BUFFALO, N.Y. - State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman wants to make public a secret state report on the bloody retaking of Attica Prison.
During the storming of the prison in September of 1971, 39 people were killed by law enforcement, including 10 prison employees.
Only one volume of a three volume report on the state's actions was released in 1975.
It said that although the state made "serious errors in judgment," there was "no intentional coverup" of the state's actions.
But many prison employees, inmates and their families have felt that the report was a whitewash, that the state's actions that day were covered up as a way to reduce the state's liability in court.
Now Attorney general Eric Schneiderman is asking a judge to unseal the two remaining volumes of the report.
Attorney General Schneiderman: "Attica was a tragic event in the history of our state and it is important both for families directly affected and for future generations that these historical documents be made available so the public can have a better understanding of what happened, and so we can also confront the issue of how we can prevent future tragedies."
Mike Smith is one of those applauding Schneiderman's efforts. Smith was a 22 year old prison guard who was a hostage during the riot and was shot five times by law enforcement during the retaking of the prison.
Mike Smith: "I personally feel based on the information that I had and living through the process, yes there was a cover up and the state did avoid its responsibilities and the cover up was an intentional attempt on the part of the state of New York to not be held responsible."
The report contains secret grand jury testimony, but Schneiderman argues that the historical significance of the report, the fact that all lawsuits related to Attica have now been settled, and that many who testified in front of the grand jury are now dead, all argue in favor of releasing the full report.
Schneiderman argues that the names of grand jury witnesses who are still alive can be redacted from the report.
The state tried twice before - in 1977 and 1980 - to get the rest of the report released but were turned down both times, with judges ruling that the sanctity of the grand jury proceedings trumped the public's right to know.