RIO GRANDE CITY, Texas (ValleyCentral) — A bill that has passed the Texas house and Senate is being praised by some in local law enforcement for promoting transparency.
The bill is known as the “Dead Suspect Loophole.”
A fight to close the controversial Dead Suspect Loophole is nearing completion. The bill is in the spotlight again months after police released bodycam video of the day a gunman opened fire at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde was released.
It was a dark day for Texas when the video showed what many felt was inaction by police at the school.
The bill has passed the House and Senate in Austin and if signed into law, it closes the Dead Suspect Loophole — an exemption in the Texas Public Information Act that allowed police to withhold records if a suspect did not go through the legal process.
It is used if the suspect is dead as was the case in Uvalde. After that horrific day, Texas House Speaker Dade Phelan tweeted, “it would be absolutely unconscionable to use the ‘Dead Suspect Loophole’ to thwart the release of information that is so badly needed and deserved right now.”
We spoke with one member of the local law enforcement community who actually applauds this bill. He says that’s because it promotes transparency, overall helping with the all-important bond of trust police have with the community.
“Any case that you have, you need the public to trust the officers, the investigators to be able to give you information. Any good detective will tell you that no case is solved without the help of the public,” Jose Solis, Assistant Chief with the Rio Grande City Police Department said.
Solis believes in this era of social media – a lot can be spread about a case that is not factual and the public needs to see things for themselves.
“If a situation were to occur where there is an officer-involved shooting, the people would have the right to know and sometimes it’s best to release the information as soon as possible,” Solis noted.
He adds this release of information is when the investigation is concluded.
The bill has not been signed into the law by Texas Governor Greg Abbott.