Some of the surviving victims
are filing a lawsuit in federal court, saying the city and police
didn't do enough to try to stop the shooter
ORLANDO, Fla. — Almost two years after a
massacre at an Orlando nightclub left 49 people dead and 53 injured,
some of the surviving victims were filing a lawsuit in federal court
Thursday saying the city and police didn't do enough to try to stop the
More than 35 victims have signed on as plaintiffs,
accusing the city and its officers violated the Constitutional rights of
those who were injured and killed on June 12, 2016, when Omar Mateen
opened fire at Pulse. Mateen pledged allegiance to the Islamic State
group during a three-hour standoff before he was killed in a shootout
Plaintiffs contend that officers should have more aggressively
confronted Mateen to prevent mass casualties. The lawsuit names Orlando
Police Department Officer Adam Gruler, who worked an extra-duty shift at
the nightclub that evening. The lawsuit says that Gruler "abandoned his
post" and, during that time, Mateen walked in, looked around, walked
out to retrieve weapons and returned to the club.
Gruler fired at
Mateen from two spots outside the club after the shooting began.
Officials estimated Mateen fired more than 200 rounds in less than five
Gruler was later hailed as a hero. He was honored by the city and invited to President Trump's State of the Union speech.
suit will also list another 30 unnamed officers, some for not capturing
the shooter and others for rounding up uninjured survivors and bringing
them to Orlando police headquarters for interviews.
victims of the Pulse shooting deserve better. We deserved better,"
victim Keinon Carter said during the news conference Thursday. "We
deserved to be rescued sooner by law enforcement."
The suit also says that officials didn't allow survivors to use their phones once police had secured the club.
detainees were not permitted to use their phones, contact their loved
ones, or leave. They were detained as though they were criminals, by
these defendants despite there being not a shred of evidence nor any
lawful basis to suspect that any of the detainees had committed a
crime," attorneys wrote in the court document.
In a statement, Orlando police and the city of Orlando said they haven't seen the lawsuit.
can't comment on the substance of the litigation," the statement said.
"On the morning of June 12, 2016, federal, state and local law
enforcement officers and first responders put themselves in harm's way
to save as many lives as possible. Our first responders are committed to
the safety of this community, and they stand ready to protect and
The suit calls for additional training and resources, a jury trial and an undetermined monetary judgment.