HOUSTON — A group of media outlets, including KHOU 11 News, filed a lawsuit against the City of Uvalde, the Uvalde Consolidated Independent School District and the Uvalde County Sheriff’s Office, asking a judge to order the release of public documents and other items related to the mass shooting at Robb Elementary School.
According to the lawsuit, despite numerous public information requests, the defendants have not released public records surrounding the shooting deaths of 19 children and two adults inside the school on May 24. The media outlets say the release of these records will help shed more light on the events of that day.
“For more than three months, the City of Uvalde, Uvalde CISD and Uvalde Sheriff’s Office have resisted the community’s calls for transparency and accountability,” said Laura Lee Prather, a First Amendment lawyer at Haynes Boone, who represents the plaintiffs. “Their obfuscation has only prolonged the pain and grief of this tragedy. Today we are asking the Uvalde District Court to heed the call of the community and recognize that the public is entitled to these records under Texas law. We ask that the court grant our petition so that the people of Uvalde can understand the truth about what happened that fateful day."
Among the information the media organizations are requesting are the recordings of 911 calls, computer-aided dispatch notes, call slips and other communication from that day and before, as well as body camera and dashcam footage from responding officers.
They’re also asking for the following, verbatim from the lawsuit, to be released:
- Police reports and incident reports related to the events at Robb Elementary, along with several addresses and individuals
- Rosters, calendars, communications, training materials, use-of-force reports and personnel records related to certain current and former Uvalde Police officers
- Ballistics reports and evidence logs related to events at Robb Elementary on May 24, 2022
- Police reports and any recordings of calls regarding a suspicious person or vehicle in the area of Robb Elementary between May 9 and May 23, 2022
- Surveillance footage from inside Robb Elementary, and schematics and floor plans of the school
- Text, email and other communications sent to or from certain City of Uvalde officials, including Mayor of Uvalde Don McLaughlin, UPD Chief of Police Daniel Rodriguez and Lieutenants Javier Martinez and Donald Page, City Councilpersons, City Attorney and other City staff
- Investigative file for an alleged school-shooting plot in 2018
- Any contracts between the City and unions representing police officers
This lawsuit follows another lawsuit filed earlier this month, asking a judge to order the Texas Department of Public Safety to release body cam video from their responding troopers and other records related to the shooting.
The media organizations include KHOU 11 and the TEGNA Texas television stations; The Texas Tribune, ABC News; CBS News; CNN; Dow Jones & Co.; Gannett; Graham Media Group, Houston; Graham Media Group, San Antonio; NBC News; The New York Times Company; Pro Publica, Inc.; Scripps Media; The Washington Post; and TelevisaUnivision.