Limited transcripts of Orlando shooter's exchanges with police to be released

An undated photo from a social media account of Omar Mateen.
PHOTO: Reuters

WASHINGTON- US authorities will release "limited transcripts" of Orlando gunman Omar Mateen and police negotiators' telephone conversations during his attack at a gay nightclub that left 49 people dead, on Monday (June 20), said Attorney General Loretta Lynch.

Lynch said on June 19 said the conversations included Mateen's pledge of allegiance to the Islamic State group, and his views of US policy.

But those statements will not be included in the transcripts released to the public, she said. 

"What we're not going to do is further this man's propaganda," she said on NBC's "Meet the Press." "We're not going to hear him make his assertions of allegiance."

On CNN's "State of the Union," Lynch said the transcripts would cover only portions of the telephone exchanges with police negotiators so as "to avoid re-victimizing those who went through this horror."

Mateen, a 29-year-old Muslim security guard armed with a semi-automatic rifle and a handgun, stormed into the Pulse nightclub June 12 in Orlando, Florida, raking the crowd with gunfire.

The attack then turned into a three hour hostage-taking that ended with a police SWAT team retaking the venue by force and shooting Mateen dead.

Mateen, described by his ex-wife as physically abusive and given to fits of anger, appears to have had mixed up motives.

His father said Mateen had been upset at the sight of a gay couple kissing, but other witnesses said he had been a repeat patron at Pulse and used gay dating apps.

Alongside that was a history of FBI investigations into him for possible Islamic extremism.

Lynch called the Orlando massacre "an act of terrorism and an act of hate, targeted against a community, the LGBT community, the Latino community." However, she told CNN that Mateen didn't get into his feelings about gays in his exchanges with police.

"So we're still exploring why he chose this particular place to attack," she said. 

See also: 

Obama to Orlando gay community: 'You are not alone'

Orlando shooter's wife tried to talk him out of attack

Orlando shooter made death threats to co-workers

400 people hold candlelight vigil for Orlando shooting victims at Hong Lim Park

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