Thursday, October 20, 2016

the last book I ever read (Blood in the Water: The Attica Prison Uprising of 1971 and its Legacy, excerpt eight)

from Blood in the Water: The Attica Prison Uprising of 1971 and its Legacy by Heather Ann Thompson:

To the dismay of all parties concerned, however, this news could not be contained. For starters, it was obvious to anyone who had been in the ME’s office and had seen the bodies that they were riddled with bullets and buckshot. And as soon as the hostages’ autopsies were completed and their bodies were released to funeral homes, countless other people would be able to see their wounds. But what really forced their hand was that Edland’s officer supervisor leaked the autopsy findings to Dick Cooper, a reporter at a local paper, the Rochester Times-Union. Cooper ran back to his car and headed for the city room to file the story. “I knew the information I had was important but the weight of my knowledge did not hit me until I was on the road. If the hostages did not die from slashed throats and did in fact die of bullet and buckshot wounds then they must have been shot by the state police who were sent into Cellblock D to save them.” When Dick told his colleagues at the paper, they were stunned. Another Times-Union reporter, Lawrence Beaupre, recalled hearing the news. “I gasped. Everyone knew what that meant, since the prisoners reportedly had no firearms at all.”

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