July 20, 2022

Uvalde and Indiana

“Nearly 400 law enforcement officials rushed to a mass shooting at a Uvalde elementary school, but ‘egregiously poor decision-making’ resulted in more than an hour of chaos before the gunman who took 21 lives was finally confronted and killed, according to a damning investigative report released Sunday… The report and more than three hours of newly released body camera footage from the May 24 tragedy amounted to the fullest account to date of one of the worst school shootings in U.S. history.” AP News

Three people were fatally shot and two were injured Sunday evening at an Indiana mall after a man with a rifle opened fire in a food court and an armed civilian shot and killed him.” AP News

Both sides strongly criticize the Uvalde police response and urge transparency:

“[The video is] not awful because it’s graphic. It isn’t. Even the children’s screams have been removed from the audio, the viewer is gently reassured at one point. It’s awful because it brings home the extent of the cops’ paralysis in a way nothing else can. Even at just four minutes in length, with cops visible in the hallway for only about half that time, the extent of the delay is maddening. You’ll want to crawl through the screen after 60 seconds or so and head down towards the shooter yourself.”
Allahpundit, Hot Air

“The mayor’s response [to the leaked video], in which he appealed to emotion in order to criticize the media for doing their jobs, is worth analyzing. On its face it sounds reasonable, even humane. The victims’ families have indeed been through enough, and it’s natural to want to spare them additional gratuitous trauma. But this plea to consider the families’ emotional welfare reads as smarmy and self-serving when uttered by the mayor of a town whose first responders failed the students and teachers of Robb Elementary on the day of the shooting, and whose authorities have been trying to duck responsibility for their own behavior ever since…

“I am willing to believe that by making the video public, the Statesman and KVUE may indeed have temporarily increased the pain that the victims’ families are feeling right now. Indeed, some have said as much… But reporting decisions cannot be guided exclusively by concerns over the emotional welfare of the people who may be affected by a given story… The world deserves to know exactly what went wrong with the police response… People who held a public trust already flinched once from confronting the awfulness of the Uvalde shooting. The media must not flinch in holding them accountable.”
Justin Peters, Slate

“In a fitting coda to this whole sorry episode, members of the Uvalde city council reacted to the school footage not with the disgust at police inaction that any normal person would feel, but by praising their courage and berating the Austin American-Statesman for releasing the video, calling it ‘chickenshit.’ There’s definitely plenty of chickenshit in this story, but anyone with eyes and [a] working brain knows it’s not among the reporters.”
Branko Marcetic, Jacobin Magazine

“The kind of American heroism epitomized by the firefighters and first responders who entered the World Trade Center and climbed those stairs, knowing they might never survive, feels so distant now. We may as well be talking about the Greatest Generation. The police in Robb Elementary’s hallway bear no relation to valor, sacrifice, bravery, or the notion of policing as a calling rather than a career. A shooter hides down the hall as they pat each other on the back, pace up and down, all passivity and reactivity, children and teachers bleeding out, the gunman blasting music…

“Uvalde’s mayor, attorney general and the City of Uvalde itself are complicit; as of June 18, 148 public records requests regarding the shooting and response were denied. The city retained a private law firm for that purpose, arguing that such records could be ‘highly embarrassing.’ Of course they could. That’s the point. Full transparency — all the bodycams, 911 calls, video surveillance, texts and communications between police and Border Patrol and any other agencies and officials involved, during and after the fact — is the only way forward.”
Maureen Callahan, New York Post

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