Forrest Wilder writes in The Texas Monthly about the coverup of the massacre at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde. Governor Greg Abbot first praised the response of the state’s Department of Public Safety for their courage. Then he backed off. Since then, the director of the Department of Public Safety Steve McCraw has kept a tight lid on public information. The state has blamed one man–the school’s head of police–who was fired. Wilder suspects that there is much more to be revealed, but no one is talking.

Wilder writes:

Almost five months after the Uvalde massacre, as the horror and confusion recedes for the general public, it’s easy to lose grasp of certain slippery truths, such as this one: Steve McCraw, the longtime director of the Texas Department of Public Safety, has the authority under Texas law right now to release information that could shed light on what happened on May 24, 2022, at Robb Elementary School, when a lone gunman murdered nineteen children and two teachers. Instead, the state’s top lawman has wrapped a cloak of secrecy around the actions of his agency, even as he continues to pin the blame on former school district police chief Pete Arredondo, one of nearly 400 law enforcement agents, including 91 DPS officers, who responded that day.

McCraw often says he wants you to know the truth about Uvalde. He says he yearns for citizens to have the answers to questions such as:

Why did those nearly 400 law enforcement officers—more Texans than died at the Alamo—dither for 77 minutes while a gunman stalked the classrooms amid his dead and dying victims? Was Arredondo actually in charge that day? And who was responsible for the misinformation early on about the “amazing courage” of the police on the scene?

The DPS chief acknowledges that he has the authority to release mountains of information—documents, unedited body-camera footage, audio recordings—that dozens of media organizations and at least 92 individuals have sought through lawsuits and open-records requests. He agrees that he has broad discretion under Texas law to illuminate a police response he has repeatedly called an “abject failure.” And he readily admits that full transparency would be a salve to widespread mistrust of law enforcement by Uvalde residents. “I look forward to releasing all the information, all the evidence . . . because the public is in the best position to look at [it] and determine for themselves,” McCraw said in September.

But, sorry, he won’t do it anytime soon. Don’t blame him, though. He’s just following orders. Well, not orders, but a stern request. As McCraw keeps explaining, the district attorney for Uvalde County, Christina Mitchell Busbee, has asked government officials to keep everything secret until a criminal investigation of the police response is wrapped up, a process that could take years and may result in no prosecutions.

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