7/1/16 – Miami Herald
By Glenn Garvin
It’s been an article of undisputed faith among Florida cops, prosecutors and journalists for decades that phone calls to 911 are public records. So media lawyers were flabbergasted last month when Orlando police refused to turn over recordings of the 911 calls made during the murderous shootout inside the Pulse nightclub that left 49 people dead.
At the same time, they weren’t surprised at all.
“This is the way it’s been headed for the past several years,” said Tampa attorney Rachel Fugate, a specialist in media law who represents two dozen news organizations suing to force the disclosure of the recordings. “All around Florida, government agencies are showing an increasing disinclination to turn over documents that are just obviously, inarguably public.”