Suit over releasing Pulse 911 calls goes back to state court

Police cars surround the Pulse Orlando nightclub, the scene of a fatal shooting, in Orlando, Fla., Sunday, June 12, 2016. (AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack)

ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) – A federal judge is sending back to state court the fight over whether 911 calls from the Pulse nightclub shooting can be made public.

U.S. District Judge Paul Byron ruled Thursday that the federal court lacks jurisdiction over the case.

The lawsuit pits the City of Orlando against media companies seeking the release of recordings of dozens of 911 calls as well as communications between gunman Omar Mateen and the Orlando Police Department. Mateen was killed by police in June after a lengthy standoff in a mass shooting that killed 49 people and wounded 53 others.

The city claims the recordings are exempt under public records law.

The case was moved to federal court after the city named the U.S. Department of Justice as a defendant in a legal maneuver.

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