LVMPD wants to bill news organizations nearly $500K for massacre evidence

The Las Vegas community has come together to show their support and strength after the mass shooting on the Strip. (Denise Rosch | KSNV)

Five months after the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history, LVMPD is stalling on the release of evidence from the Route 91 massacre.

The department said in a court brief that it wants media organizations to pay nearly $500,000 before the public gets access to hundreds of hours of video, 911 calls and upwards of 800 reports.

Last month, Judge Richard Scotti ordered LVMPD to release all of the evidence from the Las Vegas mass shooting. However, so far, LVMPD has not released a single new document.

Metro told Judge Scotti in a court hearing Wednesday that the department wants to bill news organizations for the “extraordinary” manpower it will take to prepare and release the evidence.

In a court brief, LVMPD outlined how much the department wants to charge the public to make copies of evidence.

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For example, 750 hours of body camera footage would total up to $431,000 according to the proposed fee schedule.

“The court also needs to consider whether the massive document request that the petitioner has put on LVMPD, in this case, will compromise Metro’s ability to provide and protect the health, safety, and welfare of the public,” said Scotti.

However, attorneys for News 3 and other media organizations told the judge that LVMPD’s projected price tag impedes on the public’s right to access public information.

Victim attorney Craig Eiland says the forthcoming information will play a key role in future lawsuits.

“The videos, the photographs... that's the next big step... because we have now requested the videos of [shooter Stephen Paddock] getting out of his vehicle and the valets carrying the bags with his guns,” said Eiland.

58 people were killed and hundreds more injured when a lone gunman opened fire into a crowd of concertgoers on the Las Vegas Strip.

LVMPD’s attorney says it will not release any new documents until the cost issue is sorted out.

The judge is expected to make a ruling by Friday.

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