thumbnail of Attica: The Official Report of the New York State Special Commission
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the pittsburgh the ride attack occurred in a small community in upstate new york but there's hardly a city in america that can afford to ignore its causes and effects four special report on how all this affects you in your city state into this public broadcasting station congo more years for debbie at in new york fb
it brings to mind several things the first is the basic in humanity a man to man the veneer of civilization as we sit here today and a well lit reasonably well we had a room with suits and ties on objective week performing an autopsy on this day ye cannot get the absolute horror of the situation to people be they black yellow orange spotted whatever whatever uniform they wore that they tore from them to shreds of their humanity i'm robert mcclay the new york university school of law and chairman of a special commission on how to cope forty three people died of etiquette in september nineteen seventy one forty nine of them in the attack that we took the prison for others during the insurrection eleven of the forty three dead a correction officers and
civilian employees thirty two were inmates the commission has investigated those events as well as the events that led up to the conflict that followed we are confident that we now understand why etiquette exploded what set off the explosion why negotiation efforts didn't work why it was decided to retake the prison by fours why there were so many casualties and to what extent reprisals were taken against the prison population get the answers we interviewed more than three thousand people almost everyone who was caught up in the attic a tragedy and carefully examined the relevant documents and photographs the commission members were named by the state's senior judges in executive order from the governor the commission was directed to report on the facts surrounding events have added that the commission had no jurisdiction or the criminal aspect of those events
we have been intensely aware of the credibility crisis around the aca and therefore we insisted at the outset on the independents of this citizens commission we have a garden that independence carefully the commission believes that to understand the uprising one must understand the nature and therefore an essential part of our report is a study of the structure and operation of at the prison in nineteen twenty nine riots broke out at two new york state prisons clinton and robert out alternate inmates and an assistant warden were killed and several buildings wrecked riots generated appeals from prison reform attica was one answer to the auburn violence the new president was to be both secure and humane the new york times called it a convict paradise atticus said son fifty three acres in rural western new york near buffalo and four cell blocks for may six hundred foot square around recreation yards a thirty foot wall two feet thick in some twelve feet into the
ground with fourteen gun towers surrounds the entire present creating an enclosed world with its own standards economy and government thousands in new york state are called correctional facilities but what they provide his custom designed to control inmate's cell blocks are connected to each other by above ground tunnels radiating from a hub the center of yards that everyone calls times when the gates in time square are designed to shut cell blocks off from other parts of the president in the event of trump meaning guards are called election office but their work is the routine of confinement they operate atticus security machine and that doesn't leave much time for corruption and against a few of the officers had much trying to get a writing offices the commission found having the name chosen it's worked for job security not because they want to rehabilitate going to
be a next day outside his cell is crammed into an eight hour period unto aided by fellini commission found prison food to be unappetizing and not up to nutritional standards even though the basic ingredients weren't all hits an inmate doesn't want to work to get more cell phones almost men to accept a job or attend school less than fifteen percent of the new factory worker making steel shelves and lockers estate agents the commission found the jobs and schooling about either provide few opportunities for useful training on rehabilitation most inmates do housekeeping jobs meaning repairs or work in the prison laundry washing everything from prison issue close to the superintendent's table leg whatever the job that must leave enough time in the abbreviated day for eating medical appointments routine activities and some recreation i'm a recreation space it's the yard where an inmate spends about an hour and a half a day
if it rains and snows or freezes gets back to the cell block because there is little indoor recreation space about how to gaze at its most socially awkward correction officers don't take part in the interchange and they can only wonder what's on the agenda at meetings of the muslims another inmate groups most officers forced them to know why criminals not social equals and racism affects some officer doug with few exceptions inmates and officers keep their distance from each other that gap is one of the chief causes tension triggers are you mr stanley officers' union contract allows them to bid on assignment by seniority to escape rising tensions the more experienced than siegel host as far from inmates his reception will mostly the cause inmates are not kept in their cells sixteen or more hours a day because the prison officials
say there isn't enough money for the staff necessary to keep inmates outside longer outsiders often concluded made life isn't as bad as they thought but the visitor doesn't feel the subsurface strains your experience the endless repetition of routine and public hearings the commission heard inmate boots young tell what it's like to live that routine the deal in a bit more than one of the chart one of those that was one of the one of the yard when the comeback i haven't got one just why libby is a type of evolution of the day is the best thing that may have because his mom ida but they imagined you're in and you're out of that and there's an update you know the reason this is and what it means that they have one hit i committed a crime and i mean and when i didn't and i'm not the nominee might not be an ally so it
wasn't every beat the warriors every day for twelve years ago missiles of some kind and is not that nobody has bothered to deal with us based on one point out of that and just be incarcerated inmate lenny bone is a member of the new prisoner generation and likeability on many of them have not adjusted to act inmate population was obviously becoming younger more educated more politically aware i would say probably were more people less serious offenses than previously and probably more politically oriented crimes what kinds of political activities did you notice going on basically use the same type organizations that you would expect to find outside the prison
