Earlier this week, the Santa Fe Sheriff’s Office publicly released a trove of evidence related to the Rust shooting investigation, including body cam footage showing the final moments of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins’ life. Now, her family is understandably calling for the removal of the video, saying the damage done by its release is “irreparable.”
Per CNN, the letter written by the Hutchins’ family attorney, Brian Panish, calls for the Sheriff’s Office to respect the family’s “constitutional rights of dignity, privacy, respect, and fairness going forward,” as well as take down footage of Hutchins “dying on the church floor.” In addition to the video, the letter states that the Sheriff’s Office failed to redact Hutchins’ personal information in the documents.
“Your office trampled on the constitutional rights of the Hutchins,” the letter reads. “Without any discussion, your office unilaterally determined that Mr. Hutchins would be given access to the materials to review early in the morning on Monday, April 25 before being released to the public later in the afternoon giving him less than a business day to review the materials.”
“While the damage of publishing the video is irreparable, taking down the video will end your office’s complicity in causing further harm,” the letter continues.
Following the release of the video and other evidence, Santa Fe County Sheriff Adan Mendoza explained the reasoning behind the move, citing the need for “transparency.”
“I think the main point is that it was a public records request that we are required to release the information, but it was also an attempt to be transparent in the investigation,” he said in an interview with Today.
“It took us some time to put it together, and we tried to release it as soon as we had everything together,” he added.