Uvalde Victim’s Parents React to Release of Footage – NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth
A 77-minute video showing police officers standing in the hallway of Robb Elementary School as a gunman slaughtered 19 children and two teachers on May 24 has now been seen and heard countless times around the world.
Both Brett Cross and Javier Cazares lost children in the massacre and said Tuesday afternoon they were prepared to see the surveillance and body camera footage privately before it was released to the public, adding they simply weren’t ready to see and hear the video along with the rest of the world.
“We saw it at the same time the rest of the world saw it even though we had asked for it before from our district attorney and to not have the audio there,” said Cross. “We didn’t need to hear our babies massacred. It was totally uncalled for.”
The Texas House committee investigating the shooting announced plans to release the video Sunday to the families first. Soon after that announcement, the video was published by the Austin American-Statesman newspaper and Austin TV station KVUE.
“It was just devastating for us. We’re tired of seeing things after the media gets ahold of them. Nobody is telling us anything. And it’s disrespectful not just to us but our kids’ memories,” said Cross.
Tuesday night in Uvalde, city leaders were also critical of the timing and manner of the video’s release.
“The way that video was released today is one of the most chicken things I’ve ever seen. Yes, I wanted the video released, but all these news agencies knew that we were working with the House Committee, and we were going to have a meeting Sunday,” said Mayor Don McLaughlin.
McLaughlin went on to slam the investigation altogether.
“This has been the most unprofessional handled investigation I’ve ever seen in my life,” he said.
While the video is the topic of discussion Tuesday, those navigating grief and loss said they ultimately want long-term change.
“How many more kids have to die? How many more before people start standing up?” asked Cross. “You think, ‘Oh this doesn’t happen to me or here,’ until it does, and it will. It’s not a matter of if, it’s a matter of when.”
The executive editor of the Austin American-Statesman published an editorial Tuesday afternoon defending the paper’s decision to release the video.