Police Abuse & Torture

On the show this week, Chris Hedges discusses police abuse and torture with civil rights attorney Flint Taylor.

Flint Taylor’s new book is The Torture Machine: Racism and Police Violence in Chicago.

With his colleagues at the People’s Law Office, Taylor has argued landmark civil rights cases exposing the corruption and cover-up within the Chicago Police Department and throughout the city’s political machine from the alderman to the mayor’s office.

The book takes the reader from the 1969 murder of Black Panther Party chairman Fred Hampton and Panther Mark Clark – and the historic thirteen-year trial that followed – through the pursuit of chief detective Jon Burge, the leader of a torture ring within the Chicago Police Department that used barbaric methods, including electric shock and suffocation, to elicit false confessions from suspects – a violation of the UN Convention against Torture. Taylor and People’s Law Office gathered evidence to bring suit against the Chicago Police Department, breaking the department’s "code of silence" that had enabled decades of cover-ups. The legal precedent they set has since been adopted in human rights legislation around the world.

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