banners.
 
 
+6 # lorenbliss 2015-04-29 13:03
One more point that needs to be made in contrasting today's "all-volunteer" imperial war machine with yesteryear's compulsory military of draftees and enlistees is that in the latter there was by the time of the Tet Offensive (and probably well before), a huge anti-war movement WITHIN the services.

This was a product of the same sort of educational outreach by the Left that turned the Tsarist army into the Red Army.

Today however there is nothing of the kind. Participants, whether civilian or military, would be subject to the death penalty on charges of giving aid and comfort to the enemy.

Moreover, thanks to the National Defense Appropriations Act of 2012, the participating civilians would be subject to the oxymoron of "military justice" just as the soldiers are.

In other words, the emergence of such a resistance has been rendered effectively impossible.

That there is a post-service antiwar movement, as in Iraq Veterans Against the War, is indeed laudable, but its presence -- and therefore its influence beyond the informed Left -- is negligible if not nonexistent.

And even amongst the mandatory-servi ce soldiers of yesteryear, there were gleeful killers aplenty: note for example the massacres at My Lai and Kent State.

Which in turn might lead us to a discussion of why the United States spawns more serial killers per capita than any other human society ever -- but that of course would be too revealing for the capitalists to tolerate.
 
 
+4 # Merlin 2015-04-29 20:12
lorenbliss 2015-04-29 13:03

Well stated, Loren.

You said:
“The entire purpose of today's "all-volunteer" army is to produce a military force that is as close to 100 percent politically reliable as possible.
That this approach is successful is proven by many things, not the least the fact the entire imperial war machine is a malevolently Christian theocracy.”

Absolutely true in my view. There are very few service personnel compared to the general population. This keeps the huge majority of the population out of the loop. (“Its not my kids going over and fighting, so what’s on TV.”) There is no fear of involvement and a severe disconnect. No anti-war movement? If your kids are not going to war and those kids who join, want to, where is the incentive to have an anti-war movement?

Regarding “…the entire imperial war machine is a malevolently Christian theocracy.” All one has to do is look at the Air Force Academy for proof of that! There are quite a few articles on the subject. Here is one:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/07/17/air-force-academy-religion-proselytism_n_1678092.html
 
 
+3 # Texan 4 Peace 2015-04-29 14:08
Navyvet, I appreciate and thank you for your activism both in and out of the service, and I agree that most soldiers aren't "killers" until they are trained to be. But anyone who joined up to go to Iraq thinking it had anything to do with 9-11 really was not paying attention, and before signing up to go kill people, one should really pay attention to the arguments being offered, wouldn't you agree? As for "needing money for college", there's a word for people who offer themselves as soldiers because they need the money: mercenaries. (or, these days, "contractors").
 
 
+1 # Caliban 2015-04-29 18:04
"Pay attention to the arguments being offered": a little hard on the average 18 year old enlistee, I think. When the President, both houses of Congress, and much of the press support a war that multiple official sources linked directly to 9/11, why should we be surprised that the country's youth should follow their lead?
 
 
-2 # NAVYVET 2015-04-29 09:55
Do you have any idea how many veterans despise the movie "Snipers"?
 
 
0 # Merlin 2015-04-29 19:39
NAVYVET 2015-04-29 09:55
Do you have any idea how many veterans despise the movie "Snipers"?

No. Do you have a link?
 
 
+4 # jussayin 2015-04-29 09:28
Quoting Agricanto:
A friend of mine recently noted (while discussing the Baltimore death of Freddie Gray) that police departments hire sociopaths. I think it's true.


It is very true. A while back I followed a link in a footnote to an obscure periodical for the law enforcement industry which had an article on hiring Iraq vets and how they dealt with their issues of PTSD, getting them through the screening and training, etc.

So you have military basic training which instills reactive following of orders without questioning, dehumanizing of the "enemy" to enable them to shoot and kill, or, as we've seen, torture, and the higher ups have their back. Even in the case of soldiers or contractors assaulting civilians, they are typically whisked out of the country and shielded from prosecution.

In domestic law enforcement the thin blue line will lie, even under oath, to protect each other. Those who try to do the right thing are ostracized, or worse.

Years ago a retired Philly cop came forward to admit that the cop Mumia is supposed to have killed actually had a contract put out on him because he was going to expose the corruption of other cops. This link from the wikipedia article (footnote 54) now appears to have been removed since it is returning a 404 error. Another tactic used for CYA purposes. And on it goes.
 
 
+23 # cordleycoit 2015-04-28 21:45
This is the new normal for police work. The have sites like this in Denver and most major cities. We will be disappearing into these hell holes and not being released.
 
 
+2 # RLF 2015-04-29 06:37
Now we are like South America with their stadiums and other 'interrogation' sites! Nice!
 
 
+11 # Dave_s Not Here 2015-04-29 01:41
Having been a victim of Toronto police brutality myself, I can attest that they're a gang of vicious, perverted thugs. Not nice folks at all.
 
 
+10 # caphillprof 2015-04-29 05:15
First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Socialist.
Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Trade Unionist.
Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me. --Martin Niemöller
 
 
+2 # Johnny 2015-04-29 10:18
Niemoller started his statement with "First they came for the Communists."
 
 
+5 # Rick Mason 2015-04-29 10:31
Some of the ex-military members that become cops are the same people who were the schoolyard bullies in their youth. The 'jocks' who got through high school on their physical abilities and not their intellect. They had no socially viable skills after leaving school, and for many, the military was their best option for steady employment as paid thugs and bullies. I'm talking about those who were just soldiers, not those who had technical positions that transfer into the private sector. For the simple soldier, police or private security companies, i.e. Halliburton and the like, are the only places to use their "skills" in the private sector. Unfortunately, some of these 'people' are truly psychopathic and are not properly screened out as poor candidates for police work. The current notion that prior military experience is good should be changed. Prior military experience, especially combat experience, should be a huge red flag that these candidates undergo extensive psychological testing before becoming police officers. Just having the ability to operate the equipment and push citizens around is NOT a good reason to make someone a cop. They see every contact on the streets of America as the "enemy", not as people. This must end now!!!
 
 
+1 # Sweet Pea 2015-04-30 11:19
During my many years on this earth, I have noticed that the people that I have known that were in the military or played football in their youth are often violent with their family. It makes me wonder if the aggressive behavior is caused by the football and military service, or if an aggressive personality led them to serve in the military and/or play football.
 

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