Debate Over Releasing Charleston’s Church Shooting Documents

Rev. Jacqueline J. Lewis, left, of the Middle Collegiate Church in New York City and Muhiyidin D'Baha, right, of Black Lives Matter Charleston leads those in attendance in a song at the memorial in front of the Emanuel AME Church, Friday, June 19, 2015 in Charleston, S.C. (AP Photo/Stephen B. Morton)

CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP) – A hearing is being held over whether to release 911 calls and other documents in the shooting deaths of nine black parishioners at a South Carolina church.

Media attorney Jay Bender says a hearing is scheduled for 2 p.m. Monday regarding what should continue to be withheld.

Various news organizations, including The Associated Press, are challenging Judge J.C. Nicholson’s order preventing attorneys from discussing the case and preventing the release of emergency calls, witness statements, coroner reports and other documents stemming from the June 17 shootings at Emanuel A.M.E Church.

Attorneys for the victims’ families say the material should not be released because doing so would violate the victims’ rights to privacy. Nicholson has expressed concern that Dylann Roof’s right to a fair trial could be jeopardized by pretrial publicity.

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