FBI advises against releasing Covenant School shooter's manifesto

The federal agency cited potential risks to school security and the possibility of inspiring future attacks.

FBI advises against releasing Covenant School shooter's manifesto
AP Photo/George Walker IV
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The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has reportedly advised the Metro Nashville Police Department (MNPD) to refrain from releasing the manifesto written by the perpetrator of the Covenant School shooting.

In a memo dated May 11, 2023, approximately six weeks after the attack, officials from the FBI's Critical Incident Response Group cautioned Chief John Drake about the dangers of making "legacy tokens," such as the shooter's writings and documents, public, the Blaze reports.

The memo, which does not explicitly mention the Covenant School tragedy or the transgender shooter, strongly discourages the dissemination of legacy tokens. The FBI argues that releasing such materials could contribute to future attacks, fail to provide answers or comfort to the public and survivors, and facilitate the spread of false narratives and conspiracy theories.

"Public release of legacy tokens from all mass shootings, but school shootings in particular, will likely spark incredibly intense interest and study by potential offenders who are considering a school-based attack," the memo states. "For all the reasons listed above, release of legacy tokens such as this would endanger school security across the country."

The MNPD has confirmed that the FBI's Behavioral Analysis Unit has been assisting in the Covenant School investigation. The fate of the shooter's manifesto remains uncertain, as a Tennessee judge recently heard arguments about its potential release. While some officials and media outlets believe there is a public interest in the document, several parents of the victims have fought to block its release.

In November 2022, several pages of the manifesto were leaked, revealing the shooter's intention to achieve a "high death count" by targeting "all" of the "little crackers" at the school. Despite an investigation, the MNPD has not identified the source of the leak.

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  • By Ezra Levant

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