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Uvalde DA fights release of records against families’ wishes

Uvalde’s district attorney has joined the Texas Department of Public Safety in fighting the release of public records related to last year’s mass shooting at Robb Elementary School, arguing that all of the families who lost children want them withheld. But attorneys for a vast majority of the families are refuting that claim, saying that the information should be made public.

“These Uvalde families fundamentally deserve the opportunity to gain the most complete factual picture possible of what happened to their children,” wrote Brent Ryan Walker, one of the attorneys who represents the parents of 16 deceased children and one who survived, in a court affidavit filed Tuesday evening.

Numerous news organizations, including The Texas Tribune and ProPublica, are suing DPS for records that could provide a more complete picture of law enforcement’s response to the shooting, which left 19 students and two teachers dead in the border community.

The state’s top police agency has refused to release records, including incident reports, internal communications, ballistic reports and body-camera footage.

Last week, Uvalde District Attorney Christina Mitchell supported DPS’ position in a court filing. Disclosing such records could jeopardize any criminal charges Mitchell may seek in response to an investigation by the Texas Rangers, her office wrote.

Mitchell did not respond to multiple requests for comment. She previously told the Tribune that “every adult that was in that building is going to be looked at,” including law enforcement officials. She has not clarified whether she plans to pursue prosecutions.

Attorneys for the coalition of news organizations argued that DPS is required to show how releasing records could harm its investigation. The agency, attorneys wrote, has not provided that explanation but instead asserted that Mitchell has “unlimited power” to unilaterally decide what information should be withheld. DPS officials did not respond to

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