Orlando Massacre: 25 News Outlets Demand Access to 911 Calls

Media organizations cite “a strong public interest” in court filing

The Orlando Sentinel and 24 other news outlets have gone to court over a dispute over the release of hundreds of 911 calls and radio transitions from the mass shooting at Pulse nightclub.

The media outlets filed a complaint in Orange County Circuit court, according to the Sentinel. The media outlets are demanding access to 603 calls made to Orlando police and fire departments and 28 minutes of phone conversation between the killer and Orlando Police crisis negotiators.

The city of Orlando filed its own lawsuit, asking a judge to determine if the records must be made public. The dispute comes after the FBI released a timeline and transcript of a 50-second 911 call that Omar Mateen made during the attack.

The lawsuit states that media outlets feel the records should be released because of “a strong public interest in fully evaluating how first responders and police reacted during the most critical phases of this incredible tragedy.”

The city claims it has not released all of the records “out of respect for the Pulse shooting victims and the families” and at the “direction of the FBI.”

“We support the FBI’s commitment not to compromise the integrity of the investigation, but we must balance that with our responsibility to be transparent with the Orlando community and comply with state and federal laws,” Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer said in a statement.

Mateen is responsible for the deadliest mass shooting in American history, when he opened fire inside the Orlando nightclub and killed 49 people.