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 Court wants to release surveillance vids from Parkland shooting.+ Updates

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PostSubject: Court wants to release surveillance vids from Parkland shooting.+ Updates   Court wants to release surveillance vids from Parkland shooting.+ Updates Icon_minitimeWed Jul 25, 2018 4:45 pm

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FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (AP) — News organizations are entitled to obtain surveillance video showing the law enforcement response to the Valentine's Day mass shooting that killed 17 people at a Florida high school, an appeals court ruled Wednesday.

The 4th District Court of Appeal upheld a lower court's ruling that the video is public record that must be disclosed, despite objections from prosecutors and Broward County school officials. News organizations including The Associated Press are seeking the video to better understand the actions of law enforcement and first responders during the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.

Authorities say the school had 70 operating video cameras that day. The media organizations are not seeking any footage depicting the massacre or any victims, but rather the video from outside the shooting scene at the school's Building 12 that depicts law enforcement actions.

The Broward County State Attorney's Office contended the video should not be released because it's part of an ongoing criminal investigation. The school board argued that disclosing the footage might pose a security risk by showing blind spots in camera coverage at the school.

The appeals judges were unpersuaded.

"The media showed the need for the public to actually witness the events as they unfolded because the narrative provided by 'the authorities' is confusing and has shifted and changed over time," the three judges wrote. "The footage itself would reveal if the first responders rushed into Building 12 to confront the active shooter, formed a perimeter, or hid in stairwells and behind their vehicles for an unreasonable length of time."

The school's resource officer, former Broward Deputy Scot Peterson, retired amid accusations that he failed to follow sheriff's office policy when he remained outside the building instead of going inside to confront the shooter. Victims' parents and others have also charged that first responders hesitated in a way that might have cost lives. Video of Peterson's actions has been released.

The judges called it a "sad commentary on our times" that such a full public debate about school security and law enforcement response to a mass shooting is required. But they said parents and the rest of the community needed to see the video for themselves.

"Parents have such a high stake in the ultimate decisions that they must have access to camera video footage here at issue and not blindly rely on school board experts to make decisions for them," they ruled.
Broward Schools Superintendent Robert Runcie said district employees have never seen the footage because it was confiscated by sheriff's and FBI investigators shortly after the shooting. Even though his agency had opposed public release of the video for security reasons, he said its release would help the district's investigation by a retired Secret Service agent into the shooting, including how Stoneman Douglas teachers and staff responded.

"That is critical," he said. "We are now going to try to do as much as we can."
Sheriff's office spokeswoman Veda Coleman-Wright said her agency did not oppose release of the exterior surveillance video "and we're pleased to see the matter has been resolved."

The state attorney's office declined to say whether it would appeal to the Florida Supreme Court. The appeals court said the video must be released by the Broward Sheriff's Office within 48 hours of Wednesday's ruling.

Nikolas Cruz, 19, is charged with 17 counts of murder and 17 counts of attempted murder in the shooting. His lawyers have said he would plead guilty if prosecutors would waive the death penalty, but that offer has been rejected.





Well this is something I wasn't expecting. With 70 operating video cameras, that would be a TON of footage.  Shocked  IF they don't try to get it appealed.


Last edited by ShadowedGoddess on Tue Jul 31, 2018 7:35 am; edited 1 time in total
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PostSubject: Re: Court wants to release surveillance vids from Parkland shooting.+ Updates   Court wants to release surveillance vids from Parkland shooting.+ Updates Icon_minitimeWed Jul 25, 2018 4:54 pm

I want to watch the surveillance videos, I'm glad the court wants to release them.
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PostSubject: Re: Court wants to release surveillance vids from Parkland shooting.+ Updates   Court wants to release surveillance vids from Parkland shooting.+ Updates Icon_minitimeWed Jul 25, 2018 4:58 pm

Halcyon666 wrote:
I want to watch the surveillance videos, I'm glad the court wants to release them.  


From my understanding this is ONLY regarding the outside tapes that would show how the resource officer/police responded.

