AP, New York Times and CNN sue to obtain Orlando shooting records

A coalition of 25 news organizations, including the Orlando Sentinel, The New York Times, CNN and The Associated Press, are jointly suing the City of Orlando over recorded telephone calls and radio transmissions that could shed new light on this month's mass shooting at an Orlando nightclub.

The news outlets are seeking access to more than 600 phone calls made to Orlando first responders and nearly 30 minutes of conversation between shooter Omar Mateen and police negotiators:

Lawyers for the media outlets argue the records should be released because there is "a strong public interest in fully evaluating how first responders and police reacted during the most critical phases of this incredible tragedy," the lawsuit states.

In response, the city has filed a lawsuit of its own asking a judge to determine if the record must be made public, according to the Orlando Sentinel.

The city claims the FBI needs to keep the records secret because they pertain to the ongoing investigation into the shooting that left 50 people, including shooter Omar Mateen, dead, according to The Associated Press:

"The FBI considers information obtained from state and local law enforcement agencies in furtherance of its investigation to be evidence, or potential evidence," says the letter dated Monday from Paul Wysopal, special agent in charge of the FBI Tampa field office.

A hearing date has not yet been set, but both sides have requested a quick resolution, according to The Orlando Sentinel.

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    Benjamin Mullin

    Benjamin Mullin is the managing editor of Poynter.org. He previously reported for Poynter as a staff writer, Google Journalism Fellow and Naughton Fellow, covering journalism innovation, business practices and ethics.


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