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Newtown to release 911 calls from school shooting

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP)/CBS6 -- Recordings of 911 calls from the Newtown school shooting are being released.

A state prosecutor dropped his fight to continue withholding the tapes this week after an order to provide them to The Associated Press, which has sought the recordings in part to examine the police response to the Dec. 14 massacre.

For nearly a year, the AP has been asking for an opportunity to review the tapes, which will be released Wednesday to the news cooperative along with other media organizations. The AP will review the tapes' content and determine what might meet its standards before releasing material to subscribers.

A total of seven land line calls from inside the school to Newtown police were released.

A expert on Freedom of Information Law, in New York State, said Wednesday if the tapes were in New York they most likely would not have been released.

Robert Freeman of the Committee on Open Government says New York has two sets of FOIL laws, one in New York City- who has their own law- and one for the rest of the state. Outside the city 9-1-1 calls do not fall under FOIL law, Freeman said.

In New York City 9-1-1 tapes can be foiled however discretion is often used. According to Freeman, if the tapes are going to have an emotional impact on a victims family it will be up to a judge to determine whether or not the are released.

In 2001 the New York Times went to court seeking the 9-1-1 tapes of the calls coming from inside the World Trade Center buildings shortly after the 9/11 attacks. A judge ruled against the paper, Freeman said.

"In the case of the Twin Towers the Court of Appeals considered the sensitive nature of the calls in relation to the surviving family members," Freeman said. "They were intimate and people knew they were going to die. That is different than the more typical 9-1-1 recording."