911 calls reveal chaotic scene, slow police response during Orlando club shooting the nypost.com headline proclaims with English understatement. As Jon Wayne Taylor revealed in a previous post, the police response to The Pulse nightclub terrorist attack was a cluster-you-know-what. “Whether or not it remained an active shooter situation,” Jon wrote, “it certainly remained an active dying situation. While the already outdated and discarded ‘wait and see’ policy was in effect in Orlando, multiple people bled to death.
The just released 911 tapes from the the Orange County Sheriff’s Office paint a vivid indeed tragic picture of wholly insufficient police response, probably due to analysis paralysis. Leading the unnecessary death of dozens of patrons. Like this:
“My son was shot in the club. … He is still in the bathroom. He is bleeding, and he got shot and nobody is going in for him,” said one caller to 911, almost three hours after the shooting began. “Nobody is doing anything for him.”
The dispatcher told him that a SWAT team was about to go inside the nightclub.
More than an hour-and-a-half after the shooting started, another man called dispatchers a second time, clearly frustrated that his ex-girlfriend hadn’t been rescued from a bathroom where she was trapped with almost 20 others, including two dead people.
“People are shot and dead. … Are you guys sending anybody there?” the man said. “They are all scared to death, and they all think they are going to die.”
The caller then said that his ex-girlfriend was texting that the gunman was there. The dispatcher told him to text back, asking if his ex-girlfriend meant in the bathroom or the club in general.
“She’s not answering,” he said. He waited for more than five minutes on the line with the dispatcher, getting no response from his ex-girlfriend, before the dispatcher told him she needed to free up the line.
This ain’t the half of it. Literally. Those are just two overflow 911 calls re-routed by the Orlando Police Department. For some reason. . .
The Orlando Police Department has yet to release its 911 calls. About two dozen news media companies including the Associated Press are suing for access to these public records as well as the communications between Mateen and the Orlando Police Department, during which authorities say Mateen pledged allegiance to the Islamic State group.
The media groups argue that the recordings will help the public evaluate the police response, but the city of Orlando claims the recordings are exempt under Florida public records law, and that the FBI insists releasing them may disrupt the ongoing investigation.
Ongoing investigation into a lone wolf terrorist who died at the scene? I don’t think so. The Orland Police Department and the FBI are engaged in a major coverup to protect their reputation and hold off lawsuits. Which are coming, for sure.
I fully expect the City of Orlando to settle the inevitable litigation out-of-court. But here’s the thing: police departments across the country need to learn from this deadly f-up. Just as it didn’t after Sandy Hook. I bet government officials wish they could bulldoze The Pulse as they did Sandy Hook Elementary School.