News Update

Texas DPS asks AG to withhold body camera video from Uvalde shooting

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According to a report from Vice, the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) has requested that Attorney General Ken Paxton prevent the public release of police body camera video from last month’s shooting at an elementary school in Uvalde. Vice reported it had filed a public records request for “photographs and audio as well as video records” recorded by DPS officers.

“Revealing the marked records would provide criminals with invaluable information concerning Department techniques used to investigate and detect activities of suspected criminal elements; how information is assessed and analyzed; how information is shared among partner law enforcement agencies and the lessons learned from the analysis of prior criminal activities,” DPS wrote to Paxton’s office, according to Vice. “Knowing the intelligence and response capabilities of Department personnel and where those employees focus their attention will compromise law enforcement purposes by enabling criminals to anticipate weakness in law enforcement procedures and alter their methods of operation in order to avoid detection and apprehension.”

The police response to the shooting has come under fire, with the bulk of it centered around the decision to treat the shooter as a barricaded subject and not an active shooter. Parents were also frustrated with police not allowing them to enter the school to stop the shooter themselves.

Paxton will review audio and body camera video from the Uvalde shooting to determine if any of it can be released.

On the same day the Vice report came out, state and federal lawmakers made progress on legislation addressing gun violence. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) pledged to move quickly on advancing the bipartisan gun reform framework through the Senate. The framework was announced over the weekend.

“For the first time in a long time, the Senate has a path forward on legislation that will save lives, reduce gun violence, and keep our communities safe,” Sen. Schumer said Monday. “Make no mistake about it, we have a lot of work left to do before we actually pass a bill. But yesterday’s announcement was a positive and necessary step in the right direction.”

Meanwhile in Ohio, Gov. Mike DeWine (R) signed a bill that allows the arming of school employees as soon as this fall. The law requires up to 24 hours of training before an employee can be armed, and up to eight hours of annual training afterwards.

“Let me just say what this does not do. It does not require any school in the state of Ohio to arm teachers or other staff members,” Gov. DeWine said Monday. “Although this bill was in development well before the recent tragedy in Texas, that heartbreaking school shooting certainly certainly increased the urgency to enact it.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Jimmie Johnson: THERE ARE STILL UNANSWERED QUESTIONS FOLLOWING THE MASS SHOOTING AT A TEXAS ELEMENTARY SCHOOL.
ONE OF THE BIG ONES – IS WHETHER OR NOT POLICE BODY CAM VIDEO WILL EVER BE RELEASED.
ON MONDAY — VICE REPORTED THE TEXAS DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC SAFETY ASKED THE STATE’S ATTORNEY GENERAL TO NOT RELEASE IT.
THE DEPARTMENT IS CONCERNED POTENTIAL SHOOTERS COULD USE THE VIDEO TO DETERMINE “WEAKNESSES” IN POLICE RESPONSE TO CRIMES.
THEIR ACTIONS THREE WEEKS AGO IN UVALDE ARE STILL BEING WIDELY CRITICIZED – NOTABLY FOR THE DECISION TO TREAT THE SHOOTER AS A BARRICADED SUBJECT – AND NOT AN ACTIVE SHOOTER.
MEANWHILE — FEDERAL AND STATE LAWMAKERS ARE MOVING AHEAD ON TWO VERY DIFFERENT PLANS TO ADDRESS GUN VIOLENCE.
IN WASHINGTON — SENATE MAJORITY LEADER CHUCK SCHUMER PLEDGED TO MOVE QUICKLY ON THE FRAMEWORK FOR A BIPARTISAN BILL THAT WAS AGREED UPON OVER THE WEEKEND.
IT OFFERS MODEST GUN RESTRICTIONS — ALONG WITH EFFORTS TO IMPROVE SCHOOL SAFETY AND MENTAL HEALTH PROGRAMS.
Sen. Chuck Schumer | (D) New York: “All together, this framework is a good and necessary first step towards changing the reality of gun violence in America. It will lay the foundation for future action. Most importantly, this legislation will go a long ways to saving lives.”}
Jimmie Johnson: THERE’S ALSO ACTION ON THE STATE LEVEL.
OHIO’S GOVERNOR SIGNED A BILL TO ARM SCHOOL EMPLOYEES AS SOON AS THIS FALL.
Gov. Mike DeWine | (R) Ohio: “Let me just say what this does not do. It does not require any school in the state of Ohio to arm teachers or other staff members. Schools are not required to do this. And we’ve also already seen schools that have made that decision not to do it. We’ve seen other schools that have made the decision to do it. And we’ve seen a lot of schools that have not announced anything.”

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According to a report from Vice, the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) has requested that Attorney General Ken Paxton prevent the public release of police body camera video from last month’s shooting at an elementary school in Uvalde. Vice reported it had filed a public records request for “photographs and audio as well as video records” recorded by DPS officers.

“Revealing the marked records would provide criminals with invaluable information concerning Department techniques used to investigate and detect activities of suspected criminal elements; how information is assessed and analyzed; how information is shared among partner law enforcement agencies and the lessons learned from the analysis of prior criminal activities,” DPS wrote to Paxton’s office, according to Vice. “Knowing the intelligence and response capabilities of Department personnel and where those employees focus their attention will compromise law enforcement purposes by enabling criminals to anticipate weakness in law enforcement procedures and alter their methods of operation in order to avoid detection and apprehension.”

The police response to the shooting has come under fire, with the bulk of it centered around the decision to treat the shooter as a barricaded subject and not an active shooter. Parents were also frustrated with police not allowing them to enter the school to stop the shooter themselves.

Paxton will review audio and body camera video from the Uvalde shooting to determine if any of it can be released.

On the same day the Vice report came out, state and federal lawmakers made progress on legislation addressing gun violence. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) pledged to move quickly on advancing the bipartisan gun reform framework through the Senate. The framework was announced over the weekend.

“For the first time in a long time, the Senate has a path forward on legislation that will save lives, reduce gun violence, and keep our communities safe,” Sen. Schumer said Monday. “Make no mistake about it, we have a lot of work left to do before we actually pass a bill. But yesterday’s announcement was a positive and necessary step in the right direction.”

Meanwhile in Ohio, Gov. Mike DeWine (R) signed a bill that allows the arming of school employees as soon as this fall. The law requires up to 24 hours of training before an employee can be armed, and up to eight hours of annual training afterwards.

“Let me just say what this does not do. It does not require any school in the state of Ohio to arm teachers or other staff members,” Gov. DeWine said Monday. “Although this bill was in development well before the recent tragedy in Texas, that heartbreaking school shooting certainly certainly increased the urgency to enact it.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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