Governor Scott demands public have access to police records

275-GOVERNMENT-SUNSHINEAs we continue to focus on why St Augustine’s un-accredited police force is refusing to release the name of the driver who jumped a sidewalk, crossed Cordova Street against traffic, and crashed twice into a hundred-year-old perimeter wall at Flagler College, news in to the Historic City News office that Florida’s governor understands records of local police dispatchers are absolutely open to public disclosure.

Today Governor Rick Scott went on the offense over the Justice Department’s decision to redact statements made by Omar Mateen during an emergency 9-1-1 call on June 12th, where the Orlando shooter declares his allegiance to the Islamic State to police dispatchers.

“At 5:42 P.M., 4 hours ago, Historic City News received a joint communication from the Department of Justice and the Federal Bureau of Investigation explaining why only a partial transcript was originally released — followed by a full and complete transcript of the actual telephone call,” Historic City News editor in chief, Michael Gold, said.

The Orlando Police Department 911 call was received from Omar Mateen on June 12, 2016 at 2:35 a.m.  The shooter contacted the 911 operator from inside the Pulse nightclub.  The call lasted approximately 50 seconds, the details of which are set out below.

Comments labeled (OD) are the voice of the Orlando Police Dispatcher, and those labeled (OM) are made by Omar Mateen.

  • OD: Emergency 911, this is being recorded.
  • OM: In the name of God the Merciful, the beneficent [Arabic]
  • OD: What?
  • OM: Praise be to God, and prayers as well as peace be upon the prophet of God [Arabic]. I wanna let you know, I’m in Orlando and I did the shootings.
  • OD: What’s your name?
  • OM: My name is I pledge of allegiance to Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi of the Islamic State.
  • OD: Ok, What’s your name?
  • OM: I pledge allegiance to Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi may God protect him [Arabic], on behalf of the Islamic State.
  • OD: Alright, where are you at?
  • OM: In Orlando.
  • OD: Where in Orlando?

[End of call.]

“The purpose of releasing the partial transcript of the shooter’s interaction with 911 operators was to provide transparency, while remaining sensitive to the interests of the surviving victims, their families, and the integrity of the ongoing investigation,” the joint DoJ and FBI statement read.  “We also did not want to provide the killer or terrorist organizations with a publicity platform for hateful propaganda.”

The agents probably had “good intentions”, given that explanation which I understand — but do not agree with.  The inevitable blowback, including critical remarks from the highest elected official in the state, lead to the following admission:

“Unfortunately, the unreleased portions of the transcript that named the terrorist organizations and leaders have caused an unnecessary distraction from the hard work that the FBI and our law enforcement partners have been doing to investigate this heinous crime.”

Citizens in America expect the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth from people appointed to positions of authority — whether you are talking about federal, state, or on the local level.

“As much of this information had been previously reported, we have re-issued the complete transcript to include these references in order to provide the highest level of transparency possible under the circumstances.”

Gold said that he feels passionately that freedom of information is a constitutional right, not the passing fancy of police.

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