It was 21 October 2012. The day before, Perez had been driving his Rav-4 on his restaurant delivery route when he says police accosted him, wanting him to contact a drug dealer who they believed Perez knew so they could arrange a sting. But Perez was less cooperative than they had hoped.
Not everyone has a burning desire to be a snitch, especially when they aren’t involved in drug dealing at all. But, as judges repeat so often, snitching is an “important law enforcement tool,” and so the police don’t always take no as an answer.
Now, Perez was handcuffed by his right wrist to a metal bar behind a bench in an interrogation room on the second floor of Homan Square. Behind him were two police officers that a lawsuit Perez recently re-filed identifies as Jorge Lopez and Edmund Zablocki. They had been threatening him with a stint at the infamously violent Cook County jail if he didn’t cooperate.
“They’re gonna think you’re a little sexy bitch in jail,” Perez recalled one of them saying. The lawsuit quotes Lopez: “I hear that a big black nigger dick feels like a gun up your ass.”
Such persuasive language is always repeated often, though never by judges or cops in a courtroom. It’s amazing how police can testify without ever using the word “fuck,” when they can’t seem to control their use of it on the street.
The police officers pulled his shirt up and slowly moved a metallic object down his bare skin. Then they pulled his pants down.
“They get down to where they’re gonna insert it, this is where I feel that it’s something around my rear end, and he said some stupid comment and then he jammed it in there and I started jerking and going all crazy – I think I kicked him – and I just go into a full-blown panic attack … The damage it caused, it pretty much swole my rear end like a baboon’s butt.”
Perez was a restaurant delivery driver. He wasn’t a bad dude. He drove a Rav-4, for crying out loud. And in the course of a lawsuit, he was able to obtain video corroborating his visit to Homan Square.
“After they did that, I would have done anything for them,” said Perez, who was not charged with any crime related to his Homan Square detention.
Perez made a $170 heroin buy from the target identified by Lopez and Zablocki, a guy identified as Dwayne. Drugs are a scourge, you know, and police have to take extreme action to save society from drugs. You have to break some eggs to make an omelet.
Rather than accept the public’s deep appreciation for ridding the streets of Chicago of $170 worth of heroin and a guy named “Dwayne,” the police didn’t appreciate Perez’s allegations.
The Chicago police department has reacted with indignation and non-specific denials of the Guardian’s Homan Square reporting, and have taken particular umbrage at allegations of physical abuse.
“The allegation that physical violence is a part of interviews with suspects is unequivocally false, it is offensive, and it is not supported by any facts whatsoever,” the police said in a 1 March statement.
The cops are offended by what happened to Perez. Perez wasn’t thrilled either.