Image Credit: Holly Abernathy / 6q Creative
The Center Square [By Jon Styf] –
Star News has filed an appeal for the expedited release of writings from the Nashville Covenant School shooter.
The Freedom of Information Act appeal states Star News requested the expedited public records April 20 and the Federal Bureau of Investigation denied the request April 25.
The shooter, who killed three children and three school staff, was shot and killed at Nashville’s Covenant School by responding police officers March 27.
Metro Nashville Police released body cam video of the officers’ arrival at the school along with releasing a photo of the Honda Fit driven by the shooter but have not released the shooter’s writings and the public records appeal states “the killer’s motives remain unknown to the public.”
“Audrey Hale murdered 6 Christians, and many Tennesseans are demanding that their state legislature ‘do something,’ “ Tennessee state Rep. Jeremy Faison, R-Cosby, wrote earlier this week. “We cannot possibly address this horrific situation until we know what was in her manifesto. I am calling on the Metropolitan Nashville Police Department & the FBI to immediately release this document so we can examine it, then take the appropriate steps.”
Democratic leaders, however, are not in agreement and Rep. Vincent Dixie, D-Nashville, said in response to Faison “This whole post is idiotic. An excuse to delay taking action. Who gives a (expletive) why it happened? It happened!! We know what could possibly help prevent the next mass shooting but cowardice seems to prevail. #universalbackgroundchecks #banAR15s #banhighcapicitymagazines”
The appeal was filed by the Wisconsin Institute of Law & Liberty with the Justice Department’s Office of Information.
“There is no criminal prosecution, investigation, or other legal proceeding. FBI is apparently attempting to interpret the manifesto, but at this point, interpreting or reviewing the manifesto is an academic exercise,” the appeal stated. “In short, there is simply no reason why FBI cannot release the manifesto.”
Metro Nashville Council member Courtney Johnston publicly opposed the release of the writings in an interview with Fox 17 Nashville.
Rep. Todd Warner, R-Chapel Hill, then released a statement in response to Johnston where he called for the FBI to release an uncensored version of the writings.
“The statements of Nashville Councilwoman Courtney Johnston to withhold the manifesto of Covenant School shooter Audrey Hale are both outrageous and alarming,” Warner wrote. “Tennesseans and the families of the Covenant School Shooting victims deserve to have transparency and justice in the midst of this tragic hate crime. Instead of automatically targeting 2nd amendment rights— as numerous Tennessee Leaders have proposed— there should be an outright demand for the public release of these records. This evidence is pertinent to the public welfare.”
About the Author: Jon Styf, The Center Square Staff Reporter – Jon Styf is an award-winning editor and reporter who has worked in Illinois, Texas, Wisconsin, Florida and Michigan in local newsrooms over the past 20 years, working for Shaw Media, Hearst and several other companies. Follow Jon on Twitter @JonStyf.