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Attica And Coxsackie Riot Tapes' Production Ordered To Media With Appropriate Redaction

The New York Department of Correctional Services (DOCS) appealed an Albany County Supreme Court judgment ordering the disclosure of tapes during uprisings at two correctional facilities. Disclosure was affirmed.

The Buffalo Broadcasting Company, Inc., (Media) requested tapes of prison riots at the Attica Correctional Facility and the 1988 riot at the Coxsackie Correctional Facility. The DOCS denied the request. The Media filed a motion to compel. The DOCS argued various blanket exemptions but the court granted disclosure to the Media. On appeal, the Appellate Court affirmed the disclosure and remanded to determine appropriate redaction and ordered the DOCS to explain any further redactions.

On remand, the DOCS still refused to release some tapes and redacted the majority of what was released claiming exemption for concerns of prisoner and staff safety. The court rejected the arguments but did allow the redaction of strip searches, displays of nudity, and one cell invasion.

The DOCS appealed and the Third Department Appellate Division affirmed the judgment in it's entirety. See: Buffalo Broadcasting Company, Inc. v. New York State Department of Correctional Services, 174 A.D.2d 212, 578 N.Y.S.2d 928 (N.Y. App. 1992).

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Related legal case

Buffalo Broadcasting Company, Inc. v. New York State Department of Correctional Services