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Former Attica prison guard speaks out

Eagle, N.Y. -- The families of 32 inmates and 11 staff members who died in the 1971 Attica uprising hope they are one step closer to closure.

Recently, a judge approved the public release of two remaining volumes from the investigation of the prison riot and aftermath, but stopped just short of releasing the grand jury excerpts.

Some former prison guards, inmates, and those who lost loved ones in the Attica uprising are not happy with the recent decision.

Michael Smith was a prison guard at Attica in 1971 and taken hostage during the four-day uprising.

"I was shot by four state employees," he said, referring to the operation attempted by New York State Police to take back control of the prison. "It seems to me this is all about the truth."

Smith is disappointed the grand jury excerpts are not being released.

"For far too long the state has only presented one side of what happened," Smith continued. "The original report by the state said I was emasculated. That's never happened."

A group pushing for the release of all the Attica documents, The Forgotten Victims of Attica, released the following statement responding to the recent decision:

"We await seeing the redacted report, and expect neither volume constrained by Judge NeMoyer's decision, will tell the truth that eventually must be told. We expect that Attorney General Schneiderman will appeal."

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Washington Times