Uvalde, TX

Opinion: Uvalde shooting surveillance footage reveals the police were even more useless than we thought

Jalyn Smoot

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Screenshot of Uvalde shooting surveillance footage released to the public

UVALDE- Segments of a 77-minute surveillance video that captures the hallways of Robb Elementary during the horrific Uvalde shooting were released to the public yesterday.

In the clips, both the initial entry of the assailant Salvador Ramos and the unsatisfactory efforts by the police to stop him.

The first clip shows a child roaming the halls that suddenly spots Ramos and witnesses him open fire at a classroom doorway. The next clip fasts forward three minutes and shows a group of police officers in the very same hallway where Ramos opened fire.

Since only edited portions of the surveillance video have been shared publicly, the exact strategy of the police is not yet known, but it does provide a glimpse of how the Uvalde police severely mishandled the situation.

As shown in the surveillance footage, the police entered the school three minutes after the shooter. The three minutes in between are not shown on camera, but it appears as though they had plenty of time to prevent the loss of life, or at the very least saved a few more than they did.

"This should have been over in 3 to 4 minutes," Carrie Cordero, CNN legal analyst and former counsel to the US assistant attorney general, told CNN's Jake Tapper, saying there was "no excuse" for why the officers held back for so long.

In the time in between the eventual killing of Salvador Ramos, Uvalde police officers can be seen fist bumping each other, using hand sanitizer, and even checking their phones while down the hall from one of the deadliest school shootings in the nation's history.

"We don't know what was going on in the minds of those officers who were in the hallway and decided not to act when there were children under gunfire -- but from my perspective, every single one depicted in that video should turn in their badge," Cordero added.

While 19 students and two teachers were being brutally and unjustly gunned down, many of the officers can be seen essentially standing by and observing.

Having entered the building merely three minutes after the assailant, it is difficult to comprehend why this day resulted in so much bloodshed.

In addition to the conversation around the potential dismissal of these Uvalde officers, there should also be increased dialogue in regard to automatic weapons such as the rifle used in the Uvalde shooting.

Ramos legally purchased the AR-15 used in the tragic shooting on his 18th birthday. The weapon was made by Daniel Defense, a gun manufacturing company with a questionable political past.

Following the Sandy Hook massacre, Daniel Defense CEO Marty Daniel told Forbes that sales of their guns skyrocketed. Daniel said that fear of gun control almost always leads to a spike in sales.

"The mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary in 2012 drove a lot of sales," Daniel told Forbes. "That was a horrible event and we don't use those kinds of terrible things to drive sales but when people see politicians start talking about gun control, they have this fear, and they go out and buy guns."

Daniel Defense is one of the largest privately held gun manufacturers in the country and boasts sales nearing $100 million, according to Forbes.

These weapons are designed to dish out lethal amounts of damage and have no place in any other setting than a war zone (and even that's pushing it!). It's sickening to think that something as tragic as elementary school shootings helps to generate gun sales, but the societal complacency around this issue is not sustainable.

As the frequency of mass shootings increases within the nation, the desensitization to such crime found within the public seems to rise alongside it. In a digitally-driven age where news can be shared and consumed at a moment’s notice, stories of these senseless shooting outburts hardly linger in the minds or on the social media pages of those who hear of them. 

After hearing of yet another mass shooting, most people hardly bat an eye and usually just inquire about where the shooting took place before expressing relief that they were not a victim. As the death toll of these crimes mounts, the American public hardly pauses to reflect on or even condemn such behavior within our nation. 

This cannot continue. If America is to undergo the major changes that it needs, the mold of complacency will first have to be broken amongst the people.

Before the reform in gun control, though, it is fair to say that the officers involved in handling the Uvalde shooting need to be relieved of duty.

Even though Ramos and his Daniel Defense-powered rifle posed a major threat, the Uvalde police had more than enough firepower to neutralize the threat well before 21 bodies were taken.

The full 77-minute surveillance footage likely won't reflect on their strategy to stop Ramos favorably, either, further proving that they are no longer fit to wear the badge.

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Dallas-based reporter with a focus on business, environmental justice, music, politics, and major events https://linktr.ee/JustJalyn_

Dallas, TX
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