(NewsNation) — A manifesto written by a school shooter is at the center of a complex legal battle in Nashville, Tennessee.
In March, shooter Audrey Hale, who identified as transgender and had no criminal record, shot and killed three children and three adults at Covenant School. Early on, police announced they had recovered writings they described as a manifesto.
Now, some parents are on a mission to keep those writings from being released to the public.
There’s been intense debate over this manifesto and why the police haven’t released it, including whether it has to do with the fact that the shooter identified as transgender. Early on, police said they wouldn’t be releasing the writings. Then they pivoted and said they’re not releasing them because it’s an ongoing investigation.
The FBI has reviewed the writings and a number of lawsuits have now been filed to force the police to release the documents. The matter will be heard by a Tennessee judge next week. It was originally scheduled for Thursday, but has been pushed to next Monday.
Earlier this week, 66 Republican lawmakers sent a letter to the chief of the Nashville Metro Police requesting “the release of the perpetrator’s writings as well as relevant medical records and toxicology reports.”
They said in the letter: “If we hope to pass meaningful legislation that effectively deters this kind of targeted attack, we must have all the facts to make informed decisions.”
But for the first time, parents of the victims are weighing in. Last night, attorneys representing them filed a brief and said they do not want the shooter’s manifesto released.
“No one was more traumatized or has suffered more than the families of the victims and of the survivors of the Covenant school tragedy and no one can claim a remotely similar interest in whether the writings of the shooter should be released,” the brief read.
The families write that no good will come from releasing the writings and they should not be released at all, calling them the dangerous and harmful writings of a mentally damaged person.
They’re asking the judge to, at the very least, not release any of the writings until June 8 so that the “children of Covenant school might finish the school year in peace.”