Town Heals and Remembers

No Decision Yet on Blocking Release of Newtown 911 Tapes

Friday, Nov 8, 2013  |  Updated 6:26 PM CDT
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A hearing was held today on whether to release Sandy Hook 911 recordings to the media.

A hearing was held today on whether to release Sandy Hook 911 recordings to the media.

A Connecticut prosecutor is asking a court to block the release of 911 recordings from the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting as he appeals an order from the state's Freedom of Information Commission.

The FOI Commission ruled in September that the recordings of calls from inside the school should be provided to The Associated Press, but the state's attorney leading the investigation into the Newtown shooting, Stephen Sedensky III, has asked for the ruling to be reversed in New Britain Superior Court.

He said on Friday that there will be no public harm if the public never hears the 911 calls.

The state's attorney called the shooting a case of child abuse and said releasing the tapes would put victims and witnesses at risk and even cause people to doubt using the 911 system.

The Associated Press has sought the recordings in part to examine the police response to the massacre. The AP's attorney argued on Friday that 911 calls are routinely made public and there is no irreparable harm in releasing them.

He also attacked the broad definition of child abuse used by the state's attorney and argued that information about minor children was released in the Cheshire triple-murder home invasion case.

The hearing held on Friday was on Sedensky's request for a stay of the ruling while his appeal is pending.

A gunman killed 20 children and six educators inside the school on Dec. 14 and the judge posed a question about the impact on victims' families.

The Associated Press' attorney responded by saying he believes the tapes are more benign that many people think.

The judge did not issue a ruling on Friday and said he must first determine whether he can review the tapes, which are sealed.

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