Judge Orders DPS To Make Documents On The Uvalde Shooting Response Public

Judge Orders DPS To Make Documents On The Uvalde Shooting Response Public

In response to a request from The Texas Tribune and other news organisations, a state district judge on Thursday ordered the Texas Department of Public Safety to start the process of disclosing public information about law enforcement’s response to the Uvalde school shooting.

In a lawsuit filed against DPS last year, more than a dozen media outlets claimed that the agency had improperly withheld data pertaining to the Robb Elementary School shooting in May.

Who Is The Suspect?

The documents deal with the ineffective police response, which had cops waiting for more than an hour to face the shooter who killed 19 children and two teachers. By the time the shooting was over, close to 400 officers had gathered at the school.

A move for summary judgement made on behalf of the Tribune, its partner ProPublica, and other local, state, and national newsrooms was granted by Judge Daniella DeSeta Lyttle of the 261st Civil District Court. The records won’t be accessible right now.

Judge Orders DPS To Make Documents On The Uvalde Shooting Response Public
Source: WFAA

Lyttle required DPS to submit a planned log of the redactions it intends to make to the public records by August 31. According to Lyttle’s statement in the court order, a hearing to discuss the suggested redactions is scheduled for September. Before then, DPS could decide to appeal the ruling. Both parties were required by Lyttle’s direction to submit final judgement suggestions by July 31.

Texas Public Information

The organisations have individually made requests for information documenting the reaction by various authorities, including law enforcement, under the Texas Public Information Act. The documents also include listings of DPS employees who responded to the disaster, emails, body camera and other video footage, call logs, 911 and other emergency communications, interview notes, forensic and ballistic records, and other data. On Thursday night, DPS did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

A Texas House of Representatives committee found in a thorough investigation published almost a year ago that the state police and other responding law enforcement authorities failed to engage the gunman in a forceful manner.

Unless a government entity provides a particular exemption under the Texas Public Information Act that permits information to be withheld, records are deemed to be public under state law. DPS asserted that since the records are relevant to an ongoing investigation, they can be withheld. The news organisations maintained that since the shooter’s culpability is beyond dispute and the 18-year-old acted alone, there is no need for such an investigation.

Even though the agency has selectively revealed certain material through public testimony, outside assessments, and news conferences, DPS has refused to provide documents.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *