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For Immediate Release:
Contact Sheila Matthews
STATE of Connecticut Claims Disclosure of Adam Lanza’s Records “Can Cause A Lot of People to Stop Taking Their Medications” in Recent Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) Hearing.
Ablechild vs. Chief Medical Examiner (FIC Docket No: 2013-197):
Attorney, Patrick B. Kwanashie, AAG for the Office of the Attorney General argues release of Adam Lanza’s records to public “can cause a lot of people to stop taking their medications”. Ablechild argues that lack of transparency compromises informed consent and puts public health “at risk”.
December 14, 2012, 20 year-old Adam Lanza fatally shot twenty children and six adults in a mass murder at Sandy Hook Elementary School in the village of Sandy Hook in Newtown, Connecticut. He committed suicide by shooting himself in the head.
Many would agree that to prevent future tragedies from occurring like those in Newtown and Littleton, Colorado we should have a deeper understanding of what the key components and common factors are that drive a person to such acts of violence. Ablechild, a national parent rights organization with parent members within Sandy Hook and Newtown, have been on the front lines of the Newtown tragedy as it unfolded. It has been asking for accountability in the form of disclosure of all records pertaining to the shooter as a means of transparency, to provide the public with facts that could be pertinent in protecting their safety. Sadly this transparency has eluded the Newtown “investigation” from the start.
One relevant question that has remained unanswered was whether or not Adam Lanza was under the influence of one or more drugs, to include all prescription drugs.
“What plagues this investigation is that some are simply fixated on having it remain secret in spite of the urgency of transparency that is clearly needed to protect the public,” said Patricia Weathers Cofounder of Ablechild. “It is alarming that here we are very close to a year later and the public still remains in the dark, records are still sealed, and the State is now saying that it is opposing a release of the records because those records “can cause a lot of people to stop taking their medications”. This opposition comes despite the fact that 31 school shootings and/or school-related acts of violence have been committed by those taking or withdrawing from psychiatric drugs resulting in 162 wounded and 72 killed and despite the fact that Ablechild for years has been asking for a federal investigation into the link between psychiatric drugs and these violent acts, without result.
Mrs. Weathers went on to add, “If there is nothing to hide then disclose, especially if this information has the potential for reevaluating the use of certain psychiatric drugs that evidence shows are contributing to the rapidly growing acts of violence in this country in recent years. Our organization thinks that both the Medical Examiner’s office and State’s actions are unacceptable and reprehensible because in actuality they place the public at risk.”
What should be more alarming to the public is that the media doesn’t question this failure to disclose that is being arbitrarily wielded by the State Medical Examiner’s Office, despite the evidence that at the very least should call for a review. In the midst of this tragedy the State itself has scrambled for solutions in the form of firearm prevention legislation and sweeping mental health funding without ever actually demanding that all evidence be reviewed first before passing such legislation.
Newtown was the second deadliest mass shooting by a single person in American history, after the 2007 Virginia Tech Massacre and comes 14 years after Columbine. What is telling in all of this…America is still chasing its tail while the public pays a heavy price!
For more information on Ablechild’s demand for accountability and transparency within the State of CT watch our case before the Freedom of Information Act Commission.