The Texas Observer reports that the Texas Department of Public Safety will release documents the Observer and other media outlets have requested regarding allegations that pro-choice activists brought jars of feces and urine to the Capitol when protesting extreme anti-abortion legislation this summer. Religious-right groups and Republican politicians like Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst have used those allegations — for which the DPS and Dewhurst have provided no evidence — to attack pro-choice activists as an unruly mob.
The DPS had earlier asked the Texas Attorney General’s Office for an official opinion on whether it must turn over any such information. The department now appears to have reversed course and says it will release that information, the Observer reports.
“Republicans have complained that Poopgate is silly. Here’s the thing: This is a ridiculous scandal. And it’s one that exists (and continues on and on) because of DPS and Dewhurst. In the heat of an unprecedented moment at the Texas Capitol, the state law enforcement agency issued a press release accusing citizens of bringing jars of ‘suspected’ feces and urine into the Capitol but has been unable to point to any evidence to back up its claims. None of the DPS troopers interviewed by The Texas Tribune claim to have seen the ‘suspected’ jars. David Dewhurst claimed to have personally seen ‘bags’ of feces but then later changed his story. Now, DPS has been uncharacteristically sloppy in handling a legally-binding request for more information. Something stinks.”