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January 1, The Dead Suspects Loophole: Hiding The Truth

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ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY…
On May 11th, 330 CE, the Roman Emperor Constantine I founded… READ MORE ABOUT THIS HISTORIC DAY HERE

I read an article in the Texas Tribune today I felt was worth sharing with y’all.

The article discusses the case of Patty Troyan, whose son Logan Castello, a 21-year-old private first class in the Army, died by suicide in 2019. The city of Killeen’s legal department used a “dead suspects loophole” in Texas’ public records law to withhold or heavily redact details surrounding Castello’s death.

This loophole was originally intended to protect the privacy of individuals accused of crimes that were never substantiated. However, it has been increasingly used to withhold information in cases of non-officer-related suicides and deaths in police custody.

Texas Democratic state Rep. Joe Moody is attempting to close this loophole to promote transparency and accountability. The article also highlights the increasing suicide rates among active-duty service members, emphasizing the need for open communication and support for the affected families.

In the tragic case of Logan Castello, a 21-year-old private first class in the Army stationed at Fort Hood, who took his own life in November 2019, it seems the very institutions sworn to protect us are instead hiding behind bureaucratic red tape.

The city of Killeen’s legal department cited a “dead suspects loophole” in Texas’ public records law, withholding crucial details surrounding Castello’s death from his grieving mother, Patty Troyan.

Now, I’m no stranger to the hardships of life, but when a mother loses her son, the least she deserves is a clear understanding of the events that transpired. The city’s use of this loophole is, quite frankly, a perversion of justice.

The rule was meant to protect the privacy of individuals accused of crimes that were never substantiated, not to shield information from grieving families.

Not only has this loophole been used to withhold information in cases where suspects die in police custody or at the hands of officers, but it has been applied to non-officer-related suicides as well.

This practice is a blatant misuse of the Public Information Act and exemplifies how law enforcement agencies have become experts in twisting the law to serve their own interests.

As a patriot, I believe in transparency and accountability. When our institutions fail to provide honest answers to those who have suffered the ultimate loss, they betray the very principles upon which our great nation was founded.

Texas Democratic state Rep. Joe Moody is attempting to close this loophole, and I stand behind him in his efforts to restore transparency and trust in our public institutions.

The increasing suicide rates among active-duty service members are a pressing concern that demands our attention. Withholding information only exacerbates the pain and confusion felt by the families left behind.

We must demand more from our institutions, and we must hold them accountable for their actions.

As for Logan Castello, his memory deserves better. He was a young man with a bright future, a caring and charismatic individual, who tragically succumbed to depression.

Instead of hiding behind legal technicalities, our public institutions should be working to support the families affected by such tragedies, providing them with the information and closure they desperately need.

It’s time to close the dead suspects loophole and restore the principles of transparency and accountability that our nation was built upon. Only then can we begin to address the issues that plague our communities and provide solace to those who have lost so much.


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