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Good Cause Petition Filed to Obtain Access to Exterior Video Recordings in Parkland School Shooting

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A legal team from Thomas & LoCicero law firm filed a good cause petition this morning to obtain access to video recordings taken by exterior cameras at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.

FORT LAUDERDALE, FL -- A legal team from Thomas & LoCicero law firm filed a good cause petition this morning on behalf of CNN, the Miami Herald and the South Florida Sun-Sentinel in the Seventeenth Judicial Circuit Court in Broward County to obtain access to video recordings taken by exterior cameras at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida from the day of the mass shooting that took 17 lives and injured 14 others.

In an attempt to better understand how the shooting took place and how the Broward County Sheriff’s Office personnel responded to the incident, various media organizations made public records requests for the video footage.  However, those requests were, and remain, denied. 

“There is a strong public interest in having the public evaluate how first responders and police reacted during the most critical phases of this terrible tragedy,” explained Attorney Dana J. McElroy.  “Disclosing the video recordings taken from the exterior cameras lies at the core of understanding exactly how events unfolded and will provide critical insight into the propriety of the government’s response.”

The video footage is a public record of the Broward County School District. However the footage was removed from the District’s possession via a search warrant as part of the criminal investigation by the Broward Sheriff’s Office.  The petition claims that this was a violation of the Public Records Act, and that the District should be required to demand, and the Sheriff’s Office should be required to deliver, a copy of the video back to the District.  This would enable the District to comply with the legal requirement that it maintain and disclose its own public records.

It is of extreme interest to Florida citizens to be able to evaluate the actions of its government officials,” shared attorney James J. McGuire.  “CNN, the Herald and the Sun-Sentinel should legally be allowed to provide a first-hand opportunity to review and evaluate the video footage.”

With offices located in Fort Lauderdale and Tampa, Thomas & LoCicero is a Florida law firm that focuses its practice on media law, intellectual property, commercial litigation and emerging technology law.