Books for changing the world
The Torture Machine
Racism and Police Violence in Chicago

A warrior for the people, 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), Taylor has argued landmark civil rights cases that have exposed corruption and cover-up within the Chicago Police Department (CPD) and throughout the city’s political machine, from aldermen to the mayor’s office.


Torture Machine takes the reader from the 1969 murders of Black Panther Party chairman Fred Hampton and Panther Mark Clark—and the historic, thirteen-year trial that followed—through the dogged pursuit of chief detective Jon Burge, the leader of a torture ring within the CPD that used barbaric methods, including electric shock, to elicit false confessions from suspects.


Taylor and the PLO gathered evidence from multiple cases to bring suit against the CPD, breaking the department’s “code of silence” that had enabled decades of cover-up. The legal precedents they set have since been adopted in human rights legislation around the world.