2022 – City of Ovaldi officials use legal loopholes to prevent the release of police records linked to school shootings while the response is being considered: report

Police officers from Robb Elementary School in Ovaldi, Texas on May 24, 2022.

  • Uvald’s police response to last month’s school shooting has drawn criticism.
  • The police changed their version of what happened several times.
  • The city is now invoking loopholes in the law to prevent the information from being released to the public. Reported to NPR.

City officials in Ovaldi are using a legal loophole to prevent the release of police records related to the May 24 shooting at Robb Elementary School. Reported to NPR.

A private law firm was hired to handle a case for the city of Ovaldi. The case cited a “dead suspect loophole” as a reason for refusing to release the information, according to NPR.

The loophole was invoked because the shooter was shot by police during the shooting, the loophole prohibits disclosure of information when no one has been charged with a crime, and the Texas attorney general’s office said the exception applies even when the suspected shooter dies.

Cynthia Trevino, an attorney with Denton Navarro Rocha Bernal & Zick, who represents the city, wrote a letter on June 16 to Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton asking him to determine which public records should be released, NPR reported.

There were nearly 150 requests for public records, including 911 calls and body camera footage.

The 18-year-old gunman shot 19 children and two adults. An investigation was launched into the police response to the shooting. Authorities in Ovaldi changed their version of what happened several times and were criticized for waiting more than an hour to attack the gunman. holed up in deferred classes.

Kelly Shannon, executive director of the Freedom of Information Foundation in Texas, told NPR that the “dead suspect vulnerability” was created in 1990 but has been abused.

“It is meant to protect the innocent, but in some cases it is being used and abused in ways that were never intended,” Shannon told NPR.

The city and police department also cited a number of other reasons for not releasing the information, including prosecution and that disclosing some information could reveal police tactics to respond to the attacks.

Read the original article on Insider

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