State Senator Sues DPS for Violations
of Public Info Law in Uvalde Shooting

Capitol Inside
June 22, 2022

A state lawmaker who represents Uvalde took the Department of Public Safety to court on Wednesday amid the assertion that the agency has ignored a request for information that he submitted more than three weeks ago in a quest to get answers on a monumental failure by police during a mass school shooting.

Democratic State Senator Roland Gutierrez of San Antonio filed a lawsuit in Travis County on the grounds that the DPS has been violating state law by failing to respond to an open records request that he made on May 31 or to seek an opinion from Attorney General Ken Paxton on the matter.

Texas law requires state officials and agencies to either fill a request within 10 days of its submission or to have the state's top lawyer rule on whether the information that's being sought must be turned over or can remain confidential with a wide array of loopholes for potential justifications. But Gutierrez argues in the court petition that the DPS has done neither since the initial deadline for taking action on the request expired two weeks ago.

"In the wake of this massacre, the State of Texas has completely failed to provide the community of Uvalde with truthful answers," Gutierrez said. "Weeks have come and gone, and yet families who lost their children have not been told by their government the basic information about who was on site as their children bled, what tools were at their disposal to stop the gunman, and exactly why they decided to wait instead of act."

"From the very start, the response to this awful gun tragedy has been full of misinformation and outright lies from our government," the Alamo City legislator added.

Gutierrez questioned DPS Director Steve McCraw at a special Texas Senate committee hearing on a conversation that they two had in the aftermath of the massacre at Robb Elementary. McCraw didn't deny saying that he told Gutierrez in the rampage's aftermath that DPS officers would never stand down again - a statement that implies that they did in Uvalde. The veteran lawman indicated, however, that he didn't remember exactly what he said in the conversation.

But Gutierrez may be fighting an uphill challenge in the face of an elaborately orchestrated attempt by some of the state's highest-ranking leaders to shovel all the blame for the police blundering in Uvalde on the local school district chief Pete Arredondo. After having a special Senate panel grill McCraw for nearly four hours on Tuesday, Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick made it clear last night on Fox News that the fix is in on Arredondo.

Patrick told host Laura Ingraham that Arredondo "failed in leadership" - adding an inflammatory line that will exacerbate suffering and grieving in the small Texas city about 60 miles from the border.

"Now we can conclude, Laura, that there are children who may have died because we didn't get to them soon enough - or teachers," Patrick said without evidence. "We don't know that for sure. But they should have gone in there right away and they didn't go in and the door was open."

McCraw escalated an assault on Arredondo's personal integrity and character when he tried to get into the local officer's head at the Senate hearing.

"The only thing stopping a hallway of dedicated officers from entering room 111 and 112 was the on-scene commander, who decided to place the lives of officers before the lives of children," McCraw said.

more to come ...




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