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Lawsuits May Pressure Movie Theatres to Hire “SWAT” Teams

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James Holmes and Aurora Theater

Gunman James Holmes and Aurora Theater

by Jack Kenny, The New American

Coming soon to a theater near you — airport-like security measures at movie theaters, shopping malls, and just about any other public gathering place, thanks to the perpetrator of the 2012 deadly movie-theater shooting in Aurora, Colorado, and 20 lawsuits alleging the theater owner should have anticipated it.

US District Court Judge R. Brooke Jackson last week denied a motion for summary judgment against 20 civil suits pending against Cinemark, owner of the Century Aurora 16 theater, alleging that the company could have anticipated the possibility of the shooting attack that killed 12 people and wounded 58 others in the theater and should have had in place security measure to prevent the attack or impede it once it began. The alleged shooter, James Holmes, has pled not guilty by reason of insanity. The ruling allows the civil suits to proceed, with a trial expected to begin in February, the Denver Post reported.

The plaintiffs claim Cinemark had lax security at its theater in the Denver suburb when the gunman opened fire on July 20, 2012 during a midnight screening of the Batman film, “The Dark Knight Rises.” Jackson noted that 80 of Cinemark’s 300 theaters hired off-duty police or private security firms for the midnight viewing of the Batman movie, but the Aurora theater did not. The judge emphasized, however, that he was not issuing a judgment on the merits of the suits, but leaving the issues to be decided at trial.

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© 2014 The New American

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