published Sunday, October 27th, 2013

New York attorney general asks judge to unseal documents on '71 Attica riot



Inmates wearing cloaks and football helmets stand behind bars in a corridor leading to D block as they begin negotiatiations with New York State officials after a prison uprising at Attica State Prison, in Attica, N.Y., in this  1971 file photo.
Inmates wearing cloaks and football helmets stand behind bars in a corridor leading to D block as they begin negotiatiations with New York State officials after a prison uprising at Attica State Prison, in Attica, N.Y., in this 1971 file photo.
Photo by Associated Press /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

ALBANY, N.Y. — New York's attorney general has asked a state judge to unseal documents about the 1971 riot and retaking of Attica state prison, the nation's bloodiest inmate rebellion.

Attorney General Eric Schneiderman wants the court in Wyoming County to open hundreds of detailed pages about the five September days when inmates took control of the maximum-security prison in rural western New York until state troopers and guards stormed the facility.

Schneiderman says it's time to bring transparency to what he referred to as one of state government's darkest chapters. The sealed documents are part of a 1975 report by a special commission that examined New York's efforts to investigate the riot and its aftermath.

In all, 11 staff and 32 inmates died -- all but four shot by authorities.

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