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Sandy Hook Families Call For Privacy Of 12/14 Crime Scene Information

HARTFORD — Twenty parents and spouses who lost loved ones at the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary on 12/14 gathered together at the Capitol in Hartford on Friday, May 31, to call on legislators to pass House Bill 6424, “An Act Concerning Fees for Searches of Accident and Investigative Reports of the Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection.” They were joined by sisters, a brother, a son, a teacher, and others directly affected by what happened 5½ months ago.

The bill, which is being considered by the Connecticut General Assembly, contains an amendment that would ensure the privacy of crime scene information depicting the gruesome circumstances of the tragic mass shooting that resulted in the murder of 20 first grade students and six educators.

“The release of these photos and graphic information on the deaths of our loved ones would be enormously damaging not only to our family, but also to the surviving children, wounded educators and the Sandy Hook community, which is still reeling from this tragedy,” said Jennifer Hensel, mother of 6 year-old Avielle, who was murdered at Sandy Hook. “We plead with our legislators to spare us from additional pain and suffering by keeping private all crime scene photos, including those of the adults and children, and other graphic information related to the crime scene at Sandy Hook Elementary.”

Proposed by Senator John McKinney, the amendment to House Bill 6424 would:

*Prevent the release of any photos, videotapes, digital recordings or other depictions of any victim, without the permission of the victim’s immediate family. The adult victims who survived the shooting would also be able to grant permission to release the records;

*Allow any public agency to redact the identity of a minor witness to the shooting; and

*Require public agencies to transcribe 911 recordings and provide written transcripts upon request for a 50-cent-per-page fee, but not require them to provide audio recordings.

Over the last six months, the Sandy Hook tragedy has received widespread national and international attention. Among the intense interest have been requests by several individuals for the release of the disturbing and gruesome crime scene photos of 12/14 victims.  The family members believe that the release and distribution of these photos is unnecessary and should remain private.

The effort to keep crime scene photos private has precedent in both state legislative action and in court law. Crime and death photos were protected in the cases of Dale Earnhardt, Congresswoman Gabby Giffords and Vince Foster.

“As loved ones of the innocent victims who were taken from us in such a brutal way, we cannot allow their memories to be tarnished with the distribution of grisly photos from that terrible day,” said Gilles Rousseau, the father of Lauren Rousseau, one of the six educators murdered at Sandy Hook. “We fear that releasing these photos and information will only result in their dissemination and manipulation for political or ideological purposes.  The nature of this horrific crime and the attention it has received, dictates a special response.”

As part of their efforts, family members released an open letter to members of the Connecticut legislature and Governor Daniel Malloy urging for the preservation of the crime scene photos and other graphic information from being made public.  The letter is signed by 71 surviving victims and family members of victims of the Sandy Hook tragedy.  The full text of the letter can be found below.

 

Letter to Connecticut Legislators 

The Honorable Daniel Malloy, Governor

The Honorable Joe Aresimowicz, House Majority Leader

The Honorable Larry Cafero, House Minority Leader

The Honorable Martin Looney, Senate Majority Leader

The Honorable John McKinney, Senate Minority Leader

The Honorable Brendan Sharkey, Speaker of the House

The Honorable Don Williams, Senate President Pro Tempore

Legislative Office Building ?Hartford, CT 06106

 

Dear Governor, Senators, and Representatives:

We are writing today in strong support of the proposed privacy legislation that would preserve the Sandy Hook Elementary crime scene photos and other graphic information from being made publicly available.

We believe that the release of those photos would be enormously damaging to those who are grieving and continue to live with the trauma of December 14, especially those most impacted by this tragedy – families whose children and spouses were killed, wounded educators and their families, surviving children and their families, first responders and their families, teachers/staff and their families. 

It has been a priority of ours to ensure photos and graphic information remains confidential.  We thank all of your for your help and efforts to pass this legislation.  Please get this done for us, for our families, and for our community.

Sincerely,

Joel & JoAnn Bacon, parents of Charlotte

Mark & Jackie Barden, parents of Daniel

Brian & Shannon Engel, parents of Olivia

Bob & Michele Gay, parents of Josephine

Cristina Hassinger, daughter of Dawn

Ian & Nicole Hockley, parents of Dylan

Donna Arnold, mother of Madeline

Matthew & Jennifer Hubbard, parents of Catherine

Stephen & Rebecca Kowalski, parents of Chase

Scarlett Lewis, mother of Jesse

Neil Heslin, father of Jesse

Mark & Cindy Mattioli, parents of James

Jimmy Greene & Nelba Marquez-Greene, parents of Ana

Chris & Lynn McDonnell, parents of Grace

Michael Murphy, husband of Anne-Marie

Robbie & Alissa Parker, parents of Emilie

Dean & Tricia Pinto, parents of Jack

Lenny & Veronique Pozner, parents of Noah

Jeff & Sandy Previdi, parents of Caroline

Richard & Krista Rekos, parents of Jessica

Jeremy Richman & Jennifer Hensel, parents of Avielle

Gilles & Joyce Rousseau, parents of Lauren

William Sherlach, husband of Mary

David & Francine Wheeler, parents of Ben

Ben & Cheyanne Wyatt, parents of Allison

Donna Soto, mother of Victoria

Carlos M Soto, father of Victoria

Carlos Soto, brother of Victoria

Carlee Soto, sister of Victoria

Jillian Soto, sister of Victoria

Natalie Hammond, wounded teacher

Justin Craparo, son of wounded teacher

Hugo & Elizabeth Rojas

Dan & Barb Tarpey

Robert & Diane Licata

Peter & Carolina Salamy

Tony & Susie Ehrens

Dave & Carly Posey

Christopher & Michele Olam

Christy & Rob Hatcher

Stacey & Scott Lavelle

Steve & Jennifer Maksel

 

Comments

Petition

I would sign a petition for this! I believe MANY in the public would support this!

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