A Texas judge has blocked the release of Uvalde Elementary School shooting records related to the state police response


NewYou can listen to Fox News articles now!

A Texas judge on Wednesday blocked the release of documents related to the state police response to the May 24 mass shooting at Uvalde Elementary School that left 19 children and two adults dead.

In a brief ruling, Travis County’s 419th Civil District Court Judge Catherine A. Mauzy said the Texas Department of Public Safety could withhold records about the Raab Elementary School massacre because state Sen. Roland Gutierrez duly filed a request under the Texas Public Information Act.

On May 30, Gutierrez, a Democrat whose district includes Uvalde, wrote to DPS Director Steve McCraw requesting the department’s training manuals and any documents detailing how his 91 state police officers responded to the Uvalde school shooting, the Texas Tribune reported.

Testifying June 21 before a special state Senate committee hearing, McGraw ripped the law enforcement response to the massacre as an “absolute failure,” placing much of the blame on Uvalde School District Police Chief Pete Arrondo for deciding to take the life. Armed officers with protective gear on children.

Uvalde, Texas Elementary School Principal Suspended 2 Months After Mass Shooting

A memorial to the June 24, 2022 massacre at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas.
(Jordan Vonderhaar/Getty Images)

In all, 376 law enforcement officers from various agencies responded to the tragedy at Robb Elementary School, according to a 77-page investigative report released July 17 by a state House committee. Victims waited more than an hour for help until a US Border Patrol tactical unit breached the classroom and killed the 18-year-old suspected gunman, Salvador Ramos, a former student at the same school.

DPS agreed to provide the documents to Gutierrez on July 21, saying he would only use them for “legislative purposes” and not release the information publicly, the San Antonio Express-News reported. State lawmakers rejected the proposal, saying the documents should be widely available.

At a hearing last week, Uvalde County District Attorney Christina Michelle Busbee asked a judge not to release state police documents about the response to the Uvalde shooting over concerns it could jeopardize ongoing investigations with the Texas Rangers — a division of DPS. FBI.

“It has been 70 days since the massacre at Robb Elementary and the State of Texas has completely failed to provide timely and truthful answers to the Uvalde community,” Gutierrez said in a statement Wednesday in response to the judge’s decision. “It’s very disturbing that the Department of Public Safety failed to disclose the most benign information to the public. You don’t need a lawsuit to be honest and transparent with people about what happened.”

UVALDE investigation details law enforcement’s ‘systematic failures’ response to school shooting

Texas Department of Public Safety Director and Colonel Steven C.  McCraw speaks to DPS State Troopers near Robb Elementary School on May 30, 2022 in Uvalde, Texas.

Texas Department of Public Safety Director and Colonel Steven C. McCraw speaks to DPS State Troopers near Robb Elementary School on May 30, 2022 in Uvalde, Texas.
(Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images)

“Respectfully, I plan to appeal the court’s order and file a new information request in the court’s prescribed manner,” he said. “Governor Abbott’s administration is not only withholding basic information about the Uvalde massacre, but is going to great lengths to paint a narrative that absolves the Texas Department of Public Safety of responsibility for the horrific 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 to this community,” Gutierrez concluded.

Law enforcement’s response has come under intense scrutiny. Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, a Republican, initially praised the police’s “quick response” and “amazing courage” in the Uvalde shooting, saying he was “livid” days later and that the officers were “in the wrong.” Partial misinformation with the public.

The Uvalde report found a ‘culture of compliance’ among staff, ‘tacitly condoned’ by managers.

A Texas state Sen. after interrupting Gov. Greg Abbott's press conference at Uvalde High School on May 27, 2022, about the mass elementary school shooting in Uvalde, Texas.  Roland Gutierrez speaks to reporters.

A Texas state Sen. after interrupting Gov. Greg Abbott’s press conference at Uvalde High School on May 27, 2022, about the mass elementary school shooting in Uvalde, Texas. Roland Gutierrez speaks to reporters.
(Yasin Ozturk/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)

Abbott announced Wednesday that DPS will provide more than 30 law enforcement officers to campuses across the Uvalde Consolidated Independent School District (UCISD) for the new school year.

“The start of a new school year should be an exciting time for students and teachers, and the State of Texas is working to provide that for the Uvalde community,” the governor said in a statement. “As a new school year begins, we must ensure that students, parents and all dedicated school staff can look forward to new opportunities to learn and grow. Texas will work to provide all available support and resources to the Uvalde community. Get well.”

Click here to get the Fox News app

“We know that going back to school can be a challenge for many, especially in Uvalde,” McCraw added. “The Texas Department of Public Safety is committed to working with the Uvalde Consolidated Independent School District to ensure that every child, parent and teacher feels safe and protected during this difficult time. There is no more important task.”



Source link

Leave a Comment