DPS releases body cam video of officer’s dispute with mother of Uvalde shooting victim

DPS confirmed to ABC News that it is investigating the incident

UVALDE, TexasDisclaimer: The video of the confrontation contains explicit language. Viewer discretion is advised.

The Texas Department of Public Safety has released a pair of videos that show the entire confrontation between a trooper and the mother of one of the Uvalde school shooting victims.

The incident happened Wednesday afternoon at Flores Elementary School in Uvalde.

Ana Rodriguez — whose daughter, Maite Rodriguez, was among 19 students and two teachers killed in the mass shooting at Robb Elementary School last year — tried to get her son out of school to attend a protest against gun violence.

The protest was part of National School Walkout Day, and Uvalde students joined the nationwide movement to demand action against gun violence.

DPS released an 11-minute video clip from the officer’s body cam, showing the entire exchange with Rodriguez, and a seven-minute video from a hallway surveillance camera.

By sharing the video publicly, law enforcement officials said they hope the additional context and transparency will help mend divisions between police and the community they are tasked to protect, according to ABC News.

The agency confirmed to ABC News on Thursday that it is investigating the incident.

State Sen. Roland Gutierrez (D-San Antonio), who saw footage of the incident circulating on social media, asked DPS to release the video and for a full investigation of the incident.

Breakdown of the body cam footage

  • The video begins by showing Rodriguez standing in the hallway of the school, but no audio is heard. Moments later, she is seen exiting the building.
  • Rodriguez later returns to the school and is heard knocking on the door outside before someone lets her in.
    • “Do not. Oh, ma’am, I’ve already told you, you need to leave,” the trooper tells Rodriguez.
    • “I’ve got my ID, and I’m gonna get my son out,” Rodriguez said. Then, the officer is seen grabbing Rodriguez with both hands while physically forcing her toward the exit.
    • When Rodriguez is back outside, the trooper said he had “already told her she’s going to be under arrest if she continues to cause a disturbance.”
    • “I’m gonna get my son out!” Rodriguez is heard yelling multiple times before the trooper eventually stands down and she is let inside.
  • The officer then follows Rodriguez into what appears to be an office. The trooper is heard asking someone inside to call the police before speaking with Rodriguez again.
    • “Can I talk, ma’am?” the trooper asks.
    • “...They’re (the students) sitting down in an auditorium where nobody can see them. It is very well controlled. They’re sitting down!” Rodriguez said. “...We don’t need to speak anymore sir, we really don’t.”
    • “What you’re doing, though, is causing a disturbance of the school,” the trooper said. “OK, I’m explaining.”
    • ‘I’m standing here and I’m going to get my son out. And that’s it,” she said.
    • “Alright, bye,” the trooper said.
    • Rodriguez is seen leaving the office, but a moment later, the trooper tries to speak with her again.
    • “Ma’am, can I please talk with you?” the trooper said.
    • Rodriguez replies, “No! You wouldn’t understand! Was your daughter shot up? No, she was not! This means something to me for my son to be able to protest!”
    • “I understand that it means something to you, ma’am, but there’s hundreds of kids in this school,” the trooper said.
    • “Let them protest!” Rodriguez yells.
  • Rodriguez calls for her son, and the pair are seen leaving the school. The trooper calls after her, reiterating again that she was “causing a disturbance,” and that’s why he “had contact with her.”
    • “When your daughter is murdered on school grounds, then you talk to me sir,” Rodriguez calls out before leaving.

The other video released by DPS contains no audio but shows the physical confrontation between the trooper and Rodriguez from above the hallway.

The trooper’s identity hasn’t been released at this time.

Earlier on Thursday, Uvalde CISD interim Superintendent Gary Patterson said students who took part in the protests that day are not going to face consequences, even though some of them broke the rules.

He said he was notified that the protests will likely continue but said if students are caught breaking the rules again and leaving campus without permission, there will be consequences.

Sen. Gutierrez releases statement

Sen. Gutierrez said he sent a letter to DPS Director Col. Steve McCraw and asked for an independent investigation.

In a news release sent on Friday, Gutierrez said DPS released the footage within 48 hours of the incident at Flores Elementary School, but they have still not released video from the Robb Elementary School shooting.

“I am glad that DPS has listened to our request and quickly released the bodycam footage from this incident. Now that we know that DPS can do this quickly without an investigation being completed, it’s time for them to release the Robb Massacre camera footage to the public. As in this instance, there is no reason to hide the ugly truth from the people,” Gutierrez said Friday. “Because we know DPS cannot be trusted to investigate themselves, I am continuing the call for an independent investigation so we can make sure a fair assessment is made in this situation. Every DPS officer working in Uvalde should have the sensibility to know the toll that the Robb Massacre has taken on the surviving families and DPS’ abject failure in protecting their children.”

Gutierrez added, “We have to stop putting these families and this community through torture. DPS must know that they have caused irreparable harm to these families. The best they can do now is rip the band-aid off and release the Robb Elementary footage immediately, as they should have done May 25th of last year. I continue to call on Director McCraw to do the right thing once and for all.”

You can read the full letter below:

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About the Author:

Cody King is a digital journalist for KSAT 12. She previously worked for WICS/WRSP 20 in Springfield, Illinois.