© 2021 Western New York Public Broadcasting Association

140 Lower Terrace
Buffalo, NY 14202

Mailing Address:
Horizons Plaza P.O. Box 1263
Buffalo, NY 14240-1263

Buffalo Toronto Public Media | Phone 716-845-7000
WBFO Newsroom | Phone: 716-845-7040
Your NPR Station
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations

Court decision could release details on Attica uprising

More than 40 years after the Attica Prison Riot, a judge has cleared the way for authorities to reveal more details on what happened during the deadly retaking of the prison in September, 1971.

Overall, 43 people died in the riot and the re-taking.

There were grand jury probes, followed by the so-called "Meyer Report," a three-volume rehashing of the events of the four-days. Volumes two and three have never been released, apparently because so much of the content is grand jury records.

State Supreme Court Justice Patrick NeMoyer now says the content of  volumes two and three can be released as long as nothing connected to the grand jury investigation is revealed.

Former Erie County District Attorney Edward Cosgrove represents Lavonne Williams, widow of Henry Williams, the State Police commander who was given the order to retake the prison.

"It's going to be very difficult for the attorney general to follow the judge's order and to make a report about what Judge Meyer found some 40-years ago without bottoming his comments upon what was testified to before grand juries in Wyoming County back then," Cosgrove told WBFO News.

State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman had asked for the report to be released. A spokesman says the NeMoyer decision is being studied.

Cosgrove intends to talk with lawyers representing State Troopers about appealing the judge's decision.