by Scott Creighton
25 major media outlets including the Orlando Sentinel are suing the city of Orlando for the release of some vital information relating to the Pulse nightclub mass casualty event that happened a couple weeks ago.
Notably, they want the audio recording of the FBI negotiation with the shooter, the audio recording of the 911 call he made during the standoff in which the feds claim he proclaimed his “allegiance to ISIS” and any body-cam footage from responding officers involved in the initial attack and the final shootout some three hours later.
The city of Orlando is fighting the release of these details, which are often released to the public when requested, on the grounds that “the FBI has asked the city to withhold information.”
Clearly the interest is in making sure the voice of the shooter matches the one on record of Omar Mateen. They can compare his appearance on that documentary about the BP oil spill to any Pulse related audio file and determine pretty easily if those voices match.
By requesting police body-cam videos they also seem to want to make sure the police response didn’t add to the casualty list.
Perhaps not surprisingly, there is a precedent set in Orlando regarding keeping such information from the public. The night before the Pulse shooting, there was what appeared to be at least the beginning of another mass casualty event which took place at yet another nightclub. But that one was nipped in the bud by the brother of the target victim jumping on the shooter and taking him out in a fit of rage. Guess what Orlando says about releasing those files:
In another recent high-profile case, Orlando police withheld 911 calls in the shooting death case of singer Christina Grimmie due to the exemption over the depiction of a killing. Orlando Sentinel
Apparently there is some form of an exemption to full disclosure laws regarding the “depiction of a killing”
I’m not exactly sure what that means but it sounds an awful lot like some doesn’t want an event’s “depiction” altered in the public’s view.
I will try to keep up with the progress of this lawsuit.