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Why Texas Can't Withold 911 Tapes

Voice of America via Wikimedia Commons
A makeshift memorial to the victims of the Sandy Hook mass shooting.

On Dec. 14, it will have been exactly one year since the school massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Connecticut that killed a total of 28 people, including 20 children.

Over the past several days, national news media organizations have been struggling with the question of whether to publish the recently released 911 calls. Clearly, many victims' families simply want to be left alone – to not be forced to relive the horror. And yet a Connecticut judge ruled to release those tapes, citing state law. 

Other states specifically prohibit the release of 911 tapes. What about Texas? 

KUT's David Brown speaks with Stacy Allen, an Austin-based attorney with Jackson Walker L.L.P. He has represented Texas media organizations before the state legislature on public information. He says the law in Texas leans toward making public information … public.

Listen to their conversation in the audio player above.  

Emily Donahue is a former grants writer for KUT. She previously served as news director and helped launch KUT’s news department in 2001.