namely panthers muslims young lords organizations of that nature the type of thing that concerned prior to the disturbance was changing in prior to the disturbance certain activities and sign made officers and staffs feel like something was referring to were more incidents were in many jewish own story russell oswald told the commission he took over the prison system at a time of mounting tension these debt is one is where our furniture will tell the truth the whole truth and nothing but just before he went to work he met with his predecessor paul the mcguinness but her prison the new budget requires
sierra became quite emotional and pointed out that term because of lack of attention money wise to the program that an institution after institution was a powder keg and that with the new kind of prisoners who were coming to the institutions and as he phrased that with the newer court decisions and where the real dynamite and he would expect that any one of the institutions might blow at any time and how he made a request for additional money yes a debt and was sufficient money provided no commissioner mcginnis had seen some real warning sign in october nineteen seventy inmates at all in prison were told they couldn't hold a black solidarity day meeting they all that anyway leaving reprisals were to be taken against them they made gods hostages they release the hostages after they got a
promise of no reprisals despite the promise several of the alleged leaders of the protests were shipped to solitary and addict when released by a court order a toll that innate a story of the trial aug twenty second nineteen seventy one and defiance of regulations against demonstrations paddock inmates mourn the death of george jackson by declining food in the missile and made lanny boom was there knowing everybody knew what was going on you had a muscle that i inherited the approximate ten people the typical crude and ej that's about five hundred about african nation i cannot have and it was silence this wasn't some people wore black on the right there were very few cases probably as many an equal number of ways and blacks wore armbands or what what was the reaction of the correction officers' to this kind of an organized demonstrations there we're uptight to say the least because they didn't really know what to expect and they just saw
is still around dumbfounded and silent they didn't bother to say too much probably most likely out of fear commissioner oswald known as a reformer listen to make grievances and warnings from the correction officers and he went to attica deplete over the prison radio for patients we appreciate it just because the prisoners were disappointed by oswald's failure to specify improvements if anything the speech increased tensions five days later guards tried to stop what they thought was a fight in the yard one combat and slipped away the other really regular insisted the fight was horseplay visible and many times do you read until his next defense would get in solitary confinement you refused to go back to his
cell and he struck lieutenant richard maroney twice in a crowd backed up your officers decided to put off further action i do ever enduring years at attica backed off as you had done here and not take in an inmate what you want to do it i care were caught no this was an unusual situation unusual situation after inmates were locked in their cells that evening officers came to get the still defiantly really do you refuse to go willingly and he was taken by force inmates in neighboring cells heard a struggle and some of them for dior was being hard there was widespread feeling that do or whether he was being beaten or not was being punished for nothing none of the inmates on the gallery could see what happened and you were so some suspected the worst it was right and then it was a dramatic because you know between administration inmate
and people were even afraid to say go whip whitaker and it was dramatic experience you know like a lot of dads wouldn't say anything known a lot of guys didn't sleep was there was a mood of the gallery are immediately afterwards and was this silence was her hair was i don't know i go mom of the family has just died you know in fact you were was not injured in any way either in a cell on the way to a punishment cells or in the punishment sell itself of the administration made no effort to dispel rumors about us treatment it is still not clear what another inmate rape them already had to do with the yard incident but he too was taken to solitary fellow inmates shouted improve things a full can of soup struck an officer in the head the day's events left officers uneasy about what might happen the next day for
some time we've all been concerned about the trouble of going into prison if you could fill in the area by works in a prisoner institution field things like that the air you know something a growing were all apprehensive but you can tell when it's gonna happen every night we expected now were any precautions taken with respect to the following morning not that i know i was booed when at ten o'clock that morning and i don't know many precautions off and that was supportive been taken did anybody eskew dicamillo and no was there any discussion that night about keeping the year and twelve to a shift overlay not that i know not that i know when le mars company was let out for breakfast the morning of september ninth inmate william ortiz was left locked in for throwing this jack o'donnell deserve a fellow inmate released him
when the administration found this out it was decided to put the whole company back and sell that record instead of releasing them into the yard on the way back from the mess hall the company found the er door unlocked when the lieutenant a ride to explain they were being sent back to their cells inmates suddenly attacked riot had begun shortly thereafter about twenty five inmates from this group rushed the times square gate they had just come through a shuttered and shoved that officers behind a gate had no reason to expect that it wouldn't call but a fall the ball snapped and inmates poured through attacking the officers officer billy queen was beaten to the ground and he later died of his injuries during the hearing sergeant jack english was asked what it was like in the prison's chart room headquarters that morning just chaos and if it took a while to realize six magnitude of the whole thing to me anyway that what started outsourcing to be an isolated incident but it quickly spread to the whole situation i take it that actor
is so constructed so that any disturbance can be isolated to a particular area construction only than the principal gate area with his times square which you were in which all of the different clocks by sect each other or when did you learn how to learn the times square had for him when something did officers were carried out injured officers including officer quinn and we realize that some people have been severely injured did you have any understanding as to whether there was a policy as to what to do in those circumstances rather the mayor ryan plan of sorts which also provides vouchers were before your eyes and software that are tantalizing to a
neon similar an isolated area where the servants might occur didn't provide for an institution wide problem was that plan never communicated to the caucuses i don't know that my knowledge i know that there'd never been a girl's work of the uprising spread throughout ago from times square with the keys they took from overpowered officers in the square and maids rushed to the other cell blocks wrecking burning and writing when the inmates broke into the metal shop they took the guards and civilians working their hostage in order them to stretch the word was passed for the inmates to take their captives to dr for the car doors the hostages ran a gauntlet of rubble inmate officer len johnson made that trip to syria though love going out the door opened the black corridor and up through be black order all at the times square and then out into the
