Orlando: News outlets contesting blocked access to Pulse shooting 911 recordings

The FBI is blocking public access to records from law enforcement agencies who responded to the Pulse nightclub massacre in Orlando. An FBI letter advises agencies to deny inquiries and to notify the FBI of requests so the FBI can act to stifle transparency.  (Orlando Sentinel, June 29, 2016, by Christal Hayes)

Even though for decades Florida has routinely provided 911 records to the public, Orlando police have refused to produce the 911 calls made during the Pulse nightclub shootings. Among others, the 911 logs could help resolve a question about the actions of police in delaying an assault on the gunman. (Miami Herald-Tribune, July 4, 2016, by Glenn Garvin)

In the Orlando case, journalists are lining up in courthouses seeking 911 recordings usually released promptly. Other records have been released including fire records and call logs, and the FBI and Justice Department provided a timeline of events and a partial transcript of one of the gunman’s 911 calls and then after protests a full transcript. With strong Florida disclosure laws, news outlets are seeking to contest federal jurisdiction and return litigation to state courts. (Columbia Journalism Review, June 30, 2016, by Jonathan Peters)