Victims of the Pulse nightclub shooting have filed a lawsuit against the City of Orlando as well as local law enforcement, claiming they did not adequately protect clubgoers.
The plaintiffs, which include estates of those that were killed in the violence, are saying that the defendants, “acting under the color of the law… deprived Plaintiffs of their interest in life, liberty and property by violating Plaintiff’s right to personal security and substantive due process as described herein, which caused Plaintiffs to suffer injuries.”
It also mentioned Adam Gruler, the officer who was providing security for the club that night, as, “abandoning his post and therefore being unable to provide security to Pulse.”
Solomon Radner, the plaintiff’s lawyer, said at a press conference that Gruler “should have done what he was there to do: protect the club,” and also chastised officers who remained outside the club and unlawfully detained victims, which is also detailed in the suit.
“I think they were worried about personal safety instead of the safety of others,” Radner said.
The suit calls these actions “so egregious and outrageous that it shocks the conscience.”
The city of Orlando released a statement saying that their law enforcement did everything they could to save people.
“On the morning of June 12, 2016, federal, state and local law enforcement officers and first responders put themselves in harm’s way to save as many lives as possible,” they said. “Our first responders are committed to the safety of this community, and they stand ready to protect and serve.”
Many families of the victims disagreed with the city’s view, including Berto Capo, who lost his brother Luis Omar Ocasio-Capo in the massacre, telling reporters that it “pains” him to think about what would have happened if the police acted differently.
‘What if the Pulse security guard stopped the shooter from ever coming inside Pulse? Would my brother still be alive,” he said. “What if the Orlando police officers who responded to the shooting were aggressive with the plan to rescue hostages and victims and killed the shooter? Would my brother still be alive?”
It has been two years since the shooting, which left 49 dead and 52 injured at Pulse Nightclub in Orlando, Florida. The club has since been transformed into a memorial to the tragedy.