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SILENCE IN THE NEWSROOM

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Prosecutors looking into the torture and brutalization of a Haitian immigrant in New York earlier this month say that the refusal of police witnesses to come forward and testify about the actions of their fellow officers has impeded their investigation.

But while the Blue Wall of Silence may end up suffocating the investigation into the torture of 30-year-old Abner Louima, many observers say that equally problematic has been a virtual “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy in the country’s news rooms when it comes to police brutality.

Guest:
• Earl Caldwell, formerly a reporter for the New York Times and a columnist for the New York Daily News. He rose to national prominence for his coverage of the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King at the Lorraine Motel in Memphis, Tennessee. He was also the subject of a major press freedom battle resulting in a landmark ruling by the US Supreme Court on the right of journalists to protect their sources.

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