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NY to seek release of Attica riot documents

ALBANY, N.Y. — New York plans to seek the release of sealed court documents pertaining to the bloody retaking of Attica state prison after inmates rioted in 1971, an episode that remains the nation’s bloodiest prison rebellion.

Attorney General Eric Schneiderman said he will ask a state court in Wyoming County to unseal previously secret documents containing details about the five days in September 1971 when inmates took control of the maximum-security prison before state troopers stormed the facility to end the takeover.

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Schneiderman said the time has come to bring transparency to what he referred to as one of New York state government’s ‘‘darkest chapters.’’

‘‘We are in the process of evaluating what mode, timing, and mechanics of release will best balance a number of imperatives: the public’s right to a full airing of available, relevant information; our obligation to treat all subjects of the report fairly and to put its findings in their proper context when released; and preservation of the integrity of grand jury proceedings, which is so critical to the effectiveness of law enforcement and public protection,’’ Schneiderman said.

The information in question is contained in sealed parts of a 1975 state report that examined New York’s efforts to investigate the riot and its aftermath. Thirty-two inmates and 11 civilians died during the five-day siege.

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