Newtown Police, prosecutor won’t stop release of 911 tapes

Danbury State’s Attorney Stephen J. Sedensky III said Monday that he and Newtown police no longer will fight an order by the Freedom of Information Commission to release audio tapes of 911 calls made from Sandy Hook Elementary School during the attack that left 26 students and staff dead on Dec. 14, 2012.

“After consultation with the Office of the Chief State’s Attorney and the attorney for the Town of Newtown who is a party to the appeal in the Superior Court, we have decided not to pursue an appeal on the denial of the application for a stay,” Sedensky said.

Last week, Superior Court Judge Eliot D. Prescott ordered police to release the tapes by 2 p.m. Dec. 4 unless Sedensky could convince the Appellate Court that the FOI ruling should be reversed.

“Delaying the release of the audio recordings, particularly where the legal justification to keep them confidential is lacking, only serves to fuel speculation about and undermines confidence in our law enforcement officials,” Prescott wrote.

The FOI Commission ordered the release of the tapes Sept. 25 in response to a complaint by the Associated Press. The order was made after the FOI hearing officer reviewed the tapes privately, as did the judge.

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