In a move redolent of the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre and similar unexplained events, attorneys representing Seattle Pacific University and as many as 30 anonymous parties connected to the June 5 campus shooting there have filed a lawsuit requesting to block release of surveillance video of the event captured by the school’s security cameras.
The unnamed parties claim to be either victims or witnesses of the shooting. SPU attorneys are asking for a temporary restraining order against the King County Prosecutor’s Office and the Seattle Police Department, who presently are in possession of the video.
Both the King Prosecutor and Seattle Police believe they are required to release the records under Washington public records laws.
Aaron Ybarra’s lawyer filed a separate motion asking that judge prevent release of the video and other records. Ybarra has been charged with murder and attempted murder in the shootings. Public defender Ramona Brandes is also asking a judge to prevent the release of Aaron Ybarra’s personal journal following a request by media outlets. Brandes claims the release would violate Ybarra’s state and federal constitutional rights and impede his ability to receive a fair trial.
As discussed here in recent weeks, in the unusual Isla Vista and Las Vegas mass shooting events, law enforcement agencies charged with carrying out the investigations have withheld their official incident reports, opting to manage the aftermath of each event through their public affairs officers.
Members of the news media often file requests for information about high-profile criminal cases and other significant stories. Several Seattle area news media organizations requested the security camera video, the 9-1-1 calls and Ybarra’s personal journal.
In the SPU lawsuit, the victims and witnesses affiliated with the university argue release of the footage would have a “catastrophic impact on their lives,” by causing them to recollect the events of that day. They further contend such evidence would only bring notoriety and attention to Ybarra.
The university also claims releasing the video will reveal confidential information about their security system and compromise campus safety and security.
An immediate hearing on the request for a temporary restraining order is set for the afternoon of July 3 at the King County Courthouse. A hearing on the request by Ybarra’s lawyer in the criminal case is set for July 7.
Close to nineteen months after the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre–the almost certainly fraudulent event most every feckless political leader and law enforcement agency still invokes to justify heightened security and mental health measures to keep children “safe”–no surveillance video of the bloodletting, or of alleged shooter Adam Lanza marching through the school, has been produced.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation is notorious for carrying out phony terror and active shooter-related events to justify the “war on terror,” and their agency’s continued relevance. Keeping this in mind, over the past few years especially the FBI has been involved in coordinating dozens of “live shooter drills” throughout the United States. Federal and local authorities design such exercises to be as authentic as possible. As I reported in 2013,
The FBI has teamed up with an existing active-shooter training program —Advanced Law Enforcement Rapid Response Training (ALERRT) — begun in Texas after the 1999 Columbine High School shootings and funded in part by the US Department of Justice. The FBI sent roughly 100 tactical instructors to ALERRT training and then placed them throughout the US to oversee mock terror exercises with local law enforcement agencies. “Officers and instructors were divided into gunmen, responders, hostages and victims and given real-life scenarios that test their ability to enter a building and confront a shooter,” according to an Associated Press report.
Given the lack of accountability and mission creep of federal agencies, including the FBI, not to mention the arrogance and unaccountability of the Justice Department’s chief executive, journalists and the American public would be well-served to cast an acutely critical eye on the rash of federally-sponsored drills alongside alleged “real” shootings. Taken as a whole, both involve conditioning the citizenry to live in a perpetual state of fear and dependence.
 “Lawsuit Filed to Block Release of SPU Shooting Surveillance Video,” King5.com, July 2, 2014.
 Josh Kerns, “Lawyer Tries to Block Release of 911 Tapes, Surveillance Videos and Journal From SPU Shooting,” MyNorthwest,com, July 1, 2014.
 James F. Tracy, “Unanswered Questions in the Isla Vista CA Shootings,” MemoryHoleBlog.com, June 1, 2014.
 “Lawsuit Filed to Block Release of SPU Shooting Surveillance Video.”
 Trevor Aaronson, The Terror Factory: Inside the FBI’s Manufactured War on Terrorism, New York: Ig Publishing, 2013.
 James F. Tracy, “Nationwide Post-Sandy Hook Terror Drills: Real or Fake?” MemoryHoleBlog.com, August 22, 2013.
Professor James F. Tracy is an Associate Professor of Media Studies at Florida Atlantic University. James Tracy’s work on media history, politics and culture has appeared in a wide variety of academic journals, edited volumes, and alternative news and opinion outlets. James is editor of Union for Democratic Communication’s Journal Democratic Communiqué and a contributor to Project Censored’s forthcoming publication Censored 2013: The Top Censored Stories and Media Analysis of 2011-2012. Additional writings and information are accessible at memoryholeblog.com.