Newtown 911 Calls Remain Sealed As Judge Reviews Them

Before deciding whether the 911 calls from the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting will be released or remain sealed, Judge Elliot Prescott will listen to them and they will remain sealed until he does so.  

During the last hearing, Prescott said he first had to determine whether he could review the tapes, which are sealed.

A Connecticut prosecutor has asked a court to block the release of 911 recordings as he appeals an order from the state's Freedom of Information Commission and today's decision comes as part of that case.

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 in court 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 earlier this month  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.

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