AUSTIN (KXAN) — On Thursday, a private law firm hired by the city of Uvalde and Uvalde police released a 15-day brief that was sent to Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton’s office regarding the release of information surrounding the city’s May 24 school shooting.
In the brief, Denton Navarro Rocha Bernal & Zech, P.C. said that 148 open records requests were made between May 25 and June 8. These requests included body camera footage, 911 calls, photos and more.
Many of the requests were deemed subject to exception from disclosure, according to the city.
Through an open records request made after the shooting, KXAN requested the 911 recordings, computer-aided dispatch (CAD) report and transcriptions of calls made surrounding the shooting. None of the requested records have been provided.
In the letter to Paxton, the law firm said the city of Uvalde has not voluntarily released any information to the public.
Multiple sections from the Texas Government Code were cited as reasons to not provide the information made in the requests.
The law firm cited sections that said the release of the information would interfere with the pending investigation, and thus is considered confidential by law. The city also claimed that requests for body camera footage did not provide necessary information and therefore were not specific enough to be granted.
Under the Texas Government Code, requests made to a law enforcement agency for information recorded by a body-worn camera must provide the date and approximate time of the recording, the specific location where the recording occurred, and the name of one or more people known to be a subject of the recording.
Claims for an invasion of privacy were also made in the letter. These claims were made against the disclosure of an individual’s birth date and criminal history information made in requests.
“Under the common-law right of privacy, an individual has a right to be free from the publicizing of private affairs in which the public has no legitimate concern,” the law firm said.
Attorney-client privilege was also listed as a reason some information could not be provided. This was concerning certain requested information for communications between the city and the counsel for the city that consisted of legal counsel, such as advice, strategy, analysis, recommendations and opinions.
Other information was also cited to fall within the guidelines of categories previously excepted from release— examples included police officer training guides, policy and procedure manuals, shift change schedules, security details and blueprints of secured facilities.
The law firm said the confidentiality of law enforcement also excluded information from being released. Requests for the addresses, telephone numbers, Social Security numbers or personal family information could not be granted.
Certain motor vehicle records are also excepted from disclosure, according to the law firm.
Information requests related to a vehicle’s operator, driver’s license or permit, a vehicle’s title or registration or personal identification documents cannot be granted.
A section over the confidentiality of access device numbers and credit, debit and charge card information collected, assembled or maintained by or for a government body was also listed as information that should be withheld from the public.
Information concerning a public employee or officer’s personal safety was also listed as an exception because the information could subject city employees, officers and officials to a substantial threat of physical harm.
Paxton has up to 45 business days to respond to the report after it is received.