Uvalde residents amassed against city officials on Tuesday for calling media outlets “chicken s***” for leaking security footage of police responding to the mass shooting inside Robb Elementary School in May.
Shortly after reciting the Pledge of Allegiance, Mayor Don McLaughlin called out Austin American-Statesman and KVUE, the local media outlets who obtained the exclusive footage, one of the most “chicken things” he’s ever seen.
“There was no reason for those families to have to see that,” McLaughlin said. “They were going to see the video, but they didn’t need to see the gunman coming in and hear the gunshots — they don’t need to relive that.”
“They’ve been through enough,” he added. “And that was the most chicken way to put this video out today.”
Councilman Ernest King followed up on McLaughlin’s comments.
“The mayor said chicken,” King said, “It was chicken s*** to release that video … they did that for ratings, and they did that for money, and that’s the only reason they put that out there.”
At that point, two residents stood up and countered the city officials’ comments.
“What about the cops,” one resident said. “Are they chicken s***? …Y’all are attacking the media when y’all should attack them cops that did nothing.”
McLaughlin deflected the question saying he wouldn’t argue with the residents, and defended authorities saying authorities tried entering the room where the gunman was three different times and reiterated.
The video reveals roughly four minutes of compiled footage showing Uvalde police officers responding to the 18-year-old male shooter who killed 19 children and two teachers and injured several others after spending more than an hour inside the school before authorities shot and killed him.
Due to The Daily Wire’s policy against publishing the names of mass shooters, the gunman’s name will not be mentioned.
When police entered the school, at least 13 officers were gathered in the hallway while the gunman murdered 21 people inside a classroom.
Manny Garcia, executive editor of Austin American-Statesmen, who publicized the surveillance video, wrote an op-ed on Tuesday explaining why the media outlet chose to publish video from inside Robb Elementary alongside their news partner, KVUE.
“Our goal is to continue to bring to light what happened at Robb Elementary, which the families and friends of the Uvalde victims have long been asking for,” Garcia said.
“We have to bear witness to history, and transparency and unrelenting reporting is a way to bring change,” he added.
Uvalde Mayor McLaughlin said every agency — from school officials to the federal government — that responded to the massacre would be held accountable for their actions that day.
“No one will be exempt,” McLaughin said.
McLaughlin called the investigation “unprofessional” from day one.
Uvalde city officials said authorities planned to have a meeting showing the footage to the victims’ families before releasing it to the public.
Texas Department of Public Safety Director Steve McCraw said the video’s release before all the families impacted that day “deeply disappointed” him.
“This video provides horrifying evident that the law enforcement response to the attack at Robb Elementary on May 24 was an abject failure,” the statement reads. “In law enforcement, when one officer fails, we all fail.”
McCraw previously confirmed that nine officers were inside the building within three minutes of the attack.
“The officers had weapons, the children had none,” he said. “The officers had body armor, the children had none. The officers had training, the subject had none.”