A statewide study conducted by Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research finds that an overwhelming majority of voters surveyed oppose the release of graphic photos and audio from emergency calls related to the December 14, 2012, shootings at Sandy Hook School to the public.
According to the poll, 68 percent of voters surveyed believe this information should be kept private. Opposition crosses party lines, with 69 percent of Democrats, 69 percent of Independents, and 65 percent of Republicans rejecting the release.
The survey comes in response to the pending release of crime scene information gathered from 12/14. Legislators are currently debating what can be done to protect the privacy of information depicting the grisly circumstances that resulted from the murder of 20 first grade students and six educators. The survey was conducted via phone interviews on June 2 among 502 likely Connecticut voters, with a margin of error of +/-4.4 percent. The research was paid for by Sandy Hook Promise.
House Bill 6424, “An Act Concerning Fees for Searches of Accident and Investigative Reports of the Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection,” a bill that the legislative leadership has been secretly negotiating with Governor Daniel P. Malloy’s office, would block future release of crime scene photos, audio, and the names on statements from the children who witnessed the slaughter. The bill contains an amendment that would ensure the privacy of crime scene information depicting the gruesome circumstances of the mass shooting.
The bill is scheduled to be voted on Wednesday, June 5, the final day of the current legislative session.
Parents Petition Online
Meanwhile, eight families who lost children or loved ones on 12/14 are making a final plea to Connecticut lawmakers through a Change.org petition. Their petition is currently one of the fastest-growing on the site, having gathered more than 10,000 signatures between Sunday and Monday, June 2 and 3. As of Tuesday morning, June 4, more than 78,500 virtual signatures had been collected.
The petition’s supporters are working together, they said in their introduction to the petition, “to urge the Connecticut legislature to pass a law that would keep sensitive information, including photos and audio, about this tragic day private and out of the hands of people who’d like to misuse it for political gain.
“Michael Moore and the hoaxers want to publish this gruesome information,” the post continues. “For the sake of the surviving children and families, it’s important to keep this information private. Other gruesome scenes have been kept private — like the scene around Congresswoman Giffords’ shooting, Vince Foster’s suicide, and Dale Earnhardt’s automobile accident. This crime has received such international attention, it should be afforded the same treatment.”
On Monday, however, documentary filmmaker Michael Moore told reporters that he now supports the Newtown parents’ bid to block the release of the crime scene photos, saying that the decision to release them should rest with the parents.
The petition is supported by Nicole and Ian Hockley, Mark and Jackie Barden, Jimmy Greene and Nelba Marquez-Greene, Jeremy Richman and Jennifer Hensel, Erica Lafferty, Shannon and Brian Engel, Michele and Bob Gay, and Tricia and Dean Pinto.
Petition signers have the opportunity to include their comments on why they support the restriction of the records.
“Dylan is my son. I want to preserve his memory as a beautiful boy — not as a gun-riddled corpse. I also do not want his brother Jake to see these photos or listen to the execution of his brother, friends and teachers on 911 tapes,” wrote Nicole Hockley, the first person to offer their reason for supporting the restriction of releasing the records.
Tricia Pinto, another parent of a child killed at Sandy Hook School, says it is time for Connecticut lawmakers to take a stand for the families who lost loved ones at Sandy Hook.
“My family and the other 25 families have experienced unimaginable loss. Please help us to protect the privacy of our loved ones. Photos and 911 calls of that horrific event serve no purpose to the public but will cause a lifetime of agony to our families, our surviving children and the town,” she wrote.
When signed, copies of the petition are e-mailed to Gov Malloy, the Connecticut State Senate, the Connecticut State House, Senator John McKinney, and Senator Martin Looney, the Connecticut Democratic Majority Leader
To view the petition, visit www.change.org/SandyHook.