Judge Orders Newtown 911 Call Release, Says Prosecutor Objections Frivolous


A Connecticut judge has ordered the release of the 911 calls made from Sandy Hook Elementary School to Newtown police on the morning of the Dec. 14, 2012, shootings, rejecting arguments from prosecutors that the audio recordings should remain private, reports the Hartford Courant. Judge Eliot Prescott, who listened to the 911 calls Monday, ordered the tapes to be released on Dec. 4 at 2 p.m. Prescott criticized Danbury State’s Attorney Stephen Sedensky’s efforts to keep the tapes private. He described Sedensky’s argument for continued seal as bordering on “frivolous” and “at its heart … an assertion that the records are exempt because ‘I say so.'”

The Freedom of Information Commission had ordered police to release tapes of 911 calls made from inside the school during the attack that killed 20 first-graders and six educators. The release of the 911 calls, which are ordinarily public record, became a controversial issue and some individuals most affected by the tragedy had asked that the tapes be kept private. “The court recognizes and is deeply sensitive to the fact that the families and friends of those who died in this tragedy, as well as others in the greater Newtown community, may desire that the 911 audio recordings never be released,” Prescott wrote, but he said, “The question is not if, but when. Further delaying their release will not ultimately serve to ameliorate the pain the recordings will likely cause to those directly impacted by the shootings.”

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