YouTube Refuses To Remove Graphic Video Of Colorado Mass Shooting

By Bill Galluccio

March 24, 2021

YouTube said it will not pull down a shocking and graphic video recorded during a mass shooting at a King Soopers grocery store in Boulder, Colorado. Ten people, including a police officer, were killed. The suspect was shot by police and is in custody. He is facing ten charges of first-degree murder.

The video was recorded by Dean Schiller, who was inside the store when the shooting started. The video includes footage of several bodies both inside and outside of the store. He also recorded gunshots and part of a standoff between police and the suspect.

He walked around the area, hiding behind cars and trees, as he continued to film. He ignored repeated orders from the police to leave, identifying himself as a journalist.

After about 90 minutes, Schiller was moved behind the yellow police tape but continued to film. According to the Colorado Springs Gazette, 30,000 people watched the video while Schiller was live-streaming. As of Wednesday (March 24) afternoon, the video has amassed over 730,000 views.

YouTube faced calls to remove the video, with some critics blasting Schiller for revealing police tactics and showing dead bodies before their families had been notified. Others pointed to the speculation about the shooter's identity in the live-chat, which included racist language and anti-Semitic conspiracy theories. The live-chat feature on the video has been disabled.

YouTube said that they reviewed the video and decided to not remove it. Instead, the video-sharing site added a content warning before the video.

"Violent content intended to shock or disgust viewers and hate speech are not allowed on YouTube, and as a result, we have removed a number of videos for violating our policies," a company spokesperson, Elena Hernandez, said in a statement. "We do allow certain violent or graphic content with sufficient news or documentary context, and so we've applied an age restriction to this particular content. We will continue to monitor this rapidly changing situation."

Photo: Getty Images

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