The need for government transparency is at its highest in relation to law enforcement, Jackson Walker partner Paul C. Watler recently observed in an article he contributed to the Freedom of Information Foundation of Texas. In the piece, Paul called for police to release the Austin bombing suspect’s video confession.
“The time has come for Austin police to exercise the discretion vested in them by state law to release the video in the bombing case.”
The Texas Public Information Act contains provisions permitting law enforcement to withhold information for certain reasons. However, Paul contended in the article that with the bomber’s death, there is no prospect of his prosecution or conviction and little reason to leave essential facts to speculation. By releasing the video, police would fulfill the law’s purpose of transparency and accountability without obstructing a live case.
Paul’s article has been featured in the Austin American-Statesman, Beaumont Enterprise, San Antonio Express-News, El Paso Times, and Victoria Advocate.
Dallas partner Paul C. Watler is a civil trial lawyer widely recognized for First Amendment, media law, and “Bet-the-Company” commercial cases and is Board Certified in Civil Trial Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. Paul’s court victories range from opening up Love Field in Dallas for long-haul airline service to winning one of the most frequently cited Texas Supreme Court opinions on media libel law.