News outlets release body cam video of Pulse shooting

CHICAGO — Late night on Wednesday, May 31, the Orlando Sentinel released body com footage from police entering the Pulse Nightclub in Orlando immediately after last year’s shooting.

The story, and video, has now been picked up by national media and local media outlets across the country and overseas.

The release of the footage so close the anniversary can rip open barely healed emotional wounds and potentially expose those who survived the shooting to more danger.

You can protest to the media outlets that are posting and broadcasting the video. Check your own local outlets and contact them as well. Here is a list of contact pages and email address for outlets that have distributed the video. We’ll add more as we can.

John Cutter, Sentinel managing editor, posted this statement on the newspaper’s site about why they’ve released the video:

We knew some readers would object. It’s a sentiment we’ve heard from the first days after Pulse – that we were covering this in too much detail and exploiting the victims’ memories and causing pain to the community.

And we take those feelings seriously.

But we also hear from people who still have questions about what happened inside Pulse that night. And this week’s videos — of which we published only a small fraction — go a long way toward addressing those questions.

When contacting the news outlets, you can use this letter and adjust it for your own local outlets:

“While I appreciate the level of thought you have given to whether to run this, I strongly disagree with your decision. It uses the terror, death, and lifelong pain of the victims & their families to your own benefit in terms of viewers and readers, and it shows no respect at all for the privacy of the people that appear in the footage.

The public’s “need to know” cannot outweigh the pain and trauma that everyone present suffered, and the re-traumatization of everyone who felt fear and horror after the Pulse massacre. I strongly urge you to re-think your position, and remove the video from your website.”

You can also go onto each outlet’s social media and respond there.