D.C. Police Won't Release 911 Tape in FRC Shooting

By Sunnivie Brydum

Originally published on Advocate.com September 25 2012 5:18 PM ET

The Metropolitan Police Department in Washington, D.C. denied an Associated Press request to release a tape of the 911 call made August 15, when a security guard was shot inside the D.C. lobby of the antigay, conservative Family Research Council. The security guard, Leo Johnson, was shot in the arm and is recovering, and alleged gunman Floyd Lee Corkins II has been charged with a federal firearms violation.

Recordings of 911 calls are generally considered public record in most jurisdictions in the country, the AP reports. But police department officials claim they are unable to edit the tape to redact sensitive information, including the name of the caller, who is now a witness in the ongoing investigation.

"The release of the 911 tape and/or the identity and telephone number of the caller may interfere with any enforcement proceedings and may expose the caller and possibly other witnesses to harassment and intimidation," police said in a letter to the AP.

The Washington Post cited previous instances in which Metro Police officials denied open-records requests regarding 911 tapes. An opinion issued in May by the executive office of the mayor cited privacy concerns for the caller and asserted that 911 calls were not public record under the D.C. code.