Texas law gives police discretion to withhold information if a suspect dies in custody. Legislative efforts to close that loophole have failed, but it has not stopped the families who have been denied video and other records detailing their loved ones’ final moments from speaking out. A KXAN investigation sheds light on the statewide need for police accountability, transparency and trust.
When police in Mesquite, Texas, deny wrongdoing in the 2013 in-custody death of Graham Dyer, 18, his parents request records about the incident. Police then use an obscure state law to withhold those details. Footage eventually surfaces, arming his family with evidence to finally take action against police.
A mother struggles to get evidence after her son, Herman Titus, 21, dies in the Travis County Jail. Newly-obtained records help her piece together what led up to his death and sparks renewed efforts at the Texas Capitol to make it easier for families, journalists and attorneys to obtain details when suspects die in custody.