black carry on did anything happen to you along the way along the way there were inmates stand in on those bodies at what we'd take a crack as with sticker quite clear when we last line yes i was on a very pale and lauren i was struck several times now and you see other stuff here's sergeant cunningham and now are you seeing now i saw officer jennings and the black queen bee that was away again it actually inmates plan the uprising no they did not evidence shows the takeover the prison was made possible only by chain of coincidence and confusion not by him at five commission found no sign that any inmate organization plan to take over or september ninth or any other day those are relied on a conspiracy theory to explain the uprising had diverted attention from the
real problems of prison by that attica that led to the takeover frustration that routine and the failure of the administration to respond to the need for change fueled the uk outburst if there had been to make strategist at work on september ninth the last place to strike within a tunnel one of the quarter designed to bottle up such outbreaks the company that attack that tenet had just passed through times square and could easily seated then to get control of the prison no one inmate correction officer a prison official could have known that one of the time square gates was held by a weekend vote many years earlier two pieces of steel were badly welded together and the wealth covered with paint and good help is possible the uprising would have been contained before the volt and the lack of manpower communications disorders and contingency planning by the authorities
about it to spread another question recognizes that many inmate grievances were justified in the commission condemns the taking of hostages as a means of obtaining redress but unless the dehumanizing quality to make life is eliminated by meaningful reform and make the stations are bound to find out that in future prison riots granted it inmates eventually seized almost all of that correctional officers bacteria's the inmates than they were ordered not to attempt to retake the phrase involved because they didn't have the force and for fear the hostages would be on a force of over five hundred and fifty state troopers was rushed to abacha from all parts of the state
mayor the persian new instructions that are that your weapon is that a big they can be taken you're the first with rice that then there's some unpleasant version of civil engineer this morning and we certainly people are members of the two were forced were issued twelve gauge shotguns and high powered rifles a regional task that the state police is highway patrol we're not ordinarily assigned to military operation thanks for the poem drew brees took firing an observation positions on cell block ralphs one of them was assigned a small television camera and he recorded what he saw on videotape only annoying are now going to allow eu i
really believe that the building as the smoke rose from the burning building is a huge press corps was gathering outside the law one of the first actions of the inmates in the audience to really seriously injured last year at the same time the inmates at torrent of medical supplies and the doctor for their own protection a camera crew from wto at the buffalo came first of several visits to the er one of the first things they did was to check on the hostages that were ultimately thirty eight of them twenty
seven correct eleven civilian employees by this time they were on the protection of the muslim security guard treat attention that would remain firm for four day what her what started all what's what's what's on the prisoners minds is your city marketers are no no complaints of problems over so far the trooper i just hope that the commissioner and the other people on the committee that they've gathered together to come up with a solution to solve these people's problems point
sunny afternoon they give us a single life and with coffee and water and hockey in kool aid whatever was there available we had and what to sleep on the first night we slept on the ground and then late friday night they got us mattresses out of and how you're treated in general real as good as could be expected there was no bhutto i'm know being unassuming like this on their work threats yelled at us from outside the perimeter of that the security people that were in charge of keeping us safe will go down as far as protecting developer lawrence solomon oh yes definitely assemblyman author even law professor herman schwartz and enter the yard listen to make demands one was that commissioner oswald negotiate
in the ark we demand that the government and we will be back we want a domino and the judiciary may make the monthly to guarantee that there will be no work well and we want all of the media to articulate it we are giving the men a medium in the us isn't an attorney at the top of them and they are worried about low the committee have not missed a bad time for a number of them we watched you wait the mutant from the black panther party and we want to nominate the young body will be dull and know we want the new york than i have complied it several things that i would do
solitary individual who told me to say i've probably press and other media and here to listen as we talk i earlier promised to that would be no reprisals other than what any law enforcement district attorney might take in terms of any crimes that might've been a guy i also asked that the man with the rifle on the outside and now my question is i asked earlier when we really soft edges now the tradition in this area or is not to negotiate much correct a threat and you made a decision that you would not only negotiate but that you would actually go into the stronghold of the inmates and negotiate their ears was not
against the league recommendation of your advice is yes it was in fact was there a single person who were agreed single person from your staff who agreed with your decision to go into the arctic ocean now one final clue well you're relying on for advice inmates relied on the media to get their story across the river that the video on tv cameras to stay into the night you have there is a monograph body a committee and riots of the american prison association which dealt with proper right practices which i'm sure you know us and not recommended that you not permit
meteor into a yachting right situation i correct that and so and i were doing everything i can possibly and not by design and this was the second role of the human profession that you brought the first to go in and negotiate the second novel a comedian yes by friday morning a police thought they had enough men to take the president had chafed at the delay caused by oz was determination to negotiate they watched inmates build fences this week ms bhutto
