25 News joins media organizations filing suit against Texas DPS in wake of Uvalde shooting

Lawsuit claims agency failed to disclose public information related to the murder of 19 children and 2 teachers at Robb Elementary.
Texas DPS Lawsuit
Posted at 10:42 PM, Aug 01, 2022
and last updated 2022-08-02 00:11:54-04

AUSTIN, Texas – 25 News has joined a coalition of over a dozen media organizations to file a lawsuit against the Texas Department of Public Safety for its alleged failure to disclose information available to the public.

The suit, filed in Travis County today, claims the agency has refused numerous public information requests, related to the Uvalde school massacre, or selectively released parts of requests, which DPS claims "will not undermine its investigation."

25 News has filed at least six requests, some of which are used as evidence in the lawsuit, under the Texas Public Information Act, but our news team has been repeatedly told that the agency cannot release the information as part of an ongoing investigation.

"The conflicting information offered by DPS, and its willingness to blame local law enforcement without addressing the conduct of its own officers, has caused frustration, disbelief, and confusion for members of the Uvalde community," the plaintiffs said in the lawsuit.

The plantiffs, including 25 News, have requested information from DPS including 911 recordings, body camera footage, timelines, interview records and a list of responding DPS officers to Robb Elementary on May 24.

Public information officers with DPS have repeatedly said that the information in question is part of an ongoing criminal investigation despite Jim McCraw, director of Texas DPS, testifying to the Texas state senate last month the shooter acted alone in the massacre.

"DPS has already sought to sway public opinion, and cannot now claim that allowing the public to view the basis for those conclusions would somehow undermine a hypothetical prosecution," the coalition of media organizations said in the lawsuit.

Texas DPS had 91 law enforcement personnel in Uvalde during the massacre, second only to 149 agents with U.S. Customs and Border Protection.

The full list of plantiffs in the lawsuit include: The Texas Tribune; ABC News; CBS News; Cable News Network, Inc.; Dow Jones & Co.; Gannett Co., Inc.; Graham Media Group, Houston; Graham Media Group, San Antonio; NBC News; The New York Times Co.; Pro Publica, Inc.; Scripps Media, Inc.; TEGNA Inc.; and The Washington Post.