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Officials weigh what the public should see of Uvalde school shooting

Texas School Shooting Police Chief
Posted at 12:46 PM, Jul 11, 2022
and last updated 2022-07-11 14:59:12-04

Should video from the Uvalde, Texas, school shooting be released? Officials are deciding exactly how much of the May 24 massacre the public should see.

As of late last week, the Uvalde County District Attorney’s Office has opted not to release footage to the protest of many local elected officials.

The Department of Public Safety said releasing the video would provide clarity.

“DPS believes that the video is likely to bring clarity to the public regarding the tragic events in Uvalde,” the department said. "The video does not contain images of children but is limited to the law enforcement response up to the moment of the breach. We do not believe its public release would harm our investigative efforts. In fact, releasing this video would assist us in providing as much transparency as possible to the public without interfering with the investigation in the manner that an immediate public release of all evidence would.”

Uvalde Mayor Don McLaughlin said he supports releasing a hallway video of the incident but not showing anything that may include children.

“I have stated before and continue to assert that I have never wanted any video or audio released involving the children,” he said.

The decision on whether to release footage comes as a Texas House committee continues to hold hearings into law enforcement’s response to the shooting. The committee held a hearing on Monday, but like other hearings, much of what was discussed was behind closed doors.

Rep. Dustin Burrows, chair of the Texas House committee, told CNN he supports releasing hallway footage of the incident.

"I can tell people all day long what it is I saw, the committee can tell people all day long what we saw, but it's very different to see it for yourself, and we think that's very important," he said. "We'll continue to put pressure on the situation and consider all options and making sure that video gets out for the public to view."

Burrows is part of a group of Republican lawmakers urging the release of the footage.

“Since the footage will not include any audio and stops prior to the breach, you cannot credibly claim the release of this footage would impede your own investigation,” the group wrote. “However. your obstruction of the release of this footage is impeding the ability of Chairman Burrows and his official investigative committee, acting on behalf of the Texas House of Representatives, to provide the public with the most complete and transparent report possible into this horrific event.”

Law enforcement’s response to the shooting that left 19 children and two teachers dead has faced scrutiny. Officials revealed it took officers over an hour to confront the gunman.