This week marks the two-year anniversary of the Pulse night club shooting in Orlando, Florida. It was one of the deadliest shootings in modern American history. Terrorist Omar Mateen walked into the night club and gunned down 49 people and injured dozens others.
Now, more than 35 of the shooting survivors are suing Orlando police officers and the city of Orlando for not immediately confronting the gunman and detaining uninjured survivors for questioning. They list 31 officers in particular and argue that the city did not properly train the department.
“These defendants chose to allow the patrons of the club to be massacred while these defendants ensured only that they themselves were safe,” the federal lawsuit states. “These defendants knew that there were innocent people being massacred and that they themselves were the only ones who could stop it, and that it was their job to do so, yet they still, in a manner [that] shocks the conscience, chose to disregard the safety of the patrons while instead ensuring only that they themselves were safe.” (Orlando Sentinel)
The shooting began at 2:02 a.m., but police didn’t enter until 2:08 a.m. By then, Mateen had fired more than 200 rounds.
If they had been better prepared and had entered the night club sooner, perhaps victims like Berto Capo's brother, Luis Omar Ocasio-Capo, would still be alive.
“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?” Capo asked in a news conference. “Would my brother still be alive?”
The city of Orlando said they have not read the lawsuit yet. In a joint statement, the city and Orlando Police Department defended their actions on that fateful day. “Federal, state and local law enforcement officers and first responders put themselves in harm’s way to save as many lives as possible” at Pulse, they wrote.
Florida Gov. Rick Scott declared June 12 as Pulse Remembrance Day on Tuesday.