UPDATED: Disappeared: Police detain Americans at 'black sites' across the country

By Christopher R Rice Underground Newz

Last week I broke the news that local police have been and continue to run CIA style 'black-sites' all throughout the US. This is not just a problem in Chicago as reported by the Guardian last year, but is happening in cities all across the US.

Last week I reported on eight 'black-sites' we've received reports about and have been able to confirm. They are: Los Angeles, New York, Chicago, Dallas, San Francisco, Philadelphia, Miami and Laredo. Since that publication we've located two others in Riverside, CA. and Corona, CA.

Most Americans think that the CIA works overseas while the FBI and local police protect them at home. But the agency has long worked domestically, and in the last decade it has become involved in counterterrorism operations with local police as well. The rules governing the agency’s involvement in domestic matters are very flexible.

These 'black-sites' are being run by the gang and drug units. Our source within the police force tells Underground Newz that: "police and LE in general are hardly concerned with terrorism. Several special units make use of 'black-sites', including the anti-gang and anti-drug forces. If police “want money, guns, drugs”, or information on the flow of any of them onto the streets, “they bring them to a 'black-site' and use it as a place of interrogation off the books,” he said. “Police use the term ‘shadow site’.”

Torture techniques used in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Guantánamo are all too familiar in prisons in the U.S. as well. Hooded, robed figures with electrical wiring attached to them have been seen at the city jail in Sacramento, California. Prisoners in Maricopa County jails in Phoenix, Arizona have been forced to wear women's underwear. And guards in the Utah prison system have piled naked bodies in grotesque and uncomfortable positions.


Local police departments have been running 'black-sites' around the country. Some have been discovered, some have been prosecuted, some are still operating. Black sites are used mainly to illicit false confessions from the accused but are also used on the convicted to intimidate.

Bruce Franklin's article, "The American Prison and the Normalization of Torture," shows how the American prison system developed into a central institution of U.S. society, one that has made torture routine and acceptable. The physical, mental, and sexual abuse glimpsed at Abu Ghraib is part of the daily experience for two million people caged in American prisons, while most of the rest of the American public acquiesces or denies the reality of this torture.

Each year, numerous prisoners are maimed, crippled, and even killed by guards. Photographs could be taken on any day in the American prison system that would match the photographs from Abu Ghraib that shocked the public. Indeed, actual pictures from prisons in America have shown worse atrocities than those pictures from the American prisons in Iraq. For example, no photos of American abuse of Iraqi prisoners have yet equaled the pictures of dozens of prisoners savagely and mercilessly tortured by guards and state troopers in the aftermath of the 1971 Attica rebellion. Even more appalling images are available in the documentary film Maximum Security University about California's state Corcoran Prison. For years at Corcoran, guards set up fights among prisoners, bet on the outcome, and then often shot the men for fighting, seriously wounding at least 43 and killing eight just in the period 1989-1994. The film features official footage of five separate incidents in which guards, with no legal justification, shoot down and kill unarmed prisoners.

Related article: FuckDaPolice

Eight prison guards were acquitted of charges they subjected prisoners to cruel and unusual punishment by arranging gladiator-style fights among inmates, and setting up the rape of an inmate by a notoriously violent inmate known as the "Booty Bandit" at Corcoran State Prison in California.

But prison guards have been convicted of organizing assaults on inmates in a federal prison in Florence, Colorado, and at Pelican Bay State Prison in California. The Department of Justice concluded that conditions at prisons in Newport, Arkansas are unconstitutional. And New Jersey prison guards reportedly brutalized over 600 prisoners.

CHICAGO- The torturers

The facts of the Chicago police torture scandal are well established. Former Chicago Police Commander Jon Burge and officers working under him used a variety of torture techniques–Russian roulette, electroshock, suffocation and beatings–to extract “confessions” during interrogations at Area 2 and 3 police stations.

For more than a decade, the officers suffered no consequences for their crimes. In fact, they were often promoted for “getting the bad guys” and “closing their cases” with speed and certainty, at a time when politicians nationally were declaring a “war on crime.”

Even if their victims did come forward, the detectives reasoned, who would take the word of poor, Black “criminals” over white cops? That assumption served them well–until an anonymous tip written on a Chicago Police Department (CPD) letterhead landed on the desk of Flint Taylor of the People’s Law Office.

Taylor was representing Andrew Wilson, who was beaten so badly by detectives investigating a 1982 double police murder that he had to be hospitalized. After Taylor filed a civil rights lawsuit on Wilson’s behalf, he received the tip, which encouraged him to interview Melvin Jones, then being held at Cook County Jail. Jones suffered a torture session so similar to Wilson’s that it stunned Taylor.

