AUSTIN, Texas — More than a dozen media groups, including TEGNA, which owns this station and 10 other stations across Texas, filed a lawsuit in August against the Texas Department of Public Safety. It was filed after the agency denied public records requests by journalists.
On May 24, 2022, 19 students and two teachers were killed when a gunman entered Robb Elementary School and opened fire in a classroom. Three hundred and seventy-six law enforcement officers responded, including Texas DPS troopers. It took 77 minutes for law enforcement to confront the shooter and there are many questions left unanswered about what went wrong.
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Various news organizations filed public records requests asking for emails, video footage, call logs, 911 tapes and other items that would shine a light on what really happened. The DPS denied most requests saying the release of that information would "interfere with an ongoing investigation" and various "law enforcement" exceptions. Some of the video footage, 911 calls and interviews have already been made public either through DPS or legislative committee interviews, which were streamed live during hearings.
The lawsuit maintains that it is impossible to heal the community and resuscitate its trust in law enforcement or public officials while the facts of that fateful day continue to be hidden, protected from scrutiny and accountability.
The judge could order DPS to release the records or not at all, or the judge could choose to take it under advisement and rule at a later date. This hearing is set for 2 p.m. Wednesday in Austin.