US public radio reported on Saturday that officials in Ovaldi, Texas, are taking advantage of loopholes and other laws in the state to keep documents from the recent shootout that killed 21 people.
“Since the May 24 shooting at Robb Elementary School, law enforcement officials have provided little and sometimes conflicting information. Despite increased public pressure, the Texas Public Security Department, which investigated the matter, concluded that some Reporting of the events was preliminary and subject to change as more witnesses were interviewed,” NPR reported.
As explained, the city hired a private law firm, which cited a legal loophole relating, inter alia, to a “dead suspect” for refusing to disclose information.
NPR noted that “the law prohibits the public disclosure of information about unconfirmed crimes. The Texas Attorney General’s Office has determined that this exception also applies when the suspect has died.”
Kelly Shannon, executive director of the Freedom of Information Foundation in Texas, notes that the law was created in the 1990s to protect people who were wrongly accused or whose cases were dismissed.
“This is to protect the innocent. (…) But sometimes it is used and abused in ways that were never intended,” Shannon assesses.
Police who arrived at the Ovaldi shooting scene have faced criticism for delaying the rescue operation.
Andrei Dobroolsky from New York
To the article: USA: Yuvaldi Texas authorities use loopholes to block shooting-related documents
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