Jul 13, 2022 - Politics & Policy

Uvalde families, officials angry over early release of shooting footage

Uvalde families and officials expressed outrage on Tuesday over the Austin American-Statesman's decision to publish leaked video footage of the deadly shooting at a Uvalde elementary school in May.

Driving the news: The footage, obtained by the Austin American-Statesman and KVUE, shows police in the hallways of Robb Elementary School, responding to the shooting that left 19 children and two adults dead.

  • While the newspaper initially only published edited portions of the video, it eventually released the video in its entirety later on Tuesday.

The big picture: The families were meant to be able to view the video in advance of its public releases, Texas Department of Public Safety Director Steven McCraw said in a statement.

  • "I am deeply disappointed this video was released before all of the families who were impacted that day and the community of Uvalde had the opportunity to view it as part of Chairman Dustin Burrows’ plan," McCraw said. "Those most affected should have been among the first to see it."
  • McCraw also acknowledged that the video provides "horrifying evidence" that the police response to the shooting was an "abject failure."

What they're saying: "We were supposed to get some footage shown to us on Sunday of the filming inside the hallway," said Javier Cazares, whose daughter was killed in the Uvalde shooting, per CNN's Shimon Prokupecz on Twitter.

  • "We didn’t want any audio and these SOBs did it," Cazares said. "It got leaked. It got shown all over the world and we are pissed. These families didn’t deserve it. I don’t deserve it. That’s a slap to our babies’ faces and we’re tired of this."
  • Uvalde Mayor Don McLaughlin Jr. called the release of the video "chicken" and "unprofessional" at a City Council meeting Tuesday night.
  • "There's no reason for the families to have to see that," McLaughlin added. "I mean, they were going to see the video, but they didn't need to see the gunman coming in and hear the gunshots. They don't need to relive that. They've been through enough."
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