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Marin County Sheriff’s Office defends releasing Robin Williams’ suicide report

By Rachel Karach,

The Marin County Sheriff’s Office has released a new statement refuting criticism for announcing the graphic details behind Robin Williams’ suicide on Tuesday.

In a press conference on Tuesday, it was revealed that Williams had hanged himself with a belt, according to the Los Angeles Times. Now people are criticizing Marin County Sheriff’s Office Assistant Chief Deputy Coroner Lt. Keith Boyd’s decision to reveal the manner of the actor’s passing.

Lt. Boyd has since released a statement defending the remarks made public in Tuesday’s press conference. While agreeing that the information may be considered unsettling, Boyd maintained that the Sheriff’s Office was required to share it. E! News has since transcribed the statement written by Lt. Boyd on behalf of the Marin County Sheriff’s Office.

“The Sheriff's Office understands how the release of the kind of information you heard yesterday may be viewed as disturbing by some, and as unnecessary by others, but under California law, all that information is considered 'public information' and we are precluded from denying access to it," Boyd said. "These kinds of cases, whether they garner national attention or not, are very difficult for everyone involved.

"Frankly," he said, "it would have been our personal preference to withhold a lot of what we disclosed to the press yesterday, but the California Public Records Act does not give us that kind of latitude. For the same reasons, we will likely be required to release to the media the 911 phone call we received from Mr. Williams' residence and the fire dispatch tapes that resulted as well. To date, we have received a staggering number of formal Public Act Requests to do so and we are required by law to make those disclosures within 10 days."

Meanwhile, a full autopsy including toxicology reports are being done to determine if Williams was under the influence of any substances when he passed.

Image courtesy of Dario Alequin/INFphoto.com

 
 

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