Pulse nightclub recordings are federal records

News outlets argue releasing the recordings will help the public understand the motive of the gunman. AP photo by Phelan M. Ebenhack.

The U.S. Department of Justice argues that audio recordings of the Florida nightclub shooter talking to Orlando police dispatchers and 911 calls pertaining to the massacre are federal records and not subject to Florida's public records law.

The Justice Department said in a federal court filing Monday that the FBI's Joint Terrorism Task Force is still investigating the Pulse nightclub shooting; therefore, the audio recordings can only be disclosed with FBI permission.

About two dozen new media organizations including The Associated Press are fighting to have the audio recordings released.

The news outlets argue that the release of the recordings will help the public understand the motive of the gunman as well as help evaluate how the Orlando Police responded to the worst mass shooting in modern U.S. history.

Earlier today, officers described hysterical patrons and a very intense crime scene as they pulled victims out of a gay Florida nightclub where a shooter opened fire.

New police reports released Tuesday give greater detail about the Orlando police response to the June massacre of 49 patrons at the Pulse nightclub, the worst mass shooting in modern U.S. history.

The officers who recount their role in the reports were the initial responders to a call from a fellow officer who was working security as the gunman began firing in the club. Some of those officers entered the club and were later relieved by SWAT team members.

The gunman died in a hail of gunfire after the SWAT team breached a wall in the club.


At 3:15 a.m., newly released records show the gunman who opened fire at a Florida gay nightclub told his bosses he lied about having terrorist ties to get co-workers off his back about being Muslim.

In records released by the St. Lucie County Sheriff's Office on Monday, the gunman told his employers he was repeatedly taunted for his religion in his job as a security guard at the county courthouse.

His remarks prompted an FBI investigation in 2013 and caused enough concern that officials asked employer G4S Secure Solutions to have him reassigned, away from the courthouse.

But the documents show the FBI didn't believe he was a terrorist and an agent told a sheriff's office major he didn't think the gunman "would go postal or anything like that."

The rampage left 49 victims dead and 53 wounded at the Orlando club.

Published, The Gayly, 7/19/2016 @ 4;50 p.m.

Copyright 2016 The Associated Press.