Monday, July 11, 2016

FBI Denies Request for Pulse Nightclub Massacre File

The Federal Bureau of Investigation has released selections of data about the June 12 shooting at the LGBT nightclub Pulse in Orlando, at news conferences and via online press releases.

We've seen the FBI's timeline of the tragedy, transcripts of desperate 911 calls and details about the investigation into the killer's motives and whether he was gay or received assistance from anyone. Googling for the FBI and massacre of 49 LGBT and Latinx friends produces voluminous relevant links to the agency's information.

Yet, my Freedom of Information Act request for the file on the Pulse nightclub shooting was denied on the specious basis that the public records are exempt from disclosure because they're part of an ongoing investigation.

Surely the feds can compile their already-released records - names of the dead, phone transcripts, etc - and other information that won't compromise the investigation in any way, and not hide behind a blanket refusal to give me even a shred of a public file.

Just another example of how the FBI abuses sections of the FOIA statute to withhold public records.

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