U.S. Press Freedom Tracker

Reporters removed from Uvalde committee hearing on school shooting response

Incident Details

Date of Incident
June 20, 2022
Uvalde, Texas

Denial of Access

Government agency or public official involved
Type of denial
Government event
June 20, 2022

On June 20, 2022, journalists were told to leave a committee hearing in Uvalde, Texas, where Texas House legislators were scheduled to discuss the law enforcement response to the mass shooting at Robb Elementary School in May.

According to The Washington Post, Fire Marshal Juan Hernandez asked reporters to leave the meeting and wait outside City Hall. Hernandez said people were intimidated by the presence of the reporters at the meetings.

CNN correspondent Shimon Prokupecz posted a video on Twitter of journalists gathering equipment before exiting the building while law enforcement officers looked on. In the video, Prokupecz questions Hernandez, asking why reporters needed to leave.

Hernandez tells Prokupecz reporters were allowed to “hang around outside, but not inside the building.”

“But this is a city-building, right?” Prokupecz said. Hernandez replied that if he wasn’t going to pay the building’s water bill, he had to wait outside.

Reporters covering the aftermath of the massacre at Robb Elementary School and the emerging details of the response by law enforcement say they continue to report facing harassment and stonewalling as they try to gather information.

The City of Uvalde did not respond to requests for comment.

Read: Journalists covering mass shootings report harassment and threats of arrest

The U.S. Press Freedom Tracker catalogues press freedom violations in the United States. Email tips to [email protected].