Uvalde Parents Outraged After Full 77-Minute Video Leaks Before They Have a Chance To See It
Trigger warning: This article contains disturbing surveillance footage.
Uvalde parents were outraged to learn that the full 77-minute video of the Robb Elementary massacre was leaked by a Texas media outlet.
Although the video was reportedly going to be released early next week, the leak made its way online before the parents had a chance to see the footage themselves.
Parents and supporters congregated at a town meeting to express their frustrations with the leak, with one parent screaming “Screw you!” to the leakers, a video from CNN shows.
“Who do you think you are to release footage like that, of our children?” said another.
The backlash from parents started on the day of the shooting, when Texas Gov. Greg Abbott revealed the names of the 19 students and two teachers who were killed on May 24 before notifying the parents and family members of the deceased.
Uvalde locals have been trying to get their hands on this footage for nearly two months, but have had to face off against an uncooperative police force.
In addition to the full 77-minute video, the media outlet published an abridged version, roughly four minutes long, that covers the most important parts of the full video, including a shot of an Uvalde officer checking his phone and another officer getting hand sanitizer while the dozens of officers present waited in the hallway.
The most disturbing part of the video isn’t anything seen on-screen, but rather an editorial note explaining that, “The sound of children screaming has been removed.”
Both the full video and the abridged version begin with shooter Salvador Ramos crashing his truck near Robb Elementary. He then fires three shots at two people approaching the vehicle, presumably to help him, before making his way inside of the school.
A 911 call made at 11:31 a.m., two minutes before Ramos entered the classrooms, is heard.
Ramos begins firing at the school from outside, in the parking lot. The video then shows Ramos walking through the hallways of Robb Elementary before turning a corner and making his way to classrooms 111 and 112.
A young boy, whose face is blurred, can be seen turning the same corner a few moments after Ramos before hearing his first shots and running in the other direction. It was later confirmed that the boy in the video was unharmed.
Three minutes after Ramos begins firing inside the two classrooms, where it’s estimated he was able to fire more than 100 rounds, Uvalde officers can be seen rushing into the hallway and towards classrooms 111 and 112.
At 11:36 a.m., an officer is seen checking his phone — his background features an image of the Punisher logo that is hugely popular with police officers — just seconds before Ramos fires on the officers who made their way down the hall to confront the shooter.
The officers then retreat to the back of the hallway, next to a small group of officers equipped with pistols, a rifle and bulletproof vests.
Nearly 20 minutes later, ballistic shields arrive along with a group of heavily armed officers wearing military-grade protective gear.
At 12:21 p.m., nearly 50 minutes after Ramos entered the building, a group of officers are seen making their way down the hallway but, by 12:30 p.m., they still have not confronted the shooter and another officer can be seen squirting hand sanitizer out of a nearby dispenser.
Finally, after 77 excruciating minutes, Border Patrol agents storm the classroom at 12:50 p.m. and gun down Ramos.
It’s worth noting again that Uvalde schools police Chief Pete Arredondo, who is currently on administrative leave, characterized the incident as a barricaded suspect confrontation instead of an active shooter incident. Where barricaded suspects are to be treated with patience and planning, active shooter incidents require officers to act quickly, even if it means putting their own life at risk.
In reviewing the video, it’s clear that Ramos was not just a barricaded suspect, and was actively shooting and killing children while the officers waited in the hallway for backup. Even after that initial wave of backup arrived, officers refused or were unable to engage the shooter.
Although there’s been an outpouring of sympathy for the Uvalde parents who didn’t even get a chance to see the footage for themselves, the general consensus seems to be that leaking the video was a necessary evil, especially in anticipation of Uvalde officials who may have attempted to bar the footage from ever being released publicly as they have for the last seven weeks.
The editor of the media outlet published a piece explaining the paper’s decision to post the video, a choice that was made “after long and thoughtful discussions.”
While the decision to post the video was unpopular with Uvalde parents, viewers from around the world agree that it’s the only way to truly expose the cowardice displayed by Uvalde officers on May 24.
Although the footage doesn’t contain any graphic images, it is still extremely disturbing to watch.
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