Flint Taylor

Flint Taylor has spent nearly fifty years fighting for justice, from the courtrooms of Cook County to the US Supreme Court. With his colleagues at the People’s Law Office (PLO), he has argued landmark civil rights cases that have exposed corruption and cover-ups within the Chicago Police Department (CPD) and throughout the city’s corrupt political machine. He joins us tonight to discuss his new book, The Torture Machine: Racism and Police Violence in Chicago (Haymarket), which 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.

Date: 
Tuesday, March 12, 2019 - 7:00pm
Location: 
The Elliott Bay Book Company
1521 Tenth Avenue
Seattle, WA 98122
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