Should 911 Calls Be Released to the Public?

Friday, April 13, 2012

The Trayvon Martin case caught national attention after the release of the 911 calls George Zimmerman made to police just before the shooting. Those recordings have played a major role in shaping public opinion, throwing into doubt whether Zimmerman will get a fair trial. Sonny Brasfield is executive director of the Association of County Commissions of Alabama. He helped draft the 2010 legislation that made Alabama the first state to bar the release of 911 recordings. Wendy Kaminer is a lawyer, social critic and contributing editor at The Atlantic.


Sonny Brasfield and Wendy Kaminer

Produced by:

Zachary Dinerstein, Kristen Meinzer and Mythili Rao

Comments [3]

Susan from Yorktown Heights NY

I doubt that I would be chosen to be on the Zimmerman jury as I can't help but feel that his victim could have been my child. Here in the northern suburbs of NYC children are raised with an unreasonable fear of being snatched by a stranger in a passing car. They all know that is someone in a vehicle seems to be following them, they should run away screaming. If that person approaches, they should fight for their lives. The fear may be unrealistic, but it is real. My 16 year old's reaction to George Zimmerman would have been similar to Trayvon's reaction.
My child is a white girl.

Apr. 13 2012 09:51 AM
Betty Davis from South Miami, Florida

I'm a native of Florida and, in my opinion, only citizens of the state have a stake in whether 911 calls are released or not. In Florida, we believe that EVERYTHING is public information and should be treated as such. There is enough corruption in public administration and politics. We do not need censorship of public documents, Court records, and the like. Our tax dollars pay for the judicial system, we have a huge stake in it, and we're entitled to see every page, hear every call, read every Motion and every Order, and see every photograph. If there is no room to sit in the Courtroom, we're entitled to get it online, no questions asked.

Apr. 13 2012 09:40 AM
Eileen Kelly from Ireland


Since George Zimmerman claimed that the voice crying for help on the tape is his, it is entirely appropriate that this tape be released and entered into evidence. Surely technicians will be called upon to analyse it and the jury will need to hear it.

I think I could be an impartial member of the jury, but since I live overseas I may have some distance from all the coverage.

Eileen Kelly

Apr. 13 2012 09:37 AM

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