JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – After surveillance video was released from the school shooting in Uvalde, Texas, further questions started to circulate regarding why the responding police didn’t act sooner.
News4Jax is digging deeper into a particular portion of the surveillance video that has people astounded.
It’s the clip when an officer gets hand sanitizer and rubs his hands while waiting. While many are shocked to see this action taking place during a time of chaos, a former Jacksonville SWAT officer said this the Uvalde officer was probably experiencing a “code black,” which he defined as being “stressed above his limits,” and “not sure what’s going on.”
While watching the Uvalde surveillance video, Flagler County Sheriff Rick Staly said he couldn’t help but think of how he reacted when he was shot trying to save a deputy’s life.
The Uvalde officers are being criticized for not engaging the gunman inside Robb Elementary School.
Staly called their actions “disappointing.”
“I don’t know how they can live with themselves for not going in and trying to rescue those kids,” Staly said.
Video from inside the school showed the first responding officers hearing the gunshots — and moving away.
“I get needing to take cover. I was shot three times saving the life of a deputy sheriff, so I get it. You have to react immediately and people react based on their training,” Staly said.
We also spoke to a law enforcement expert, Dr. Alex del Carmen, Tarleton State University Associate Dean at School of Criminology, about code black.
Marilyn Parker: Is code black something that you might see happen with officers in active shooting situations?
“Let’s say that this code black took place and that the officer was that removed from the stressors that were around him. If I’m in charge of that operation, I’m not going to give him a chance to use the hand sanitizer because he would have been engaging the bad guy,” del Carmen said.
There is an investigation into the police department’s actions, and the law enforcement experts said the federal government will have a say in the matter.
Marilyn Parker: Can these officers face any consequences?
“So technically, yes. In the state of Texas, we have several statutes that simply govern the behavior of police officers for simply not engaging or not doing their duty,” del Carmen said.
Del Carmen, however, doesn’t think prosecutors will take this on, but he thinks there will be civil suits from family members against the school district.
Sheriff Staly said the community in Uvalde is probably reluctant to trust the department after this and thinks of his own situation.
“If I didn’t take action, the deputy that I was backing up would have died that day,” Staly said.