ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — A judge Sept. 20 cleared the way for the release of many of the hundreds of 911 calls related to a mass shooting at a gay Florida nightclub, but calls capturing patrons’ deaths will still be exempt.
In dismissing a lawsuit by the city of Orlando, Circuit Judge Margaret Schreiber sided with more than two dozen media groups who sued for the recordings three months ago, immediately after the June 12 shooting at the Pulse club. Less than an hour after the lawsuit was filed, the city filed a complaint arguing that the records were exempt from the state’s public records law, both because they were part of an investigation and because some of them depicted patrons being killed. Current state law prohibits the public release of any 911 calls that capture someone’s death. Technically, the law will change on Oct. 1 to exempt only calls capturing the death of law enforcement officers. No officers died in the Pulse standoff.
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