On June 12, 2016, Omar Mateen, a 29-year-old security guard, killed 49 people and wounded 53 others in a mass shooting inside Pulse, a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida, United States. Orlando Police Department officers shot and killed him after a three-hour standoff.
Originally, the Department of Justice released the 911 call of Omar Mateen edited, and omitted the reference to “Islamic State” and the name of ISIS leader “Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.”
Amid controversy and pressure, they later released the full transcript, and issued a statement on June 20, 2016:
Joint Statement From Justice Department and FBI Regarding Transcript Related to the Orlando Terror Attack
The Department of Justice and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) issued the following statement regarding the FBI’s release of the transcript related to the Orlando shooting:
“The purpose of releasing the partial transcript of the shooter’s interaction with 911 operators was to provide transparency, while remaining sensitive to the interests of the surviving victims, their families, and the integrity of the ongoing investigation. We also did not want to provide the killer or terrorist organizations with a publicity platform for hateful propaganda. Unfortunately, the unreleased portions of the transcript that named the terrorist organizations and leaders have caused an unnecessary distraction from the hard work that the FBI and our law enforcement partners have been doing to investigate this heinous crime. As much of this information had been previously reported, we have re-issued the complete transcript to include these references in order to provide the highest level of transparency possible under the circumstances.”
Transcript of Orlando Police Department 911 Calls, June 12, 2016
2:35 a.m.: Shooter contacted a 911 operator from inside Pulse. The call lasted approximately 50 seconds, the details of which are set out below:
(OD) Orlando Police Dispatcher
(OM) Omar Mateen
OD: Emergency 911, this is being recorded.
OM: In the name of God the Merciful, the beneficent [Arabic]
OM: Praise be to God, and prayers as well as peace be upon the prophet of God [Arabic]. I wanna let you know, I’m in Orlando and I did the shootings.
OD: What’s your name?
OM: My name is I pledge of allegiance to Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi of the Islamic State.
OD: Ok, What’s your name?
OM: I pledge allegiance to Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi may God protect him [Arabic], on behalf of the Islamic State.
OD: Alright, where are you at?
OM: In Orlando.
OD: Where in Orlando?
[End of call.]
I went after the internal emails and records regarding this omission. Under FBI FOIA Case 1353120-000, I received the below after about three years of waiting.
Orlando Terror Attack 911 Transcripts Edited by Department of Justice (DOJ) [152 Pages, 60.7MB]