Sometimes seeing is believing. But in Texas, at least, it’s not always that easy. Thanks to an obscure loophole in the Texas Public Information Act, law enforcement agencies can withhold evidence, including dash cam footage and recordings, if a suspect didn’t go through the court process. On this week’s episode, Josh Hinkle and Sarah Rafique of TV station KXAN discuss their investigation into the law’s unintended effects. Information in cases involving dead suspects — including deaths in police custody — can remain confidential, even to family of the deceased.
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Looking for links to the stories and resources we discussed on this week’s podcast? We’ve collected them for you.
- Watch KXAN’s investigation, “Denied,” and explore documents related to the story.
- Read Josh’s piece in the Texas Tribune that accompanies that investigation.
- Go behind the investigation and see how other states compare to Texas.
- Members only: Download the tipsheet “The Federal Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) and YOU!” by Katie Townsend.
- Members only: Download the tipsheet “Driving Impact Through Multi-Platform Reporting” by Mark Greenblatt.
- Want to learn more about investigating police? Listen to our podcast episodes “Sheriff Joe,” “Protect and Surveil” and “Killed By the Cops.
Building the Sled (Blue Dot Sessions) / CC BY-NC 3.0
Roundpine (Blue Dot Sessions) / CC BY-NC 4.0
The Records (Blue Dot Sessions) / CC BY-NC 4.0
Greyleaf Willow (Blue Dot Sessions) / CC BY-NC 4.0
Slow Line Stomp (Blue Dot Sessions) / CC BY-NC 4.0
Then A Gambling Problem (Blue Dot Sessions) / CC BY-NC 4.0
Lamprey (Blue Dot Sessions) / CC BY-NC 4.0