Judge orders release of additional video from Parkland school shooting

Media organizations seeking footage from 5 exterior cameras

By Tim Swift
Joe Raedle/Getty Images

People are brought out of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School after a shooting at the school on Feb. 14, 2018, in Parkland, Florida. 

PARKLAND, Fla. - A judge has ordered Broward County Public Schools to release additional video taken outside Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School on the day of the mass shooting that left 17 people dead.

The order was issued Wednesday after lawyers for several news organizations, including Local 10, the Miami Herald and CNN, successfully argued that the video footage should be made public.

The lawyers for the school board and the Broward County Sheriff's Office had said that the release of the videos could jeopardize the prosecution of gunman Nikolas Cruz and hinder school security.

However, Circuit Court Judge Jeffrey Levenson found the videos did not directly relate to the prosecution of Cruz and would not adversely affect school security.

Wednesday's ruling applies to five of Marjory Stoneman Douglas's nearly 70 cameras. Some of the footage will be redacted. 

The media groups said the video could shed light on the police response to the shooting. Last month, the court ordered video from some of the outside cameras be released.

School Resource Officer Scot Peterson resigned after Sheriff Scott Israel said Peterson failed to engage Cruz during the shooting. Peterson, through his lawyer, said he was unsure where the gunfire was coming from, and that he was "no coward."

Others have questioned whether Broward County sheriff's deputies could have entered the school sooner. Records released by the sheriff's office said law enforcement officers entered the school 11 minutes after the shooting began.

The sheriff's office released a detailed timeline, drawing from police radio transmissions, that appear to support Israel's charge that Peterson failed to engage.

The sheriff's office has until May 2 to appeal the judge's decision.

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