Pulse shooting survivors sue 31 Orlando police officers, city ov - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Pulse shooting survivors sue 31 Orlando police officers, city over response to deadly nightclub attack

Posted: Updated: Jun 12, 2018 4:16 PM
Nearly two years after the deadly Pulse nightclub shooting, survivors are suing police who responded and the city. Nearly two years after the deadly Pulse nightclub shooting, survivors are suing police who responded and the city.

Corrections & Clarifications: A previous version of this story incorrectly identified a quote from Berto Capo.

More than two dozen Pulse nightclub shooting survivors are suing Orlando police officers and the city, saying the officials didn't do enough to stop the gunman.

Nearly two years since Omar Mateen killed 49 people and injured dozens, more than 35 survivors filed a lawsuit Thursday in federal court saying their civil rights were violated that day.

"What if the Orlando Police officers who responded to the shooting were aggressive with a plan to rescue victims and hostages and kill the shooter?' Berto Capo asked in a news conference, the Orlando Sentinel reports. "Would my brother still be alive?'

The lawsuit blames 31 Orlando police officers for not immediately confronting the gunman and detaining uninjured survivors for questioning, Orlando's WESH 2 News reports. The suit also claims the city inadequately trained the responders, Orlando's WFTV Channel 9 reports.

In a joint statement sent to USA TODAY, the city of Orlando and the police department said they have not seen the lawsuit, but stand firm that "federal, state and local law enforcement officers and first responders put themselves in harm's way to save as many lives as possible."

One of the biggest controversies surrounding the June 12, 2016, shooting was whether Orlando police waited too long before setting off an explosive and rescuing patrons being held hostage inside the club's two bathrooms.

For three hours, injured clubgoers hid in the stalls as gunman Omar Mateen talked on and off with police negotiators, pledged allegiance to the Islamic State, reloaded one of his weapons and threatened to put bomb vests on hostages. At least one woman bled out in the bathroom while she was waiting for help.

A massive review commissioned by the Department of Justice's Community Oriented Policing Services found that local law enforcers followed department procedure during the Pulse shooting, but also reported policies need to be updated as terror attacks escalate.

Christal Hayes contributed to this report. Follow Ashley May on Twitter: @AshleyMayTweets

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