Uvalde community marches in protest of police response to shooting
RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:
Residents of Uvalde, Texas, still want answers and they want change after the failed police response to the mass shooting at Robb Elementary School. A couple hundred people endured extreme heat on Sunday to protest. One of the victims in the Uvalde shooting was 9-year-old Jacklyn Cazares. Her dad, Javier, organized the protest Sunday, giving the families a platform to demand justice. Texas Public Radio's Camille Phillips has more.
CAMILLE PHILLIPS, BYLINE: Families, activists and community members met at Robb Elementary and marched nearly a mile to the plaza downtown.
UNIDENTIFIED PROTESTERS: (Chanting) Not one more child. Not one more child. Not one more child.
PHILLIPS: Once they made it downtown, a representative of every one of the 21 victims lined up at the front. Some said a speech, others simply said the name of the child or sister they lost.
UNIDENTIFIED PERSON #1: Amerie Jo Garza.
UNIDENTIFIED PERSON #2: Annabell Rodriguez.
UNIDENTIFIED PERSON #3: Eliahna Garcia.
PHILLIPS: A table set up to the side stood ready to register people to vote. Several times during the rally, the crowd picked up the chant, vote them out. Julissa Rizo is Jackie Cazares' aunt and godmother.
JULISSA RIZO: Voting for a change - start with U.S. Texas Congress, right?
UNIDENTIFIED PERSON #4: Yeah.
PHILLIPS: Julissa's husband Manuel Rizo, told the crowd school shooting after school shooting has had two things in common - the shooter was under 21 and had a semiautomatic weapon.
MANUEL RIZO: So we ask all of these congressmen, when will you support real gun reform - when it's your very own that died?
PHILLIPS: The Rizos want everyone from the school district to the Texas Department of Public Safety held responsible for their role in the things that went wrong at Robb Elementary. But they say gun reform is needed, too. Like many relatives of the victims, Laura Morales is frustrated by the conflicting information state and local officials have provided over the weeks since the shooting. She's the aunt of Eliahna Torres.
LAURA MORALES: I want to know what happened. I want to know what was said. I want to know, you know, what was the holdup? Where was the action?
PHILLIPS: The chairman of the state legislative committee investigating the shooting recently requested a video of the 77 minutes police waited in the hallway be released to the public. But he said the local district attorney denied his request.
I'm Camille Phillips in Uvalde. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.