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Dallas ambush victim's wife sues to stop release of graphic video

DALLAS -- He was murdered last summer in Dallas during an ambush on police in downtown. Now, the wife of Senior Cpl. Lorne Ahrens is hoping to protect his memory through legal action, CBS Dallas station KTVT reports.

Katrina Ahrens, who is a detective with Dallas Police, filed a lawsuit on Tuesday in federal court. She is suing the city of Dallas and Dallas County, hoping to prevent any release of graphic video depicting the final moments of her late husband.

"Obviously ... this was a big concern for Detective Ahrens," said Pete Schulte, a former officer who is now an attorney. "I understand it. I don't blame her for wanting to get in front of this."

Schulte said under the Texas Public Information Act, videos or pictures are never released to the public that depict sensitive crime scene images. He said the only groups usually given access to such media are government officials, defendants and their lawyers and the family of the deceased.

"I think it's premature. I think it's a little too early. I think it's making a lot of noise about something that's not happened yet," said Schulte.

The lawyers for Ahrens claim the city "intends to produce materials including Sensitive Death Records once its investigation is closed."

But in a letter from the city, its attorney said Dallas would not release any sensitive crime scene images without a ruling from the state attorney general.

"I think what they don't like is that they're still going to ask for an attorney-general opinion," said Schulte. "When something is going to be denied, it's required to go over to the attorney general's office to confirm it."

Schulte said he would be shocked if somehow any graphic video of the July 7 attack made airwaves and thinks the suit will not go far in the legal world.

"But it does put some pressure on the city," said Schulte, "that she's paying attention and she wants to make sure nobody screws up."

The lawsuit also alleges that the city retrieved and opened some mail addressed to Detective Ahrens shortly after her husband was killed.

Emails and calls to the city of Dallas and Dallas County were not returned.

A spokesperson for the lawyer representing Ahrens said they would not be releasing any statements on Tuesday.