Was a Newsweek expose on brutality at Cook County Jail suppressed?

An inmate who alleged he had been beaten by Cook County deputies. Photo by Peter van Agtmael

Prison Photography blog has an intriguing story about a possible attempt to kill a story about abuses at Cook County Jail.  Here is a quote:

In April 2011, Peter van Agtmael was assigned by Newsweek to photograph Tom Dart, the Sheriff of Cook County, Chicago, Illinois. The coverage involved one day’s access to Cook County Jailand day of access to the ride-alongs with the PD. With a daily average of 11,000 inmates, Cook County Jail is the largest facility of detention in the U.S.

During his time in the jail, van Agtmael witnessed an altercation and heard allegations of abuse.

“The possibility of one more day of access to the jail was floated, but then didn’t come through.”

It is uncertain as to whether van Agtmael’s photographs of the contact between prisoner and deputy affected the decision to cancel the next day’s proposed visit. Van Agtmael isn’t even sure if it was Newsweek or the Sheriff’s department’s decision to cancel.

Newsweek consequently killed the story.

Read the whole story here.

This was brought to my attention by Los Angeles attorney Lowell Steiger.

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