Newtown Parents Press to Keep Evidence Secret; Media Seek Release


Sandy Hook Elementary School parents have two days to persuade the Connecticut Legislature to pass legislation blocking the release of photos and 911 audio of last December’s mass shooting, reports USA Today. A petition posted on had more than 50,000 signers Monday evening. It asks state lawmakers “to pass a law that would keep sensitive information, including photos and audio, about this tragic day private and out of the hands of people who’d like to misuse it for political gain.” A bill backed by Gov. Dannel Malloy would allow law enforcement officials to withhold evidence from the public unless the families give written permission. Media groups and advocates of public records laws have voiced concerns that the legislation would harm government transparency and set a bad precedent by exempting specific incidents from freedom of information laws. They say it would encourage other crime victims to ask the state to limit disclosure of records now routinely released to the public and make the Newtown deaths seem more important than the dozens of others in the state each year. “If you hide away documents from the public, then the public has no way of knowing whether police [ ] have done their jobs correctly,” said Sonny Albarado, city editor at the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette and president of the Society of Professional Journalists.

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