we deal with them i said that was not true because i saw yesterday and he told me the same as mr shortz farming may be the only the same as mr shortz voted yesterday as i i would say as a lawyer and that is that the gunmen are not what else have the power to grant amnesty for the commission of a crime and that's really the fog within the purview of the local law enforcement for you and i know that's a lie my late friday thirty three observers had arrived one was tom wicker of the new york times that this is not a group there at that was in every way convenient we had
that we had everyone from that we had republican state senators and quite look at the members of minority groups in rio variety of people when they end of whom including myself were big storm an aquatic family and not so we are we went around and around and around it for a lot of the time they're trying to decide what to do it was not a group that could easily come unanimous decisions are saying we're continuing discussion from the beginning i as to precisely what we should do what role we should be playing where we to do i serve as representatives of the prisoners were we give us says is representative of the state where we truly beautiful love go betweens hour which were we it in fact are in fact un negotiators snookered that soon settle that we had to be more or less her
main claim to be one of ten will actually win or were going in there is order prevailing model into the trooper's more corrections officers could understand the inaction of the authorities and rumors of inmate atrocities spread a great role there were close to thirteen hundred men in the yard more than half of those interviewed told the commission they had not wanted to be the about the complete inmates made rules against using drugs fighting on the sexual relation some of them build fences or look for food and fuel and a large number probably the majority
i'm back and did not and most of them lined up twice a day from the school and they guide spoke with pride of their housekeeping arranged we have to do invade orderly is provided medical care under dr walter hansen civilian volunteers to watch the yard society develop there were a small group of men i don't have a specific number of close somewhere between twelve twenty five maybe really running the whole show and they had their so called security which were really they're there working officers and they and the rest of the men in the americas where dispenser and really have no right to know what some don't know anything and they're guarded circle in the middle of the yard the hostages felt left out they were the most to
lose had no representation of the negotiations prison superintendent vince nine kc have the same feeling what was your role as a bystander when any of the demands were negotiated guest on friday i was present at the negotiation means and what happens now the various demands are often commercial rivals saying yes yes yes and i was sitting there wondering how i could run the institution after this were that these demands haven't been granted and i sat there for quite some time and there was little talk of the hostages and i the campus police and i told him my displeasure that i felt that the
committee was not talking enough about how we're going to persuade the rioters to release the hostages by saturday night we observers had become media they had oswald's agreement to some version of twenty eight demands for reform but no promise of memphis officer billy quinn had died that day making amnesty even more important to the image or a maybe and that rely on the ability to look at their back up so you know it is
i know observers un officials were divided over the presence of bobby seale somebody would inflame the inmate others that he might get it needs to accept the twenty eight and in fact he refused to do this but his speech and reaction to it were relatively mild sealed up with the demand most observers regarded as unrealistic you need to be allowed to leave the country i hope well i'm hopeful about it and i'm kind of now in a sort of a neutral state i don't know what the situation is we hope that the status quo remains and the time worked for a peaceful solution to the inmates feel about the current situation i knew we were boys were in with the inmates that we met with them we had to have our some of the people here well we really had nothing to say
about except they are firm in their demands and that's it they're not gonna let the messages go until they're granted all honesty that was their worst position i i had to tell them however that in the opinion of the observers are certainly in my opinion but this was the best that we were able to achieve it's not that we are recommending it as war that we're advocating says that the reality of the negotiation process is but this is the best that we were able to achieve and that they had to understand what that meant within the context of the actual circumstances in all circumstances then you look up around the art and you see you know all that firepower and i reminded him of that and then i went on
to read slowly but carefully each the man and the full text of the letter from the district attorney what happened there was as i as i've read them photos and you know i was a very tense moment i felt was very tense i mean one of the five pm were on the route of the book too from the money market fund or on demand for pictures and getting big goal of your movement you eighteen pm at the same time commission was ward was reading an ultimatum you'd said to dr i originally requested
to release the hostages on her and to accept the recommendations of the committee of outside observers which recommendations were approached by me and join with me in restoring order to this institution only after these steps and i'm going to meet with a five member committee chosen by you to discuss any graven says you may err as a matter of principle the state was not prepared to grant criminal amnesty to the inmates in connection with an uprising in which one officer had died and several others were injured it's a situation in which live thursday at my own personal opinion is that if lives are staking have any meaning to anybody that they will be a serious reconsideration by the state if the state takes a blister because lives are expendable then the state is going to go the murder of many
people maybe hundreds and maybe even a thousand or so right now no no even though it made more alan discipline were crumbling under tension muslim guards kept the hostages say the hostages didn't know the three inmates had been beaten and stabbed bodies of barry schwartz counted as michael for the terror were found after attica was retaken awaiting with anguish for the relatives of hostages but there was little comfort in the prospect of
anonymous saw only indirectly during morning when i'm doing the negotiations have
failed you saw was in that on sunday morning inmates like mary ford were still hopeful nearly as elected to fill out the vote and the vain you know into our citizens thought into how the price of the people outside of this and the command and lands them suitably that we can get amnesty we said let's bring the governor so that we could talk to and we can give them all reprisal of the situation are the sport on even about what will happen after yeah the situation aware than it will implement the twenty eight points talk with this fall frankly the government could give us time that his presence the vatican which ill concerned and it might even mean that the inmates modified it accepted twenty points i suggested that it would seem that that might be appropriate for someone knows warm and understanding as governor rockefeller to walk that last
