Hate Crime

Media attorneys say public has right to access Charleston church shooting 911 calls, records

  • FILE - This June 18, 2015, file photo, provided by the Charleston County Sheriff's Office shows Dylann Roof. A South Carolina prosecutor said Thursday, Sept. 3, 2015, that she will seek the death penalty for Roof, who is charged with killing nine black churchgoers in Charleston. Roof also faces federal charges including hate crimes. Prosecutors in that case have not said if they will pursue the death penalty. (Charleston County Sheriff's Office via AP, File)

    FILE - This June 18, 2015, file photo, provided by the Charleston County Sheriff's Office shows Dylann Roof. A South Carolina prosecutor said Thursday, Sept. 3, 2015, that she will seek the death penalty for Roof, who is charged with killing nine black churchgoers in Charleston. Roof also faces federal charges including hate crimes. Prosecutors in that case have not said if they will pursue the death penalty. (Charleston County Sheriff's Office via AP, File)  (The Associated Press)

  • Solicitor Scarlett Wilson, left, announces her intention to seek the death penalty against Dylann Roof in the killing of nine people at the Emmanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church as Charleston Police Chief Greg Mullen, center, and solicitor's office spokeswoman Namoi Nation listen on Thursday, Sept. 3, 2015, in Charleston, S.C. Wilson said she understands the desire of some victims' families to forgive Roof, but she said forgiveness doesn't eliminate the consequences of his actions. (AP Photo/Jeffrey Collins)

    Solicitor Scarlett Wilson, left, announces her intention to seek the death penalty against Dylann Roof in the killing of nine people at the Emmanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church as Charleston Police Chief Greg Mullen, center, and solicitor's office spokeswoman Namoi Nation listen on Thursday, Sept. 3, 2015, in Charleston, S.C. Wilson said she understands the desire of some victims' families to forgive Roof, but she said forgiveness doesn't eliminate the consequences of his actions. (AP Photo/Jeffrey Collins)  (The Associated Press)

  • Solicitor Scarlett Wilson, left, announces her intention to seek the death penalty against Dylann Roof in the killing of nine people at the Emmanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church as Charleston Police Chief Greg Mullen, center, and solicitor's office spokeswoman Namoi Nation listen on Thursday, Sept. 3, 2015, in Charleston, S.C. Wilson said she understands the desire of some victims' families to forgive Roof, but she said forgiveness doesn't eliminate the consequences of his actions. (AP Photo/Jeffrey Collins)

    Solicitor Scarlett Wilson, left, announces her intention to seek the death penalty against Dylann Roof in the killing of nine people at the Emmanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church as Charleston Police Chief Greg Mullen, center, and solicitor's office spokeswoman Namoi Nation listen on Thursday, Sept. 3, 2015, in Charleston, S.C. Wilson said she understands the desire of some victims' families to forgive Roof, but she said forgiveness doesn't eliminate the consequences of his actions. (AP Photo/Jeffrey Collins)  (The Associated Press)

Media organizations say police records and 911 calls concerning the shooting deaths of nine black churchgoers this summer in Charleston, South Carolina, should be released.

Attorneys representing The Associated Press and other media outlets said in court papers filed Wednesday that the public's right to such information outweighs concerns for privacy for victims' relatives.

Lawyers for some of those families argue the release of the information would mean they are "further traumatized, victimized and harassed by continuous media coverage." A judge has previously expressed worry that such a release could affect suspect Dylann Roof's ability to get a fair trial.

Roof faces state charges including nine murder counts. On Wednesday, a federal grand jury indicted him on charges including hate crimes. Federal prosecutors also want the information withheld.

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Kinnard can be reached at http://twitter.com/MegKinnardAP