AUSTIN, Texas — An Austin judge says the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) has jurisdiction over its records related to troopers' actions during the deadly school shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde.
KVUE Senior Reporter Tony Plohetski learned the judge denied a request made by State Sen. Roland Gutierrez to order the DPS to release information related to the shooting. Gutierrez represents Uvalde.
Plohetski reports that the issue also largely rests on how Gutierrez submitted his request.
"We argued and continue to argue that our public information request was valid," Gutierrez said Wednesday. "It is high time the public gets the information it deserves."
A coalition of over a dozen media companies, including KVUE and the Austin American Statesman, has sued separately to require the DPS to release information on its role during the Uvalde shooting.
The DPS has withheld most information related to the shooting and has offered conflicting accounts regarding law enforcement's response.
KVUE and other media organizations have submitted dozens of Public Information Act requests to DPS. That act states that every person is entitled, unless otherwise expressly provided by law, to complete information about the actions of public officials and employees like DPS troopers.
The media coalition submitted an amicus letter in support of Gutierrez’s request because our TPIA requests seek some of the same records named in his lawsuit.
Gutierrez issued a statement following the ruling saying he plants to appeal the order and submit a new information request.
Here's the full statement:
“It has been over 70 days since the massacre at Robb Elementary, and the State of Texas has completely failed to provide the community of Uvalde with timely and truthful answers. It is very disturbing that the Department of Public Safety has continued to fail to disclose even the most benign information to the public. You shouldn’t need a lawsuit to be honest and transparent with people about what occurred.
“Respectfully, I plan to appeal the court’s order and submit a new information request under the court's prescribed manner. Governor Abbott’s administration is going to every extreme not only to withhold basic information about the Uvalde massacre, but to paint a narrative that absolves the Texas Department of Public Safety of responsibility for the horrid response to the Uvalde shooting.
“True justice requires transparency, accountability, and a commitment to solutions. I will do everything in my power to bring justice for this community.”
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