Judge: Civil rights photographer was FBI informant

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) — A judge says documents confirm that civil rights-era photographer Ernest Withers secretly served as an informer for the FBI.

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) — A judge says documents confirm that civil rights-era photographer Ernest Withers secretly served as an informer for the FBI.

District Judge Amy Berman Jackson ruled Tuesday that FBI documents confirm Withers, who died at 85 in 2007, informed for the agency. Withers was known as "the civil rights photographer" for iconic images of the late Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. and others protesting for racial equality in the South.

Berman’s ruling follows a lawsuit by The Commercial Appeal. The Tennessee newspaper conducted a two-year investigation reporting Withers worked as a paid FBI informant at least from the late 1960s until 1970.

Jackson ordered the FBI to produce an index of any and all records in Withers’ file by March 16.

It was unclear if the government would appeal the ruling.

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.

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