“Las Vegas police have finally released partial footage from police body cameras that showed officers nearing the hotel room where gunman Stephen Paddock unleashed a hail of gunfire on concert-goers last October.” Not that it reveals much of anything not previously known about the Mandalay Bay concert shooting.
Everyone in any position of power in Las Vegas law enforcement has been fighting tooth and nail against the release of any information that might shed some light on Stephen Paddock, who he was or why he opened fire on a crowd of concertgoers in October.
Take, for example, Sheriff Joe Lombardo, he of the many, varied and changing timelines:
Clark County Sheriff Joe Lombardo said at a news conference on Tuesday the footage “in no way changes the facts” presented immediately after the shooting and in the months long investigation.
Las Vegas police had been trying to stall the release of the records for months while locked in a court battle with a consortium of news organizations demanding their release. Through a series of appeals, the case eventually snaked its way up to Nevada’s Supreme Court, which on Friday denied a bid to continue delaying the release.
They were fighting the release to the public of even innocuous footage like the video above, which shows virtually nothing that anyone with any knowledge of police tactics didn’t already assume took place.
The department’s sheriff, Joseph Lombardo, says the ongoing investigation and concerns about the footage traumatizing the victims and their families have gotten in the way of releasing it, even claiming that doing so would cost police and the public “several hundred thousand dollars in manpower, time and equipment.
“At no point was the LVMPD trying to be uncooperative with the media or the public,” he told reporters Tuesday, even though the department was notoriously tight-lipped in the wake of the attack as many have demanded more information.
Uh huh. As one of the victims’ attorneys noted,
“The clients have always wanted answers — to know more about what happened and to have a bigger picture about everything about that night and the days and hours leading up to it,” she said on Wednesday. “It seems like we have gotten piecemeal information.
“It’s interesting because this is still the most severe mass shooting in U.S. history, the numbers of people who were injured and killed were still the highest and most severe… and yet this story has fallen silent,” she added.
It’s enough to make even the most level-headed and conspiracy theory-averse among us reach for the Reynolds Wrap.
The clock is also counting down on the FBI’s promised timeline to release a report on the attack that will focus on the biggest question left unanswered – why gunman Stephen Paddock did what he did.
Special Agent in Charge Aaron Rouse, who is leading the bureau’s Las Vegas office, said in December that their report won’t be made public until sometime before the shooting’s first anniversary, 152 days from Wednesday.
Lombardo, meanwhile, said the release of additional 911 recordings, videos and documents will be provided on a “rolling” basis with the next batch slated to come in around two weeks.
We’ll be waiting. Still.