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As Sandy Hook 911 Tapes Released, Newtown First Selectwoman Says: 'Treat Us Kindly'

Newtown is bracing for emotional reminders of the tragedy that claimed 26 lives at Sandy Hook Elementary School as 911 calls from December 14 are released to the media.

Newtown First Selectman Pat Llodra. Credit: Gary Jeanfaivre
Newtown First Selectman Pat Llodra. Credit: Gary Jeanfaivre
By Davis Dunavin

The 911 recordings placed from Sandy Hook Elementary School on the morning of Dec. 14 are now be available to the world, and First Selectman Pat Llodra is asking the media for restraint.

On Wednesday, CDs containing their contents were being released to media outlets, and Newtown is bracing for a fresh round of potentially painful reminders of the shooting. In a statement released on her blog Tuesday, Newtown First Selectman Pat Llodra called for the media to "treat us kindly" in reporting the calls, saying they will "create a new layer of pain for many in the Newtown community."

"Hearing those calls takes us back to a day of horror and tragedy," she said. "Imagine yourself as a parent of a child who was killed, or a family member of
one of the six educators. Imagine yourself as a teacher or staff member in that building desperate to save the lives of children. Imagine you are the parent of a child who was able to escape. Then ask yourself, media person, what is the public good and how do I balance that against the hurt?'"

The release comes in between two other tense events: the release of the official state report on the shooting, and the one-year anniversary next Saturday. The tapes were the subject of a court battle between state and town officials and a group of news outlets, including the Associated Press and Hearst Connecticut. After the state's Freedom of Information Commission ruled they must be released, Newtown and state officials appealed, but a state judge upheld the ruling last week.

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