mile in the end come although it went on to express a view that i didn't feel that it was going to be productive governor rockefeller decided not to go to a press conference to explain why has this had been demanding from the very beginning and i come into the yard and up by this time i felt that we had to made one more attempt through the commissioner i could try to see a situation if i moved into this myself after everything had been explored was nothing we could do young would have been down there for of the things they were seeking which was a reform of the prison was the gold they had achieved that if it goes beyond that amnesty and free passes to a non imperialist country that i couldn't hear what i was the obama wasn't me and i frankly thought that the idea of governors any time there
was an uprising or in a town that was served a prisoner taken prisoner but a hostage taking being involved in the negotiation the next thing would be we don't want the governor what the president and we get to a situation which an impossible one for this country maine governor rockefeller decision left inmates with commissioner oswald's final ultimatum message when inmates in the yard like cellist carpenter loaded only ultimatum really never understood that the choice was acceptance of an armed attack little game now where that's dr de gaulle you know a one man that opens the world where one that figure twenty ounce baby the man i think it was twenty three may and he said oh you gave yet nobody in this novella he said all one that one track you know the saudi us or even begin to let go when you have a baby you know especially
because they don't know nothing about this plan that they then got caught all sang get on it you know what to talk about because any weight at all that the full on all all the guys go back to this notion that you know they have that get on that way in one of the spokesmen speak up in support of that man satan were disgusted man his right to believe that you will get us the best way you want as we explore with them is right you all want to vote yes or no and then there was one vote again not an end you agreed with you agreed to hold out you voted to hold up we'll give me i came to the conclusion that in five days of negotiating i had received absolutely nothing i had given everything and i point of this artillery observers that the intransigence was immobile
the commission believes the negotiations fail because the parties to them ron sure who is negotiating with whom and for what there was no established procedure for such negotiation to fall and know when engaged in and was able to discover what inmates through fear suspicion confusion and inexperience weren't able to express the collective will they did not understand that their choice they between acceptance the twenty eight points without amnesty and armed assault insiders who found themselves in the role of meteors did not make that choice clear so the inmates fought their choices were broader than in fact they were in citigroup was too large and included too many and resolve our differences a viewpoint to function as a unit the commission agrees that amnesty should not have been granted for such crimes as assault on homicide the bodies of more attention should have been given to the possibility of foregoing prosecution for lesser crimes the commission holds a prison officials should not be denied the right to negotiate a riot situations it an
insurrection cannot be and immediately without legal force but negotiations should take place on neutral ground with out the press president and if possible directly between officials and inmates it outsiders are required their role should be carefully defined and they can't be made to understand during negotiations that if there is no settlement authorities will retake the prison by force if necessary the question recognizes that the decision not to go out there was not an easy one for governor rockefeller and we believe it is a question that is receiving disproportionate tension and public debate the reality is the full amnesty was the paramount issue at all times and there was no evidence before the governor that the inmates were prepared to accept less the commission believes nonetheless that the governor should have gone to act after commissioner oswald requested his presence not because it was an
inmate man but because his responsibility as a state's chief executive made it appropriate that he be present at the scene of a critical decision involving great risk of loss of life on the morning of september thirteenth two hundred eleven state troopers armed with shotguns rifles and sidearms were ready to take the salt position a plan in its execution were under state police commander national guard provided medical personnel into all about making john monaghan to her commander ordered his men to reach the hostages quickly to avoid and to hand combat and he warned against indiscriminate fire the final ultimatum to the rebels complain that no warning the impending assault or on the roof of a car waiting for the apollo began an eighteen
everyone would be my right for amanda condone violence here just that there's no front of the soldiers i don't know and he says it has been a very very good way to prevent incidents but oh then more pictures of oil is headed or back further news goaded start screaming managed was goaded these debts were in their screaming and you could hear all this clearly read on here i take it that the trooper is waiting to go out and the offices along the gallery coherent you can listen it's been the
peaks boy the pittsburgh the case became the peak
ms bonnie clip to play a clip it's both apparently
the plan has been leaked a piece became
lose rich them as rapidly as possible in the plaque was there anything in your plan that would have protected the hostage is india serco in the yard which is where they were on sunday if the inmates there were determined to cut their throats an event to enrichment time will you you couldn't reach them at all or are we have ten seconds that it would take this little drop was what i'm getting at the lawyer judd pledges warning for your girlish and she said are you asking whether any plans to do anything about the hostages that we were not able to affect our mission and janet yellen has really is whether there was any way that your plan could have saved lives of the hostages if the inmates were determined to cut their crops there's in this area nervous and scared naturally in
the midterms he says beyond the solution ounces oil deal with a name and now what was the toes on our one behind the circle my hair pulling money diverted and then ms morris and also the cradle in a standout in is some helicopter come into your own and his loyalists don't mind me training use me as a way to shield must keep me between him and the helicopter all time that i was covering and then rescinded the large moderate muslim warlord and now than jesus snow listened the shots of cuddly it can wait until tomorrow us will stop them a
trooper as court advantage plans anything happen to you were you really have to read the shots my throat was cut need to carefully clip that's it would not only jeopardizing innocent lives but would threaten the
