AP slams police on Sandy Hook secrecy, withholding 911 call tapes

Posted Mar 14, 2013 by Ralph Lopez
In an unusual broadside against Connecticut police and CT state prosecutors, the world's leading news service, the Associated Press (AP,) has criticized the denial of its Freedom of Information Act requests regarding the Sandy Hook shooting.
A friend of an imgur member created this Sandy Hook tribute mural.
A friend of an imgur member created this Sandy Hook tribute mural.
The AP said last week:
Newtown police denied requests by The Associated Press for 911 calls and any police reports involving Lanza or his family. State police also declined to release records, citing the pending investigation.
AP faults the police specifically for not releasing the 911 call audio and written police reports. No calls from the school to the police dispatcher have ever been heard, although many versions of police scanner activity are circulating on Youtube.
The 911 call audio would capture the first utterances of the people inside the building making calls to police, and reveal what they described happening, including possible sightings of the shooter or shooters. The identity of one of the two wounded witnesses, who are both adults, is being kept secret. Other than these two witnesses, anyone else who might have actually seen Lanza is dead. One surviving child hid under a pile of bodies. School nurse Sally Cox hid under a desk as Lanza entered the room and saw only his boots and legs. Initial reports of him looking her "in the eye" were later retracted.
The article cited a call for transparency in the Hartford Courant:
In an editorial last week, The Hartford Courant said such records should be released sooner, not later, since they might answer the public's questions about the murders and could guide legislators making policy decisions in reaction to the crime.
Noting that momentous and highly divisive policies were being debated across the country as a direct result of the Sandy Hook shooting, AP said:
The massacre has led to proposals for universal background checks on gun buyers and bans on assault weapons and high-capacity ammunition magazines. It also prompted reviews of school security and mental health care and led to proposed legislation in Connecticut that would forbid arcades and other establishments from allowing children under 18 to play point-and-shoot video games.
The criticism takes place after Connecticut State's Attorney Stephen Sedensky argued successfully in December, before the state's Superior Court, to keep certain evidence sealed for 90 days beyond the statutory limit. The police affidavits describing the evidence found as a result of the execution of search warrants for the Lanza home, and for Adam Lanza's mother's two cars, will remain sealed until late March.
Sedensky said he has not decided yet whether to seek an extension of the sealing. But Richard Hanley, graduate journalism director at Quinnipiac University told AP that there should be no extension of that sealing.
Hanley told AP:
"It's imperative that the authorities release the full investigative records, the 911 calls and other documents relative to this slaughter, because the overriding interest is the public's right to know."
With the alleged shooter dead, Linda Petersen, chairwoman of the Freedom of Information Committee of the Society of Professional Journalists, told AP:
"There seems to be absolutely no reason that they would need to. It's not going to jeopardize the case in any way."
In his court motion to keep the records sealed, DA Sedensky argued cryptically that unsealing the warrants in the Sandy Hook case might "seriously jeopardize" the investigation by disclosing information known only to other "potential suspects." Sedensky argued that unsealing the warrants would:
"identify persons cooperating with the investigation, thus possibly jeopardizing their personal safety and well-being."
Other Sandy Hook evidence which has been called for includes the surveillance video covering the entrances and exits to the school. Fox News personality Ben Swann has called upon the police to prove key parts of their narrative are true, by releasing key portions of the surveillance video.
CT Police Say Lanza 'Norway Copycat' Story is "Unsubstantiated"
At the same time that the dispute over transparency in the Sandy Hook investigation is under way, the media continues to propagate the anonymous claim by "law enforcement sources," first reported in the Hartford Courant, that the suspected shooter Adam Lanza had an "interest" in Norwegian mass shooter Anders Behring Breivik. On February 18 the Courant reported:
Investigators have a theory that Adam Lanza's interest in Norwegian mass murderer Anders Behring Breivik might have led to the Dec. 14 massacre that left 20 children and six women dead at Sandy Hook Elementary School.
This is despite the immediate rejection of the story as "unsubstantiated" by Lt. Paul Vance of the CT state police. ABC News reported:
"The official spokesman for the Connecticut State Police, the lead agency investigating the mass shooting in Newtown that killed 26 students and teachers at Sandy Hook Elementary School, cast doubt today on reports that shooter Adam Lanza was trying to emulate Norwegian killer Anders Breivik or other mass murderers.
"It's someone's theory, but not ours," Lt. Paul Vance told ABC News. "It's not anything official that we've garnered."
Vance once said that the only official source of updates on the Sandy Hook investigation would be from his office, as head of the state police communications department. Vance told a group of reporters that official reports would be coming only "from these microphones" as they stood in the rain outside the school. Vance warned that anyone posing as law enforcement, victims, or witnesses would be "prosecuted to the full extent of the law." It is not clear if Vance is now investigating the anonymous statements on an alleged fixation Lanza had with the Norway shooter.
The anonymously-sourced story is being used to fix a motive by Lanza for the shootings. CBS News reported, without ever naming its sources,
"Two officials who have been briefed on the Newtown, Conn., investigation say Lanza wanted to top Breivik's death toll and targeted nearby Sandy Hook Elementary School because it was the "easiest target" with the "largest cluster of people.""
The information, under the guise of law enforcement, did not come from Vance's official "microphones." Vance has not said whether or not the non-official sources would be prosecuted.
Police scanner audio of officers on walkie talkies.