I don't think this includes any footage from inside the school while the attack was happening. Those I doubt will ever be shown.
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PostSubject: Re: Court wants to release surveillance vids from Parkland shooting.+ Updates   Court wants to release surveillance vids from Parkland shooting.+ Updates Icon_minitimeWed Jul 25, 2018 5:02 pm

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The Broward Sheriff’s Office must release surveillance footage showing the actions of law enforcement officers responding to the Parkland school shooting, an appeals court ruled Wednesday.

Several media organizations, including the Miami Herald, had sued to compel the release of school security camera footage soon after the Feb. 14 shooting that left 17 people dead at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. The footage may shed light on what law enforcement officers did as Nikolas Cruz gunned down students and staff in the freshman building before fleeing campus.

Some BSO deputies responding to the scene took cover instead of rushing into the building to confront the shooter and save lives, according to Coral Springs Police Department officers who were also present. The BSO deputies said in reports that they could not locate where exactly the shooting was taking place.

A lower court judge watched the tapes and ruled in April that the footage should be released. But the Broward State Attorney’s Office and the Broward County School Board appealed that decision, saying such a disclosure could threaten Cruz’s prosecution and reveal crucial information about the school’s security system. On Wednesday, the Fourth District Court of Appeal said the benefit to the public in being able to judge the actions of its law enforcement officers outweighed those arguments and upheld the lower court ruling.

“Reviewing the footage would allow the public to witness and evaluate: 1) when first responders arrived on campus; 2) where the first responders went when they arrived on campus; and 3) what the first responders did when they arrived on campus,” Judge Robert Gross wrote. “The footage itself would reveal if the first responders rushed into [the freshman building] to confront the active shooter, formed a perimeter, or hid in stairwells and behind their vehicles for an unreasonable length of time.”

The ruling said BSO must comply with the court’s order within 48 hours.

BSO has said it has no objection to the footage — which comes from five exterior cameras — being released. The media did not ask to see footage from inside the freshman building that would show the deaths of students and staff.

Aminda Marqués Gonzalez, executive editor of the Miami Herald and el Nuevo Herald, called the ruling a victory for transparency.

“We are pleased that the appellate court agreed that the release of this footage is in the public interest,” she said in a statement.




I guess now we wait and see if they try to stop them from being released by filing an appeal.
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PostSubject: Re: Court wants to release surveillance vids from Parkland shooting.+ Updates   Court wants to release surveillance vids from Parkland shooting.+ Updates Icon_minitimeTue Jul 31, 2018 7:35 am

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The  Florida Supreme Court on Monday stayed an appeal in a fight for surveillance video from the Marjorie Stoneman Douglas High School, delaying release of the recordings showing the day a gunman killed 17 people in Parkland, Florida.

The high court stayed proceedings pending the outcome of a motion for rehearing in the Fourth District Court of Appeal, which sided last week with media companies suing the Broward state attorney’s office and school board to release the video.

The decision follows the Fourth DCA’s July 25 ruling ordering the video’s immediate release. A divided appellate court upheld Broward Circuit Judge Jeffrey R. Levenson’s ruling that surveillance video showing law enforcement’s response to the mass shooting was public record. Levenson had ordered the defendants to release the tapes to multiple media plaintiffs, including CNN, within 48 hours of the ruling.

Although the video had been slated to be released Friday, the State Attorney’s Office appealed to the high court two days after the appellate panel’s ruling.

On July 27, prosecutors petitioned the Florida Supreme Court to invoke its discretionary jurisdiction and review the appellate ruling.
The high court granted the petition to stay the case, ordering updates every 30 days on the status of the motion for rehearing before the Fourth DCA.

Other video recordings have emerged as evidence in the case.

Video that the Broward State Attorney’s Office released in May showed confessed shooter Nikolas Cruz in a selfie, explaining his plans to kill students and staff at Marjory Stoneman Douglas.

“Hello. My name is Nick, and I’m gonna be the next school shooter of 2018,” Cruz said in that recording. “My goal is at least 20 people with an AR-15 and couple tracer rounds.”

Cruz, 19, faces the death penalty. His defense attorneys have said he is willing to plead guilty and get a sentence of 34 consecutive life sentences without parole.





I was expecting them to appeal this. Rolling Eyes
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