security of the entire collection of the theme of those that armed rebellion of the type we don't face the destruction of my reasons it hasn't been an agonizing decision fb for the surviving hostages the ordeal was over for the inmates another ordeal was beginning in six minutes the assault reduced the dr world wreckage and inmates had lost any ground they gained of the negotiation table
whether they took part in the insurrection or not the inmates face correction officers and state troopers many of them anxious for revenge inmates in the yard were stripped naked the cells inside swept clear the state began its investigation at once everything resembling an inmate weapon was collected intact national guard medics were among the first to outsiders to reach the rec yard major john cudmore and his men watched what happened to inmates after the shooting stopped they were in a position of having surrendered hands and head were coming down they were very forceful before foley being forced down the steps were forced to lie down a low crawled across there apparently the method employed to get them to lie down was to hit them with a club across the knees were on several instances not to disguise the thames but at the moment and a theory was made i was i was working in a hospital that afternoon and i was signed to get for men to form a libertine to walk
through the hallway from the hospital to the be easier reception center and to pick up some we must have called in and told somebody that we were to pick up a prisoner and i got four men we walked down one hallway to the reception center and we had nowhere to go so i was and i was in charge of the litter team so i just picked the first door as we get into the reception center i turn or coming up with the right term and i walked into the first or we're such as to find somebody to tell me where the prisoner was as a walk in to get the door a quarter of the way or halfway open and i saw a correction officers or five six or seven hours and zack bending over being and somebody i was on the floor and he told me to shut the door but i wasn't allowed into that room so right away i didn't have any authority to say anything rent other room white and ron i walked out of the room i shut the door and just waited outside with my other team about
thirty seconds later they came out with some answers that correction officer told me that i can go and what my later teens and take the patients when i walked in he was already on a litter what was he says it was in my opinion in a state ishaq you a song delirious he was crying emotionally that's all i kept saying was that into a box you have those personnel live from the heartland of america with a very difficult job with inadequate training and in the light of what happened in the eye with a knowing that their brother employees were in there with and their lives have been threatened continuously they knew some of more injured and they knew that when someone can do that out i'm one who would die debt of course it's your one an understandable that they were under great stress and i'm anxious have strong feelings about this is only reality as an administrator in this field have given the history
of these prison disturbances of offices are losing self control and taking it out on inmates from my yo on partial appraisal of study of this sort of problem well wherever does occur throughout the trucking association a national basis this is a concern a common concern and problem so that this was really a problem that you recognize that you have to deal with so i go right from the beginning the answer we'll have the uk to role in making sure the offices would exercise self control and that there would be no records well the police superintendent benson was in charge and he had an assistant deputy fail uh what have the supervision of those did you receive any reports that day that of any acts of mistreatment of inmates
i would say that we talked to most men cozy and mr benson with analysts were given orders we presume that would be carried out enough you're not telling me as a matter of fact that was not carried out then i think it was reprehensible that lasted six minutes and took the lives of thirty nine inmates at the time no one knew the extent of the death or how the men inside dog was even unclear who had taken on my arm correction officer who revealed in a telephone conversation recorded shortly after right right right
walked out of a job it wasn't until the following day public information officer joe who hadn't responded to reporters' questions about how the men inside it's been great i don't have all the details i don't have all of those babies were less accepted orders was broke but the next day the medical examiner john hetland announced the troop first a top athlete wertheim the case of the five hostages army has died of gunshot wounds there was no evidence of caught in the back of one of the next
two of the deceased about five thoughts as inmates that of flat and multiple stab will every other place that we have about every other days that we haven't gotten to that point at that event when the opposite record was complete it became known that all it had hostages were killed were fatally wounded by shots fired by the assad forces no hostage was castrated or sexually molested when surviving hostages did suffer a serious gunshot wound to the grind and two surviving hostages had serious throat wounds inflicted by sharp instruments three inmates were killed by fellow prisoners sometime before the assault they had been stabbed and beaten and their throats cut mr william quinn died from injuries inflicted on him when inmates attack times square on september ninth not as a result of being thrown down a flight of stairs or out a window as was widely reported at the time
there are also rumors that some inmates were in effect executed by members of the assault force after the prison was recovered the commission found those rumors false bizarre was a military operation designed to retake the prison without excessive force that was the intent but the commander felt his first priority was to avoid casualties among his own man there are no safeguards to minimize the risk of injury to hostages and uninvolved and i'm resisting inmates and rallies against indiscriminate filing issued the plan allowed individual troopers to use their own discretion about firing their weapons many drivers carry shotguns with ammunition that standard lethal products in such a way that unintended targets would almost certainly hit when troopers fired into the crowd and confined space of dr and salvatore that no correction officers take part in the assault that some correction officers unaware of the order did take part some and firing push the weapons that fire killed at
least one inmate and one hostage no agency official took responsibility for making sure that adequate medical treatment was on hand miraculously no one died for lack of medical care but many of the wounded suffered needlessly while waiting for attention and officials were aware that high emotions into prison correctional officers might result in unnecessary bounce to the inmates during and after the assault no one took responsibility to prevent reprisals almost half of the inmates from the yard suffer bruises lacerations or broken bones as a result of such reprisals at ago one year later in august the commissions and a camera crew to the president on the service the empty routine of prison life seemed reestablished the giant framework of his day job stands as a reminder of the violence of a year ago one is in progress in india nineteen ninety and some additional showers have been installed a
