2006_03_27_redphone.jpg Tacky city government! Tacky!

Over this past weekend 24 families who lost kin in 9/11 received Priority Mail envelopes from the city regarding the last moments of their loved ones' lives. Because of a lawsuit in place the city this week is set to release a number of 911 phone transcripts that had previously not been seen by the public (actually, they are just releasing the operators' side of the converstations...). Because of this the city wanted to give the families in question some heads up on the matter so that they could get their bearings before facing the public.

Which is to say, the city really did have the best of intentions.

Except they really messed up. While they had intended to give 9/11 support groups an early warning about the letters so that families wouldn't be surprised a clerical error meant that no groups were ever called. The letters were a complete surprise to their recipients many of whom had no idea how to handle them. One woman fainted after she "opened [the letter] up in an elevator. She couldn't believe it, because she never heard from here husband that morning, but apparently he called 911."

While we're glad the city is releasing everything they can on 9/11, man do we wish they'd had a little more tact on this one.