Families React to Uvalde Video Release: 'Who Do You Think You Are?'

Hallway video shows cops in the hallway for nearly an hour while gunman was inside classroom
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 13, 2022 1:14 AM CDT
Updated Jul 13, 2022 6:15 AM CDT
Surveillance Video From Uvalde Shooting Released
In this photo from surveillance video provided by the Uvalde Consolidated Independent School District via the Austin American-Statesman, authorities stage in a hallway as they respond to the shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, Tuesday, May 24, 2022.   (Uvalde Consolidated Independent School District/Austin American-Statesman via AP)

(Newser) – A day after details were released of the surveillance video from a Robb Elementary School hallway on the day of the Uvalde, Texas, massacre, the video itself is out. The Austin American-Statesman obtained the footage, and on Tuesday released a four-minute video showing critical highlights, as well as a lightly edited version of the full video. In a statement on its decision, the newspaper explains that the choice to publish was made "after long and thoughtful discussions" on the matter. "We have to bear witness to history, and transparency and unrelenting reporting is a way to bring change," the paper says. The video does not show any violence, but the screams of children as the gunman entered a classroom have been edited out because they were considered too graphic. The face of one child who was in the hallway and fled has also been blurred.

The gunman's face, however, is visible, a decision made after "much discussion." Though the news organization guidelines state that shooters should not be glorified, the paper ultimately made the decision to show his face "to chisel away at any conspiracy that we are hiding something." Per CNN, the video shows officers approaching the classroom where the gunman killed 19 students and 2 teachers, but retreating down the hallway when fired upon, then not approaching the classroom again until nearly an hour later, after four more rounds could be heard being fired. It was nearly another half-hour before they finally confronted the gunman. Also Tuesday, Pedro "Pete" Arredondo, the school district police chief heavily involved in the police response to the shooting, stepped down from his role as a city council member.

Response to the video's release has been mixed, with some families of victims criticizing the move. Multiple parents and grandparents are begging people not to share the footage on social media. "This is the opposite of what the families wanted!!!!!" posted the mother of one little girl who was killed. "Who do you think you are to release footage like that of our children who can’t even speak for themselves—but you want to go ahead and air their final moments to the entire world," said the father of another little girl who was murdered. The Texas Department of Public Safety and the mayor of Uvalde also slammed the footage being leaked before families were given a chance to view it ahead of a planned official release this weekend. Others, however, said the video's release was necessary to illustrate just how bad the police response to the shooting was. (Read more Uvalde mass shooting stories.)

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