RealNews

Court OKs Release of Post-9/11 Interviews

New York City’s Fire Department must release audiotapes and transcripts of interviews conducted with firefighters who responded to the 2001 terrorist attacks, except for portions that could cause serious pain or embarrassment, the state’s highest court ruled Thursday. The decision by the Court of Appeals was part of a ruling that also determined what portions of 911 calls and dispatch communications must be disclosed by the city. While the court agreed unanimously to the release of the interviews, it split 4-3 in ruling that in most cases only the operators’ side of 911 calls, and not what the callers said, should be disclosed. The decision, written by Judge Robert Smith, said that while “the public has a legitimate interest in knowing how well or poorly the 911 system performed that day … we conclude that the public interest in the words of 911 callers is outweighed by the interest in privacy of those family members and callers who prefer that those words remain private.” Full Story

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