porcelain sink settlements will be replaced by new construction work was delayed by trade union strikes and progress has been slow it is ironic to many inmates that money for a physical improvements suddenly appeared after the riot when before none was available the antioxidant clean but remain desert inmate activity is limited to the two other recreation areas yard schedule seventies allow some inmates to stay outside podcast weather permitting alive in the art has changed little in the dog communication is still limited and a new ruling respects conversational minimal maintain a discipline that one improvement in recent communications as the telephone skull to allow inmates a single long distance collect call ahmad commission found that before the uprising two thirds of the correction officers or vatican and received no adequate training new officers must now complete a special training program at the state
police academy and for the first time there are black officers are that there were none at the time of the uprising or the majority of the prison population was black the liaison committee also was set up shortly after the uprising to bridge the gap between inmates and the prison administration smaller in uganda take place inmates like a new uniforms that are being issued for the president the house schedule an expanded allowing inmates to showers we rather than a single week you know there's two inmates and their families changes in the prison visiting room or another welcome improvement wire meshed screens that once separated an inmate from his family in the normal conversations are still observed by correction officers or children are allowed to sit with inmates
all of human and before the uprising incoming inmate often destined to spend years in prison had no formal introduction to attica life a new orientation program has since been established to replace the rumor and word of mouth and once initiated a new inmate to prison routine you atticus superintendent since the uprising ernest montagnier oversees a small or inmate population approximately twelve hundred compared to more than two thousand in september nineteen seventy one basically i am an optimist i don't think that's real pessimism is business insider and offered a personal note i feel optimistic that we will eventually get social programs and will make the parisian atmosphere shows that would preclude a release would lessen the dangers and the tensions are they're always there and i think within less than a lot of
attention we here two weeks ago and it was created by the fact that the inmate population the vast majority of them refused to come out of their shows for breakfast in the morning so all they were allowed to stay on and then as the days went by the number of paying in blood of someone however they're still a majority which brain cells work or three days what we promptly instituted an emergency basis can preclude and the violence just happening and publisher due to do in the situation and you know if you'd asked me specifically what i know
he's still little meaningful
a new arrival at attica and it is an institution with many of the same sources of tension that created the explosion of the year before he will serve his term under inadequately prepared officers with few programs to inspire him or help them acquire useful skill you will spend nearly sixteen hours a day in a six by nine foot self containment rather than corruption remains the basis of life without it and most prisons in america today as this report of the new york state special commission on etiquette nears completion i wish to have a final word on behalf of the commission i the conclusions and supporting evidence are set forth in a written report which is being widely distributed in a paperback edition we authorize this television reports because we thought of bio to make every effort to a message or reach as many members of the general public as possible not simply because the story is frighteningly dramatic and not even because our conclusions are particularly surprising but we are convinced that every american should be reminded of certain simple
truths we have examined life and death at a typical maximum security institution and we reported the consequences for all americans when the manifest imperfections in that system trigger an explosion of the tragic dimensions you have seen truly is every president and every president has etiquette as numbers the commission we believe that we have done what was asked of us but we're not satisfied that it is enough a larger obligation is to continue the search for better and more humane system of criminal justice from arrest to release after imprisonment know aspect of law and order is more important than reform of the criminal justice system report you have seen deals with facts and judges but they disclose only the tip of the fiery televised below it is not enough to answer the doubts about the events themselves or even to fix responsibility for defects of
planning and performance a worrisome reality is that prisons prisoners and the problems of both are essentially invisible in united states we americans have made our prisons disappeared from sight as if by actor will we look at the most in place as remote from view and far removed from the homes the inmates we emphasize security almost exclusion rehabilitation and we managed to forget inmates and custodians alike acting as though the prisoners were not returned to our cities and our villages and on farms and mr kreider binge actor can be turned to reforms that will make repetition impossible all effort will have been in vain change should not likely undertaken but the status quo can no longer be defended the only way to salvage meaning of the otherwise senseless killings at attica is to learn
from this experience that our act as our failures crucial issues remain unresolved and they will continue a result until an aroused public demands something better right it's been the peaks
boy the pittsburgh became the country because both in
my name is richard j hughes and i'm chairman of the american bar association commission on correctional facilities and services we have brought you this victoria representation of the distinguished attica commission report as a public service our bar association commissioned an opera to supply than north doesn't endorse specific findings by the mackay commission we do however suggest that the attic a story told on his first sad anniversary is not a new york problem but in truth an american tragedy are common neglect of our correctional systems has been a grievous mistake we agree with indicated no aspect of war nor is more important than reform of the criminal justice system some of you may wonder why the us has to do with you know if you live in an american community if you have a home and family and other words if you're like most of us it has everything to do with you you'll have an important stake interaction reform whoever you are wherever you live and i hope you will support that reform if we forget it and we will be for getting a
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Program
Attica: The Official Report of the New York State Special Commission
AAPB ID
cpb-aacip/516-c24qj78v0v
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Description
Program Description
2 hour program, produced in 1972.
