Thursday 6 June 2024

FBI Told Nashville Police Release Of School Shooter Writings Would Lead To ‘Conspiracy Theories,’ ‘Inaccurate Info’

 A newly revealed memo shows that the FBI told the Metro Nashville Police Department that the release of a school shooter’s writings could lead to “conspiracy theories” and “inaccurate information” in the weeks following fatal shootings at a Christian school in Nashville, according to a report from The Tennessee Star.

The memo, dated May 11, 2023, and recently obtained by The Star, was sent to Nashville Chief of Police John Drake after a transgender-identifying woman killed six people, including three children, at The Covenant School. It was also sent just days after Star News Digital Media, owner of The Tennessee Star, filed multiple lawsuits seeking the release of the killer’s writings, which have remained sealed both by Nashville police and the FBI. 

While the memo does specifically mention The Covenant School shooting, it tells Drake that a mass shooter’s writings and other documents, referred to as “legacy tokens,” should not be released to the public. The memo came from the FBI’s Critical Incident Response Group in Quantico, Virginia. 

Inside the memo, the FBI argued that the public should not have access to a shooter’s materials because the writings would be misinterpreted and may inspire further attacks. 

“Reasonably, the request often proffered by those seeking the release of the materials revolves around the public’s need to understand what led to such tragic events,” the FBI said. “Yet, legacy tokens seldom provide the answers or comfort sought by the public and surviving victims.  Offender’s words are often misleading, biased, or lacking insight.”

The FBI said the release would also lead to “conspiracy theories.”

“Public access to legacy tokens will also facilitate false narratives and inaccurate information. For personal gain, self-professed ‘experts’ will proffer their perspectives on the motivations behind the attack,” the memo said. “This also may lead to unintended consequences for the segment of the population more vulnerable or open to conspiracy theories, which will undoubtedly abound.”


Metro Nashville Police Department Public Affairs Director Don Aaron told The Star on Tuesday that the FBI’s Behavioral Analysis Unit has been working with Nashville police on the investigation into the shooting.  

The release of the Covenant shooter’s so-called “manifesto” has been held up for months as both the FBI and Metro Nashville have refused to release the materials. A group of families from the school have also sought to block the release of the materials. 

A Davidson County judge is currently looking at a lawsuit against the police brought by a group, including The Star, looking to release the shooter’s writings, while a federal judge is considering a similar challenge against the FBI. The Nashville Police said that it expects to release its full report and most of the shooter’s writings in July, adding that its investigation is ongoing. 

A small portion was leaked in November by podcaster Steven Crowder, who obtained three photographs of the alleged writings. The pages included racial slurs against white children as well as an itinerary for “death day,” which articulated her intent to have a “high death count.”

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