Taylor himself uncovered 60 cases going back to 1983, and the numbers have only increased since.

After Wilson won his suit, the CPD’s own internal affairs division launched an investigation. In his 1990 report, CPD investigator Michael Goldston not only concluded that the torture had occurred, but that the cover-up reached far up into the chain of command.

“The preponderance of evidence is that abuse did occur and that it was systematic…that the type of abuse described was not limited to the usual beatings, but went into such esoteric areas as psychological techniques and planned torture…and that particular command members were aware of the systematic abuse and perpetuated it, either by actively participating in some or failing to take any action to bring it to an end,” wrote Goldston.

Grayland Johnson was one of the victims of this “planned torture.” Police handcuffed him to a metal ring in a wall and beat him with a telephone book. They placed the book on his head and hit it with a long flashlight, which produces an excruciating crushing sensation. Next, they put a plastic typewriter cover over Grayland’s head until he nearly suffocated.

Because Grayland still refused to confess and kept asking for a lawyer, the cops hung him out a bathroom window, threatening to drop him and make it look like he died during an escape attempt. When they brought him back inside, they forced his head into a toilet that an officer had just urinated in.

They continued with the typewriter cover, and Grayland could hear people laughing as he was gagging for air. “Guess who, nigger?” said the detective who took the bag off his head.

Grayland ended up on death row. Prosecutors went so far as to use someone else’s medical records to cover up the abuse inflicted on Grayland.

Related article: Police Tactics

Like many victims of torture, Grayland, who is still behind bars, carries a sense of shame about what happened. “No, I don’t like remembering what they did, nor the fact that I was scared to tell the doctor all they had done, because the police were there, and I feared they would take me back and finish,” said Grayland. “I don’t like to remember because I was such a coward not to make them kill me right there.”

NEW YORK- Between 2002 and 2012 the CIA sent four agents to help the NYPD’s counterterrorism unit (which is led by a former agency official) without making sure that they knew the limits of what they could and couldn’t do.

In 1997, Abner Louima was sodomized with a plunger by New York City police.

On arrival at the Metropolitan Detention Center (MDC) in Brooklyn, New York, 2001 detainees were slammed face first into a wall against a shirt with an American flag; the bloodstain left behind was described by one officer as the print of bloody noses and a mouth. Once inside they were threatened with detention for the rest of their lives, verbally abused, exposed to cold, deprived of sleep, and had their hands, cuffed arms, and fingers severely twisted.

The report concluded that several MDC staff members slammed and bounced detainees into the walls, twisted or bent their arms, hands, wrists, or fingers, pulled their thumbs back, tripped them, and dragged them on the floor. It also found violations of Federal Bureau of Prisons' (BOP) policy by verbal abuse as well.

An explosive class action filed in federal court (2015) details reports of serial rape and sexual abuse by eight corrections officers at the all-female Rose M. Singer Center in the New York City jail complex, including a case where an inmate was dragged into a janitor's closet and another where the inmate became pregnant.

One of the plaintiffs, identified in the complaint as only Jane Doe 2, reported the rapes to a mental health clinician and later to a doctor with the City Department of Investigation, the suit says, but was told nothing could be done.

"This abuse is only possible because, in the face of repeated warnings, the City of New York has enabled a culture of complacency to perpetuate at Rikers Island and thereby consented to the abuse of women in its custody," the suit says.

TEXAS- In 1983 Texas sheriff James Parker and three of his deputies were convicted for conspiring to use waterboarding to force confessions. The complaint said they "subject prisoners to a suffocating water torture ordeal in order to coerce confessions. This generally included the placement of a towel over the nose and mouth of the prisoner and the pouring of water in the towel until the prisoner began to move, jerk, or otherwise indicate that he was suffocating and/or drowning."

El Paso- "[A Border Patrol agent] lifted up Contreras' dress, pushed her legs open, pulled aside her underwear and stuck his fingers into her vagina... Lopez was told to undo the buttons on her jumpsuit and the agent put his hands inside her top and felt her breasts... The agent then left them in the vehicle while he went to speak to the lone driver of another Border Patrol vehicle. Both men returned and, in full view of the second agent, the arresting agent assaulted both women again. Lopez and Contreras say they were then taken to the Border Patrol office where the same agent sexually assaulted both women a third time in a detention cell and in a bathroom."

