sandy hook shooting
Officials slow to deliver a full report
Connecticut officials continue to keep the public in the dark about the state’s official investigation into the shooting massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School in December, even as state and local police have been discussing it at forums across the nation, sometimes in graphic detail. Though the fullest possible report was promised after the tragedy, its release has been repeatedly postponed, with authorities advising patience while the public grows increasingly puzzled.
Questions critical to the national debate over gun safety remain unanswered, including those about the appetite for high-powered weaponry indulged by the shooter, Adam Lanza, and his mother, and patterns of behavior that might head off similar tragedies.
Meanwhile, amid the official silence, the Hartford Courant newspaper has tracked various speeches by local and state police at forums across the country. A conference of 800 law enforcement officers last month in Orlando, Fla., heard a Newtown policeman offer riveting carnage details amid “the biggest pool of blood I’ve ever seen.”
State officials say the policeman spoke as a “witness,” not as a state investigator. They drew a similar distinction when asked about freewheeling public comments by other state and local police officers. The state insists that the officers are providing only “procedural lessons” aimed at helping communities, not investigation details.
Other oddities abound. The Courant, for instance, was denied access to police radio emergency tapes even though they had reportedly been played at the Orlando conference.
Absent a full report, details of the massacre will continue to leak out in bits and pieces. Gov. Dannel Malloy helped enact stronger gun laws after the shootings. He should be no less forceful in seeing that state authorities at long last finish and release the Sandy Hook investigation.
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