The American people may finally be getting some answers about the Las Vegas massacre. After months of speculation and frustration from the public, a Nevada judge has ordered police to release nearly all records related to the Oct. 1 mass shooting.
That evidence includes audio recordings of 911 calls, body camera footage, evidence logs, and other information that has up to now been kept away from the public.
“Nevada state court Judge Richard Scotti on Wednesday ruled the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department must begin releasing records to media organizations, which had sought them since hours after the Oct. 1 shooting,” reported KTNV News.
“Scotti said the department must redact all identifiable information, including names, Social Security numbers and portions of videos in which people could be easily recognized,” continued the news station.
KVVU News clarified that Judge Scotti would check in with the police department on March 7, which gives them 30 days to prepare the documents for release.
But his questioning of the police department’s attorney showed his patience was wearing thin.
“Doesn’t the public have a right to know that its government is doing its job? That they’re safe?” Scotti asked, according to KVVU. “That the government officials are acting with proper responsibility?”
Previous court orders have required agencies to start releasing evidence in the case, although not everyone has been quick to comply.
On Jan. 30, Judge Timothy Williams declared that the coroner’s report on shooter Stephen Paddock’s body must be made public. However, the officials holding that information have dragged their feet, sparking more frustration in an already slow-moving case.
“[Coroner] Fudenberg had not complied with the order,” explained the Las Vegas Review-Journal. “He indicated he wouldn’t release Paddock’s autopsy report until it was ‘finalized.’” That holdup was met with puzzlement, since Paddock died over four months ago.
“They (the coroner’s office) have delayed this for too long, and whatever stage the coroner’s report on Paddock is in, it should be provided to the Review-Journal and Associated Press without further delay,” said Maggie McLetchie, an attorney for the AP. “No more games. Release the records.”
A different court order also released hundreds of documents connected to the FBI’s warrant requests and overall investigation of the attack.
“On Jan. 13, unsealed documents offer a blueprint of investigators’ pursuits in determining how and why Las Vegas gunman Stephen Paddock carried out the deadliest shooting in modern U.S. history,” explained KTNV.
Those documents provided some context to the investigation, but revealed precious little insight into the motivations of Paddock. Some of the evidence raised more questions than answers.
“Among the revelations in the affidavits are discussions about mystery email exchanges that occurred two months prior to the attack, which investigators believed may have been related to shooting at the Las Vegas music festival in October,” KTNV reported.
“Investigators at the time of the filing had been unable to determine if Paddock was sending emails between two accounts both belonging to himself, or was communicating with someone else.”
At this rate, we may never fully know why the shooter took his deadly action or whether investigators have been completely forthcoming about the investigation.
This incident and its aftermath have been bizarre from the start, but by reviewing the evidence that is finally trickling out, members of the public might finally be able to connect some of the dots for themselves.
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