FBI to release records on Withers' informer work


WASHINGTON (AP) — The FBI will release records about civil rights-era photographer Ernest Withers' work as an informant for the FBI, to settle a Tennessee newspaper's Freedom of Information Act lawsuit.

The Commercial Appeal of Memphis reported on its website Monday that under the settlement, the paper will have access to portions of 70 investigative files in which Withers participated as an informant. In addition, the paper reported, the FBI will pay $186,000 in attorney fees and legal costs.

Neither the Justice Department nor the FBI would provide any information on the settlement. Charles D. Tobin, a First Amendment lawyer who represented the newspaper, confirmed the details of the settlement.

Withers, a freelancer, was known as "the civil rights photographer" for iconic images of the late Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. and others.

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