Reporters in Texas, in 2007, discovered that more than 750 juvenile detainees across the state had alleged sexual abuse by staff over the previous six years. That number, however, was generally thought to under-represent the true extent of such abuse, because most children were too afraid to report it: staff commonly instructed their favorite inmates to beat up kids who complained. Even when the kids did file complaints, they knew it wouldn’t do them much good. Staff covered for each other, grievance processes were sabotaged and evidence was frequently destroyed. Officials in Austin ignored what they heard, and in the very rare instances when staff were fired and their cases referred to local prosecutors, those prosecutors usually refused to act. Not one employee of the Texas Youth Commission during that six-year period was sent to prison for raping the children in his or her care.

CALIFORNIA- LAPD And Special Forces Conduct Military Maneuvers In The Skies Above Downtown LA (CBS) — 2012 The Los Angeles Police Department teamed with military special operation forces Wednesday evening to conduct multi-agency tactical exercises in the skies above downtown LA.

Sky9 spotted the Black Hawk in the dark, making what appeared to be a drop off at a park before quickly ascending back into the air.

Similar exercises have been seen in Miami and Boston.

In September 1997, two former officers from the Adelanto Police Department, San Bernardino County, California, were jailed for two years on federal charges, after pleading guilty to beating a suspect during questioning and forcing another man to lick blood off the floor in 1994.

Los Angeles- On February 26, 1998, Rampart CRASH officer Brian Hewitt brought Ismael Jimenez, a member of the 18th Street Gang, into the Rampart police station for questioning. According to Officer Rafael Pérez's recorded testimony, Hewitt "got off" on beating suspects. In the course of questioning, Hewitt beat the handcuffed Jimenez in the chest and stomach until he vomited blood. After his release, Jimenez went to the emergency room and told doctors he had been beaten by Hewitt and his partner Daniel Lujan while in police custody.

In extensive testimony to investigators, Pérez provided a detailed portrait of the culture of the elite CRASH unit. Pérez insisted that 90% of CRASH officers were "in the loop", knowingly framing civilians and perjuring themselves on the witness stand. Pérez claims his superiors were aware of and encouraged CRASH officers to engage in misconduct; the goal of the unit was to arrest gang members by any means necessary. Pérez described how CRASH officers were awarded plaques for shooting civilians and suspects, with extra honors if civilians and suspects were killed. Pérez alleges that CRASH officers carried spare guns in their "war bags" to plant on civilians and suspects, in order to avoid responsibility of their alleged crime. In recorded testimony, Pérez revealed the CRASH motto: "We intimidate those who intimidate others."

There have been multiple allegations that Chief Parks and members of the LAPD were actively involved in obstructing the Rampart Investigation. Parks was in charge of Internal Affairs when Gaines and other Rampart officers were first discovered to have ties to the Bloods and Death Row Records. Parks is said to have protected these officers from investigation. According to Rampart Corruption Task Force Detective Poole, Chief Parks failed to pursue the Hewitt Investigation for a full six months. When Poole presented Chief Parks with a 40-page report detailing the connection between Mack and the murder of Notorious B.I.G., the report was suppressed.

The Lynwood Vikings were a white supremacist gang in Los Angeles, based at the Lynwood station of the L.A. County Sheriff's Department, whose members were deputy sheriffs in the Los Angeles Sheriff's Department (LASD). Its members have included Paul Tanaka, deputy Sheriff and LASD second-in-command to Lee Baca. After lawsuits repeatedly surfaced concerning the group's activities, the Vikings were described by federal judge Terry Hatter as a "neo-Nazi" gang engaged in racially motivated hostility.

FLORIDA- In 2005, a Channel 4 documentary "Torture: America’s Brutal Prisons" showed video of naked prisoners being beaten, bitten by dogs, and stunned with Taser guns and electric cattle prods. In one case a prisoner is strapped to a restraint chair and left for sixteen hours; two hours after being unshackled he dies from a blood clot. In another, mentally ill prisoner Charles Agster is suffocated to death. Another prisoner is found with a broken neck, broken toes and internal injuries following an argument with guards; after one month in a coma he dies from septicaemia. Fire extinguisher sized canisters of pepper spray are used to cover prisoners with chemicals, and they are then left, resulting in second degree burns. Photos are shown of Frank Valdes, a convicted killer on Death Row, who was beaten to death after writing to local Florida newspapers with allegations of prison officer corruption and brutality.

ALABAMA- The Justice Department concluded in a blistering report in2015 that female inmates at one Alabama prison live in a toxic environment marked by sex abuse and harassment by corrections staff.

