In a strongly-worded letter to Santa Fe County Sheriff Adan Mendoza, lawyers representing Halyna Hutchins‘ widower, Matthew, and young son Andros slammed Mendoza’s office for its release Monday of information related to the Rust investigation.
As reported Monday, the office released a trove of materials related to the fatal shooting of the cinematographer on the film’s set in October, including interviews with Alec Baldwin, who fired the fatal shot, as well as graphic footage of the attempts to save Hutchins’ life.
“Your office trampled on the constitutional rights over the Hutchins [family],” the attorneys’ letter reads, in part. “Your office promised to allow Mr. Hutchins to review the materials being publicly released in advance of their dissemination to the press…It failed to give the Hutchins [family] the dignity and privacy the New Mexico constitution affords them.”
Further, the letter asserts “The first time Mr. Hutchins saw the disturbing and unsettling video footage of his dying wife laying on the church floor was on Radar Online, an Internet website. A greater respect for the Hutchins’ constitutional rights would not have allowed this video footage to be released.”
“The potential consequences are disturbing given how information is misused on social media,” the attorneys argue. “We fear for example that this shocking footage of Andros’ mother dying may be material used by bullies to emotionally abuse him in the future.”
The attorneys also claim what’s “most troubling” is that the release of the material wasn’t legally required, they say.
The letter concludes with a demand that the sheriff’s office respects the Hutchins family’s “constitutional rights of dignity, privacy, respect, and fairness going forward,” as well as remove the video footage of Halyna.
“While the damage of publishing that video is irreparable, taking down the video will end your office’s complicity in causing further harm,” reads the letter.
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