Parents of Sandy Hook massacre victims are petitioning the state of Connecticut to prevent the public release of graphic photos and audio taken of the tragic school shooting in Newtown, Conn.
“We feel very strongly that we need to protect that scene,” said Nicole Hockley, who lost her 6-year-old son Dylan in the shooting rampage. “Once these images are on the internet they are out there forever and I don’t want my 8-year-old son to see these photos of his brother’s corpse when he is older.”
Nicole and her husband Ian Hockley, Mark and Jackie Barden, and Jimmy Greene and Nelba Marquez-Greene filed the petition on the website www.change.org on June 1. They are all parents of children who were murdered when Adam Lanza, 20, opened fire in Sandy Hook Elementary School on Dec. 14, 2012, killing 20 children six adults.
Hockley started the petition after receiving calls from political groups asking for crime scene images and recordings taken by investigators. For Hockley, the issue is not just about privacy, but also public safety.
“We worry about copycat killers and the traumatic effect the material could have on people. Veteran first responders who saw what happened were completely traumatized,” she said.
In their petition the Sandy Hook parents wrote, “Michael Moore and the hoaxers want to publish this gruesome information.”
Moore wrote on his website on March 13, “I believe someone in Newtown, Connecticut – a grieving parent, an upset law enforcement officer, a citizen who has seen enough of this carnage in our country – somebody, someday soon, is going to leak the crime scene photos of the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre.
He continued, “and when the American people see what bullets from an assault rifle fired at close range do to a little child’s body, that’s the day the jig will be up for the NRA. It will be the day the debate on gun control will come to an end.”
Hockley is not convinced. “I am active in gun safety. I would certainly never use pictures of my son to further any gun control policy,” she said.
Moore state today that he does not condone releasing the material without the consent of victims’ families.
“For the record: I oppose releasing any crime scene photos from the Newtown massacre without the parent’s permission,” Moore stated on his Twitter page.
“My point was, should a parent decide to do this, the horror of it would be enough to encourage every American to fix this problem,” he continued.
The petition had over 11,000 signatures by Monday afternoon. “We got these signatures through word of mouth, without publicizing,” said Hockley. “A lot of people support us and have no interest in seeing these photos either.”
Hockley is looking to get as many signatures as possible to get the attention of Connecticut Governor Dannel Malloy.