Newtown Families Tell CT Task Force 911 Calls Shouldn’t Be Released


Family members of two Newtown, Ct., school shooting victims made an impassioned plea yesterday that 911 recordings of the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School be kept from public scrutiny, reports the Hartford Courant. Bill Sherlach, whose wife Mary was among the six adults and 20 children shot to death on Dec. 14, told members of the Task Force on Victim Privacy and the Public’s Right to Know that he’s willing to support a compromise: the release of a written account of the 911 calls made that day, as long as the audio is not made public. “Transcripts can rely all the information that the public wants without having to hear the sounds of a slaughter in the background,” he said.

The Associated Press sought access to the 911 recordings and other documents related to the shootings under the state’s Freedom of Information Act. Last month, the Freedom of Information Commission ordered the Newtown police department to release the 911 calls. Prosecutor Stephen Sedensky, who is leading the investigation into shootings, filed an appeal in Superior Court. Sherlach said he cherishes the twin principles of open government and the public’s right to know. “I am a conservative and the idea of an open government resonates with me,” Sherlach said. But, he added, “there must be some balance between making sure the public’s right to know is sustained while the victims of certain atrocities right to privacy is also honored.”

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