Tennessee court to decide if school shooting families can keep police records from public release

by | Oct 17, 2023 | Religion

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — A lawsuit over whether the families of school shooting victims have a right to control what the public learns about a massacre was argued inside a packed Tennessee courtroom on Monday, the latest turn in an intense public records battle.The person who killed three 9-year-old children and three adults at a private Christian elementary school in Nashville this spring left behind at least 20 journals, a suicide note and a memoir, according to court filings. The debate over those writings and other records has pitted grieving parents and traumatized children against a coalition which includes two news organizations, a state senator and a gun-rights group.
That coalition requested police records on the Covenant School shooting through the Tennessee Public Records Act earlier this year. When the Metro Nashville Police Department declined their request, they sued. Metro government attorneys have said the records can be made public, but only after the investigation is officially closed, which could take months. The groups seeking the documents say the case is essentially over since the only suspect is dead — the shooter was killed by police — so the records should be immediately released.
But that argument has taken a back seat to a different question: What rights do victims have, and who is a legitimate party to a public records case?
Chancery Court Judge I’Ashea Myles ruled in May that a group of more than 100 Covenant families could intervene in the case. The families are seeking to keep th …

Article Attribution | Read More at Article Source

Share This