The Cook County Public Defender’s Office and several activist groups are suing the city of Chicago, accusing the police department of “disappearing” detainees by preventing them from making phone calls after their arrest, a practice they say has only increased during the COVID-19 pandemic and recent protests.
The public defender joined groups like Black Lives Matter Chicago, GoodKids MadCity and others in filing a lawsuit Tuesday against the city in Cook County Chancery Court, claiming attorneys were unable to contact dozens of detainees following their arrests in recent weeks.
“(Chicago Police Department) officers have intimidated detainees from seeking counsel and denied them the use of telephones,” the plaintiffs claimed in their complaint. “And by cutting off access to the outside world, CPD ensures that detainees have no protection from police abuse, including coercive interrogations and even torture. Such coercive practices are legion in Chicago, which is known as the False Confession Capital of the United States.”
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