SAN ANTONIO — What were Texas Department of Public Safety troopers doing for more than an hour at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde while a gunman was in a classroom with dead and wounded children and teachers?
DPS officials have criticized local law enforcement but have refused to provide any information about what DPS did or didn't do that day.
KENS 5 is joining 17 other media companies in a lawsuit seeking to require DPS to release information on its role during the Uvalde massacre.
Body cam videos from the Uvalde Police Department show hundreds of officers responding to Robb Elementary School on May 24. They are seen huddling in hallways but taking no action for more than a hour to stop the gunman inside a classroom where some children were still alive.
DPS has publicly blamed local law enforcement and Uvalde CISD Police Chief Pete Arredondo for failing to immediately confront the gunman.
An investigation by the Texas House reveals 376 law enforcement officers descended on the school, and 91 of them were DPS troopers. The report criticizes DPS and federal agencies for not taking control after the Uvalde ISD police chief failed to take charge.
DPS has withheld most information related to the murder of 19 students and two teachers, claiming an ongoing investigation, even though the 18-year-old gunman who was responsible is dead.
The lawsuit details how in the immediate aftermath of the tragedy and continuing for the past two months, DPS has offered conflicting accounts regarding the response of law enforcement.
The lawsuit contends 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.
KENS 5 and other media organizations have submitted dozens of public information act requests to DPS.
Among the records sought are a list of DPS personnel who responded to Robb Elementary, including their ranks, and recordings of their body camera video footage and timelines.
DPS has disclosed extensive information through public testimony but has not provided it to the public.
The Texas Public Information Act states each person is entitled, unless otherwise expressly provided by law, to complete information about the acts of public officials and employees like DPS.
That is what KENS 5 is seeking for the community of Uvalde and for all of us.