The Department's
Civil Rights Division said the Alabama Department of Corrections has repeatedly violated the women's constitutional rights at the Julia Tutwiler Prison.

The state was urged to take immediate remedial steps, but there was no indication the federal government was prepared to take any formal legal action.

"Our investigation has revealed serious systemic operational deficiencies at Tutwiler that have exposed women prisoners to harm and serious risk of harm from staff-on-prisoner sexual abuse and sexual harassment," said Acting Assistant Attorney General Jocelyn Samuels.

"These problems have been festering for years, and are well known to Alabama prison officials. Remedying these deficiencies is critical to ensuring constitutionally protected treatment of women prisoners at Tutwiler and will promote public safety," she said.

In a letter to Gov. Robert Bentley, federal officials said the inmates "universally fear for their safety" and "live in a sexualized environment with repeated and open sexual behavior."

From the original article: Tracy Siska, a criminologist and civil-rights activist with the Chicago Justice Project, said that Homan Square, as well as the unrelated case of ex-Guantánamo interrogator and retired Chicago detective Richard Zuley, showed the lines blurring between domestic law enforcement and overseas military operations.

“The real danger in allowing practices like Guantánamo or Abu Ghraib is the fact that they always creep into other aspects,” Siska said.

“They creep into domestic law enforcement, either with weaponry like with the militarization of police, or interrogation practices. That’s how we ended up with black sites showing up all around the country.”

Police brutality and use of excessive force, including police beatings, unjustified shootings and the use of dangerous restraint techniques to subdue suspects are as American as apple pie. Nothing is being done to monitor or check persistent abusers, or to ensure that police tactics in certain common situations minimize the risk of unnecessary force and injury.


The 2015 World Justice project Rule of Law index was published in June 2015, ranking 102 countries based on a host of indicators, including criminal justice. The criminal justice factor measures impartiality, due process and rights of the accused, and effectiveness of the countries’ criminal investigation, adjudication and correction systems. The United States ranked 23rd out of 102 countries, 16th among 24 regional peers, and 23 among 31 income peers.

In the annual Council of Europe Annual Penal Statistics data for 47 member countries, the council’s 2013 report shows that the median European prison population rate was 133.5 inmates per 100,000 people. In the United States, the rate was 478 per 100,000 — three and half times the European rate. The United States also far exceeded Canada (188 per 100,000), Australia (130 per 100,000), New Zealand (192 per 100,000) and Japan (51 per 100,000).

The justice department declined to comment to Underground Newz about this story. And here is why...

What is “enforced disappearance”? Is it legal? These individuals are victims of enforced disappearance as defined by international human rights law. Enforced disappearances involve violations of numerous treaties binding on the United States, and also violate international humanitarian law. An enforced disappearance takes place when the government arrests, detains or abducts a person and then refuses to acknowledge the arrest or detention, or the location of the person detained. Enforced disappearances place victims outside the protection of the law, without access to anyone who can protect them. International law considers enforced disappearance a continuing violation, ongoing until the fate or the whereabouts of the disappeared person are revealed.

What is Underground America doing about ghost detentions in the US? With other human rights and legal organizations, Underground Newz is filing a lawsuit against the government, demanding they release requested information about the program under the Freedom of Information Act. This lawsuit attempts to stop the shroud of secrecy and silence surrounding this program, and open its operations to the public eye and meaningful oversight.

What you can do...
  • HOST AN EVENT, film showing, or speaker to discuss secret police detention. Underground Newz can assist you in planning an event, finding films and speakers, and much more. Contact us at LKates@ccrjustice.org for more information.

  • SPREAD THE WORD, one of the most effective ways to take action is to raise awareness around these issues. And it won't cost you a dime. Simply repost this link into your social media accounts, leave in comments and email the link to your friends.

  • Donate. Make a generous donation of $5. to help us spread this info. You do not need a Paypal account to use Paypal. Thank you for your support. YOU ROCK!!

  • Sign up at our forum and connect with other like minded individuals in your area.

Take Action: Sign up at Underground Newz Forum (updates, direct actions, boycotts, sabotage-tactics, hacktivism) and be a part of change, today.

This blog has been shifted!

(Due to Censorship) Blog has been shifted to:

Articles and videos from now on will be posted at:
Underground America Inc.

Follow on YouTube
and Twitter

NEW!! Underground Forum Post anything!!


Popular posts from this blog

Medical Marijuana Could Cost Big Pharma

Operation Bayonet: Inside the Sting That Hijacked an Entire Dark Web Drug Market

10 Reasons to De Fund the DEA