Despite the strong objections from many of the parents of the victims, 911 tapes from the school massacre that took place nearly one year ago at Sandy Hook Elementary School have been released to the public. The Associated Press asked that the recordings be made available with a freedom of information request. There are now seven different calls placed from inside the school that can be heard by anyone who is interested.
Parents, community officials and some psychologists have argued that making these 911 calls public is only going to reopen a terrible wound for the families who endured that awful day. To hear the scared callers and gunshots in the background will place grieving moms, dads, siblings and other loved ones right back in that moment.
Those who support their release state that government entities do not have a right to operate in secret and the public should be able to review how officials reacted to the calls for help. Also, there is the idea that perhaps these interactions can serve as a training tool if we ever tragically face a similar situation.
The events that took place that day are still unfathomable. As December 14 approaches to mark the grim anniversary of just a few quick minutes in which the lives of twenty young children and six adults who tried their best to protect them were senselessly taken, I know our thoughts will be with the family members left behind.
What is your opinion on the release of the Sandy Hook tapes? Can these recordings prove to be an important tool in law enforcement preparedness? Or, are we simply burdening Newtown with further pain?
As a criminologist, I want those who serve and protect to have any evidence that will help them better comprehend a crime scene. But, the emotion tied up in this event and the wishes of parents whose grief most of us can never understand are compelling as well.
What’s your opinion?
More articles of interest: