A discussion with Flint Taylor, author of The Torture Machine: Racism and Police Violence in Chicago. He was joined in conversation by torture survivors, Darrell Cannon and Anthony Holmes, which was moderated by Jamie Kalven.
Flint Taylor is a founding partner of the People’s Law Office in Chicago. He is one of the lawyers for the families of slain Black Panther leaders Fred Hampton and Mark Clark, has represented many survivors of Chicago police torture over the past 30 years and is counsel in several illegal search and wrongful death cases brought against the Milwaukee Police Department.
The Torture Machine takes the reader from the 1969 murders of Black Panther Party chairman Fred Hampton and Panther Mark Clark—and the historic, thirteen-years of litigation that followed—through the dogged pursuit of commander Jon Burge, the leader of a torture ring within the CPD that used barbaric methods, including electric shock, to elicit false confessions from suspects.
Joining forces with community activists, torture survivors and their families, other lawyers, and local reporters, Taylor and the PLO gathered evidence from multiple cases to bring suit against the CPD officers and the City of Chicago. As the struggle expanded beyond the torture scandal to the ultimately successful campaign to end the death penalty in Illinois, and obtained reparations for many of the torture survivors, it set human rights precedents that have since been adopted across the United States.
Recorded March 7, 2019 at Seminary Co-op Bookstore, Chicago.