Survivors of the 2016 Pulse nightclub shooting have filed a lawsuit against Orlando police officers and the city, accusing them of not going after the gunman aggressively enough.
According to the lawsuit, the police did little to protect the patrons at the nightclub that tragic night and only assured that they themselves were safe. “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.”
Keinon Carter, who was originally pronounced dead before being revived, joined the lawsuit because he refuses to be a lifelong victim. He thinks that the victims of the shooting deserved better.
“We deserve better security protection than what was provided. We deserve to be rescued sooner by law enforcement officers who made strategic decisions to wait,” he said.
The lawsuit also claims that police improperly detained victims and took their property. Sandy Roberts, a plaintiff in the lawsuit, said she ran out of the club with her wife when they heard gunshots and police impounded her car from the club’s parking lot. However, she believes she is one of the lucky ones.
“I was not shot, and I did not lose a loved one. … But my own involvement in this lawsuit is more than a stupid car. It’s more about civil rights that we United States citizens have, no matter how dangerous of a situation law enforcement officials may encounter,” she said.
The survivors are asking for an unspecified amount of monetary damages in the lawsuit.
Berto Capo, whose brother Luis Omar Ocasio-Capo was killed in the shooting, said he’s concerned that Pulse will be forgotten eventually and there won’t be any change. He said that he sees mass shootings happening more and more all over the country.
“We’re talking about hundreds of people, maybe thousands,” Capo said. “Their lives changed completely, and it’s being swept under the rug. Do we want this? I sure don’t, and that’s why I’m here. To make sure justice gets done.”
Forty-nine people were killed and at least 53 were wounded that tragic night after gunman, Omar Mateen, carried an assault rifle and pistol into the club at about 2 a.m. He was killed later that night by police.