Judge Orders FBI to Release Nashville Transgender Shooter's Manifesto

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In an order filed last Friday, United States District Judge Aleta A. Trauger has ordered the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) to release the manifesto of the Nashville, Tennessee, mass murderer Audrey Hale.

Audrey Elizabeth Hale, who police said identified as a trans male and went by Aiden, shot her way into the school in March 2023, killing Mike Hill, 61, Cynthia Peak, 61, Katherine Koonce, 60, and three 9-year-olds, Hallie Scruggs, Evelyn Dieckhaus and William Kinney.

Metropolitan Nashville Police Chief John Drake told reporters that officers recovered a “manifesto” from Hale’s car as well as other documents, including a hand-drawn map of the school. He said last year it would be released, but it has not been.

Parts of the manifesto have been leaked, but the entire document has not been forthcoming despite repeated requests.

Previously on RedState: Reporter Claims ‘Multiple Sources’ Say Nashville Shooter’s Manifesto is ‘EXTREMELY Misleading’ 

Payback: Nashville Police Department Suspends 7 Detectives Over Leak of Transgender Shooter’s Manifesto 

The people of Nashville, and indeed of Tennessee and the United States, have a right to know what is contained in this manifesto. It’s not clear whether Hale’s “transgender” status could have contributed to her actions; after all, the vast majority of “transgender” individuals are not mass murderers. But the larger point is simply that there is no open case here, no ongoing investigation, no pending criminal trial; in other words, there appears to be no reason for the FBI to keep such a tight lid on this document, and the people have a right to know what it contains.

Even though police shot the suspect dead on the school’s second floor, the FBI has repeatedly refused to release the manifesto, arguing that doing so “could reasonably be expected to interfere with enforcement proceedings.”

The parent company of the Tennessee Star, a local newspaper, sued the FBI after the bureau denied its public records request under the Freedom of Information Act.

There are other ongoing demands for the manifesto, and with good reason.

The manifesto is expected to reveal more about the killer’s motive and rage. Critics have questioned the motive behind continued delays in its release.

The National Police Association is also suing the city of Nashville for the same documents.

Again, the people have a right to know what is in this manifesto. Not only will it yield insights into Hale’s motivations and the source of her apparent hate, which burst forth in violence against the Covenant Christian School, but it may well be a catalog of warning signs for any similarly unbalanced individuals who may be contemplating similar action.

Most importantly, this judgment should serve as a stern reminder to the FBI that they work for the citizens of the United States, not the other way around. Any information like this, barring its involvement in an open investigation or ongoing criminal case, should be presumed to be the property of the people and should be made available for the people to see and understand. That is the transparency in government that so many administrations have promised but so few have delivered.

Thanks to Judge Trauger, there is now just a little more transparency in this matter. Let’s hope it’s a trend that continues.

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