Program Description
Background: The most violent prison conflict in United States history occurred at New York's maximum security Attica State Prison in September, 1971. In the six-day period between September 8 and 13, the attention of the country was focused on the fate of the 38 hostages held by the Attica inmates. When a heavily armed contingent of New York State Police finally rushed the 1281 prisoners in the Attica compound, the uprising was crushed. The total number of deaths resulting from the rebellion was 32 inmates and 11 prison employees. On November 15, 1971, New York Governor Nelson Rockefeller named Robert McKay, Dean of the New York University Law School, to chair a special Commission to investigate the Attica Prison Riots. The Commission was composed of the Reverend Edwin Broderick, Bishop of the Diocese of Albany; Robert L. Carter, a New York lawyer; Mrs. Mariano Guerrero, founder and president of the Society of the Friends of Puerto Rico; Amos Henix, former Attica inmate and currently the director of a New York drug rehabilitation program; Burke Marshall, former head of the Civil Rights Division of the Justice Department; Walter N. Rothschild, Jr., Chairman of the Board, New York Urban Coalition; Mrs. Robert H. Wadsworth, director of development, Rochester Institute of Technology; and William Willbanks, doctoral candidate at the School of Criminal Justice, State University of New York in Albany. The Commission General Counsel was Arthur L. Liman, a New York trial lawyer. The Commission conducted more than 3,000 interviews and studied still pictures and films of the riot and assault. To insure wide dissemination of its final report the Commission produced both a written and filmed record of its investigations. This official filmed report of the Commission's findings will be transmitted nationally by the Public Broadcasting Service on the first anniversary of the Attica riot. Program Content: The program begins with a brief description of what occurred at Attica. Commission Chairman McKay explains why the Special Commission was formed and outlines its aims. The Commission studied the causes of the riot in order to prevent future prison revolts, he said. Filmed sequences include scenes of prison life inside Attica. The report also presents excerpts from testimony on prison living conditions, and drawings showing the original prison take-over. The films taken by the New York State Police during the actual riot are presented as part of the Commission's investigation. The television report also contains excerpts from the testimony about the use of force to quell an uprising, taken in Rochester and Albany, New York. Those testifying include state prison officials, inmates, state police, observers, and newsmen. Witnesses give testimony concerning their involvement in the attack. McKay presents the Commission's conclusions. The Commission's report concludes with an examination of current conditions inside Attica. McKay discusses the possibility of similar uprising occurring again at Attica. Spinoff: Following the special 90-minute report, public television stations around the country will have the choice of carrying either a 30-minute panel discussion of the McKay Commission findings prepared by WNET/Channel 13, New York, or presenting an analysis of correctional problems by local experts. Bill Moyers will moderate the WNET panel discussion. The special report on the findings of the Commission is a production for the New York State Special Commission on Attica. It is made possible by the American Bar Association Commission on Correctional Facilities and Services under a grant from the Ford Foundation. (Description adapted from documents in the NET Microfiche)
Program Description
"A 90-minute televised presentation of the McKay Commission report on the four-day Attica prison riot in September 1971, which resulted in the deaths of 32 inmates and 11 prison employees. The first program of its kind ever developed as a visual supplement to a government report, it contain segments showing conditions inside Attica; films taken by N.Y. State police during the riot; and excerpts from the testimony of more than 3,000 individuals interviewed by the nine-member Commission, including state prison officials, inmates, state police, observers and newsman. Special drawings were also used to illustrate the visual report, which concluded with an examination of current conditions inside Attica."--1972 Peabody Awards entry form. Those testifying include prison officials, inmates, negotiators, former hostages, and observers. Robert McKay provides additional commentary on the commission's findings. The program begins with footage from the April 1972 Attica Hearings, and Robert McKay gives a summary of the events of the riot at Attica and what the commission set out to discover. An essential part of the commission's report was a study of the structure and operation of Attica State Prison, and the program reports the commission's findings in detail, featuring news footage and interviews with current and former inmates, prison officers, and prison officials. The program details rising tensions between inmates and officers leading up to the riot, and the events that sparked the riot. The riot was not planned by the inmates, and it was only made possible by a chain of coincidences and confusion. The program continues to detail the events of the riot, prisoner demands, negotiations, and how law enforcement and prison officials responded to the riot. The negotiations fail, and the police mount an armed assault on the prison, taking it back, but killing over thirty inmates and hostages. The program finishes by covering the aftermath, reprisals, and ensuing investigation, and it checks back in at Attica one year after the riot, reporting the changes made to improve the prison.
Broadcast Date
1972-09-13
Asset type
Program
Genres
Documentary
Topics
Social Issues
Law Enforcement and Crime
Media type
Moving Image
Duration
01:28:39
Credits
Director: Sameth, Jack
Executive Producer: Prowitt, David
Executive Producer: Dixon, Don
Host: McKay, Robert
Moderator: Moyers, Bill
Producer: Wilkman, Jon
Producer: Potts, Robert
AAPB Contributor Holdings

Identifier: cpb-aacip-516-c24qj78v0v.mp4.mp4 (mediainfo)
Format: video/mp4
Generation: Proxy
Duration: 01:28:39
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Citations
Chicago: “Attica: The Official Report of the New York State Special Commission,” 1972-09-13, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed June 27, 2022, http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip-516-c24qj78v0v.
MLA: “Attica: The Official Report of the New York State Special Commission.” 1972-09-13. American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. June 27, 2022. <http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip-516-c24qj78v0v>.
APA: Attica: The Official Report of the New York State Special Commission. Boston, MA: American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip-516-c24qj78v0v