Temple (FOX 44/KWKT) — The City of Temple wants Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton’s office to make a ruling on a request from FOX 44 News.
After a Bell County Jury found Carmen DeCruz not guilty of manslaughter in the shooting death of Michael Dean, FOX 44 News filed an open records request for all video recorded during the incident on December 2, 2019.
FOX 44 News asked for the video because of the public interest around the case and the questions that surrounded the deadly shooting of Michael Dean.
The video was shown during open court during the trial of Carmen DeCruz, which took place over three weeks in January and February of 2023.
The City of Temple wants to know if the video is subject to an exception to disclosure because former Temple Police officer Carmen DeCruz was found not guilty.
Temple also informed Paxton’s office that the Dean family has filed a lawsuit against the city, filed by his sister on behalf of his children. That wrongful death lawsuit is still pending.
In its letter to the Attorney General’s office, the City of Temple argues that despite the video being played in open court, the Supreme Court of Texas has ruled in the past that showing video during a court proceeding does not give the public or press unlimited access to trial exhibits.
The City of Temple also states in its letter that releasing the video publicly will not give viewers the same context around the footage that courtroom viewers received. The city believes that could taint the civil jury pool.
The city reached out to the family of Michael Dean to weigh in on the release of dash and body cam video. Dean’s family may file an objection to the release of video showing his death.
You can read the full request below:
FOX 44 News will file another report when the Texas Attorney General’s office responds to the City of Temple.