Blue Earth
Glazer's Camera

Memphis Paper Sues FBI Over Withers File


Renowned civil rights photographer Ernest Withers was outed this past year as an active FBI informant. Now the Memphis Commercial Appeal is suing the FBI for the release of Withers’ complete FBI informant file.

Allegedly, Withers used his photojournalism connections between 1968 and 1970 to help the FBI gain access to events involving Martin Luther King Jr. and the Emmett Till murder trial.

The Commercial Appeal wants to learn more about how long Withers worked as an informant and how many images he supplied to the FBI. The bureau, however, has refused a Freedom of Information Act request, stating that release of the documents would "have a chilling effect when recruiting new informants needed to help battle crime and protect national security."

The lawsuit application is currently pending.