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25 Media Outlets Sue for Recordings of 911 Calls During Orlando Shooting

A 911 call center. PHOTO: Wikimedia

By Eliza Dewey | 23 June 2016

(MIAMI HERALD) — Eleven days after the Orlando massacre, the public still did not have full access to transcripts of the 911 calls made by the shooter and his victims. On Thursday, a coalition of 25 media companies, including the parent company of the Miami Herald, filed suit against the city of Orlando for its refusal to release the calls from that night.

The lawsuit, filed Thursday in Orange County, challenges the city’s contention that those calls are exempt from public records laws because they record the killing of a person. The media consortium argues that the Orlando shooting is similar to the infamous Sandy Hook school shooting, in which a Connecticut court ruled that related 911 calls were not confidential despite state laws that restricted the release of child abuse records.

The lawsuit also asserts a key discrepancy in the city’s argument: “The federal government has stated that there were no reports of gunfire during the three-hour standoff. Thus no recordings created during that time could have captured any killings.” …

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