Sandy Hook Prosecutor: Releasing 911 Calls Could Aid Criminals
By MATTHEW KAUFFMAN
State prosecutors seeking to block the release of 911 calls made during the attack at Sandy Hook Elementary School say a preliminary order to disclose the calls could put police “at the mercy” of criminals eager to determine what evidence investigators had collected.
Prosecutors will make their case Sept. 25, when the state Freedom of Information Commission considers a proposed order that tapes of the calls be made public. The Associated Press asked Newtown police for copies of the 911 tapes on Dec. 14, the same day Adam Lanza shot his way into the school and killed 20 children and six women.
Danbury State’s Attorney Stephen J. Sedensky III ordered Newtown not to release the tapes. But last month, Kathleen K. Ross, a lawyer with the Freedom of Information Commission, ruled that the tapes were public records and there was no exemption in the state’s Freedom of Information Act that would permit police to withhold them.
In a legal brief filed with the commission, Sedensky argues that Ross misinterpreted state law, setting the stage for a battle that will likely center on two questions: whether the attack at the elementary school can legally be described as an act of “child abuse,” and whether there is any “prospective law enforcement action” that could be jeopardized by release of the tapes.