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A state district judge ruled Wednesday that the Department of Public Safety did not have to turn over records related to the Uvalde school shooting sought by State Senator Roland Gutierrez, who sued the state police in hopes of securing them.
Travis County’s 419th Civil District Court Judge Catherine A. Mauzy’s order, however, was narrow and evaded the question of whether state police can withhold documents relating to its response to the May 24 massacre. at Robb Elementary School. Mauzy concluded that Gutierrez had improperly filed his request under the Texas Public Information Act, the state’s public records law, and therefore DPS was not obligated to complete it.
Still, the result grants a reprieve to state police, who fought to keep details of 91 officers’ reaction to the shooting secret. Gutierrez, whose district includes Uvalde, wrote a letter to DPS Director Steve McCraw on May 30, requesting the agency’s training manuals as well as any documents detailing how the state police responded to the shooting that day. At a hearing last week, DPS officials said the request should have been directed to the agency’s media relations office.
A separate lawsuit against DPS, filed by a consortium of news organizations including The Texas Tribune and ProPublica, seeks to persuade a judge to compel state police to release Uvalde’s records that reporters submitted. under the Public Information Act. This case is ongoing.
The full schedule is now LIVE for The Texas Tribune 2022, taking place September 22-24 in Austin. Explore the timeline of over 100 insightful conversations coming to TribFest, including the inside track on the 2022 election and 2023 legislative session, the state of public and higher education at this stage of the pandemic, why Texas suburbs are booming, why broadband access matters, the legacy of slavery, what really happened in Uvalde and much more. See the program.