The city of Galveston is seeking to delay the release of video from a September police chase that ended in a fatal crash in La Marque.
The city on Wednesday sent a letter to Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton asking to be allowed to withhold the release of dash camera and body camera video of police officers’ pursuit of Jim Battle Brown.
The city cited an internal police investigation into the crash as the reason to withhold the videos.
On Sept. 14, Brown led officers on a chase from the Galveston causeway to La Marque in what police said was a stolen SUV.
The chase ended at the intersection of FM 519 and the Interstate 45 feeder road, when Brown ran a red light and crashed the SUV into another vehicle.
Brown died from injuries he suffered in the crash, police said.
The Daily News requested a copy of dash camera footage and body camera video from the cars and officers involved in the chase.
On Wednesday, the Galveston City Attorney’s Office sent a letter to Paxton asking to withhold release of the video under an exception in the state’s open records law that allows material from an on-going criminal investigation to be kept secret.
The Daily News sought clarification on the city’s letter, noting that Brown was dead and not under investigation.
On Thursday, the City Attorney’s Office said it would amend the request and that it should have cited an ongoing internal investigation at the police department.
The police department is conducting a formal administrative inquiry into the chase because it ended in a fatality, Galveston Police Chief Vernon Hale said.
While the internal investigation was not yet complete, Hale said he was confident the three officers involved in the pursuit did not do anything to cause the crash. The officers did not attempt the disable Brown’s SUV by striking it with their own vehicles or by putting out spike strips in the road, Hale said. Spike strips are devises police sometimes use to flatten the tires of vehicles they need to stop.
None of the officers was reassigned or taken off duty after the crash, Hale said.