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Texas state police launch internal review of Uvalde response

Texas state police launch internal review of Uvalde response



Okay. The house committee on the rob elementary shooting will now come to order. Clerk call the roll Representative burrows here. Representative moody Justice Guzman here. Okay, *** quorum is present first. Let me say this. Uh if you’re going to ask *** question today and you were not able to fill out *** witness after affirmation for *** laugh, you can still ask your question. Just send an email to page and she’ll get it to you. And that should not be *** reason why you cannot answer. Uh what I would like to do today is start with this. If there’s only one thing that I can tell you is there were multiple systemic failures, I would invite everybody to read the entire report. You cannot cherry pick one sentence and use it to say everything without reading it all together and with context. But if we need *** simple phrase to describe what the report says again, I would tell you multiple systemic failures. I want to first thank the Mayor of Vivaldi for having hosting *** meeting today with several of the families and asking for us to come by and attend. And I thought that was the respectful thing to do. I thought it was respectful to at least let them hear from me before we open this up to *** broader public discussion. I look forward to the questions here at the press conference. Um one of the things that I said in there to the families is we want to show them as much respect as possible. The entire time this committee has been together. We have wanted to show them the much respect possible. And we’ve tried to do that. And I asked him if there was something we’ve ever done, not respectful to let us know what it is. But I told him the most we can do to be respectful at this point Is not to just blame one person or one thing. And I hope that the report, when people read all of it together, they understand that we look and take *** broad approach to what happened that day. My biggest fear and I also shared this with them at the meeting is that we will look for simple solutions to these complex answers and we will all look and say, well, you know, that’s the way. It was *** new vitality. It’s different here. Well, let me tell you the people of the valley before this, they felt it couldn’t happen here. They felt that that’s the false sense of security I worry about. I think some of the same systems that we found here that failed that day or across the entire state and country and I do not want to say because of one thing or one person here. It could not happen elsewhere. I think that’s *** disservice and not the respectful thing to do. This committee was created by speaker date feeling And I’m so appreciated. He did this. He formed this committee just 44 days ago and I believe this committee has driven things to the forefront. I believe that because of this committee’s work, some of the records have already been changed. And hopefully with this report, *** lot of the record is set straight. This committee is *** fact finding committee. Our job was essentially to figure out what the facts were and report it. It’s *** bike. The reasons bipartisan is because the problems are not Republican problems. They’re not democrat problems, they’re all of our problems. So I’m very proud the speaker made this *** bipartisan committee. There are other committees in the texas house and texas Senate that will look at this report. Look at the facts that we found here and discuss and debate the policy that needs to be changed to try to make texas Children safer going forward in the future. I’m *** policymaker. My colleagues up here, our policy makers or have strong opinions about changes to policy that need to be done today is not the day that we’re going to share what are strong feelings and convictions are about that. That was not the task of finding the facts. After some period of time we’ll put our policymaker hats back on and share those opinions with the committee and others about what we think needs to change and what’s done. But right now we’re gonna let the report speak for itself and focus on the facts that were found in there. The committee met with more than 35 witnesses, those were done in executive session. That is the president of the house in the past, it will likely be the president of the house going forward being an executive session meaning the people and witnesses who attended. We did not have the cameras on them and did not testify for the public at large to hear. We believe that that probably allowed us to get their testimony quicker and also they were more candid and more conversational allowing us to do our job more accurate. Other committees in the state of texas do have subpoena power and will have the opportunity to subpoena those witnesses for y’all to hear what they have to say for themselves. But that is the president of the House for investigative committee to do this in executive session, which is what we did. In addition to the 35 witnesses that we interviewed, There were 39 independent interviews that are investigators who did *** phenomenal job held to help us. We reviewed crime scene, photos, audio and video from the incident, 911 calls all of that went into trying to get this report compiled in 44 days so that we can deliver this here to you valid e and hopefully you will find this reflective of the facts that we basically get to. Let me tell you *** little about the report. We talk about the valley consolidated independent school district. Let me say this with hindsight. We can say the raw elementary was not adequately prepared for the risk of *** school shooter. The school’s five ft fence was inadequate despite *** policy of locked doors. There was *** regrettable culture of noncompliance. In fact, all three exterior doors to the building were unlocked that day and multiple interior doors were not secured the day of the shooting. When I talked about the false sense of security, I do not believe the quality consolidated or rob elementary is the only school with these issues in it. I’ve talked to enough other educators around the state to believe this is *** wider problem that we need to continue to look at. We discussed the attacker. You will first notice we did not use his name when we wanted to release the hallway video to the members of the families and the public. We were not going to show his image. He wanted that and he did not deserve it. He did not deserve to be have that recognition of his face or his name shown because it’s what he wanted. Also, there are cultures online who look and believe that when they see these videos, there’s something to be inspired by. We did not want others to look at these videos and to watch and being inspired by. We only wanted to show the law enforcement response. However, we did give you *** more comprehensive look at the background of the attacker. We refer to him that throughout the report because that’s how he refers to by the alert training. He fits the profile of many. He came from *** broken home with literal and no little to no interaction with his father. He struggled in school, both academically and socially. He struggled to fit in and eventually became isolated. He networked through his peers with his peers, through social media and violent video games. It ultimately had *** fixation on school shootings and even developed the nickname school shooter. We also talk in this report about the failures of law enforcement. There’s really two categories to think about when we talk about this. There is an early decision to treat this as an active suitor versus *** barricaded subject situation. If you know, and the training and standards we set for officers is if you know there’s active shooting, active killing going on or somebody is dying. The standard is you have to continue to do something to stop that killing or stop that dialing, dying that day. Several officers in the hallway or in that building knew or should have known there was dying in that classroom and they should have done more active with urgency. Try the door handles, try to go in through the windows, try to distract him, try to do something to address the situation. In fairness, there were many officers at that scene who were either denied access to the building, we’re told misinformation, some were even told false information, some were told the police chief of the consolidated Independent School District was actually inside the room, actively negotiating with *** suitor such that they did not know what was happening. They did not have the opportunity to do that. But that’s not where the analysis stops everyone who came on the scene talked about this being chaotic. The training suggests that when you cut the chaos should not happen inside the school. There should be *** tactical commander, someone who’s taking lead on dealing with the actual in the hallway, but there should also be an overall commander, somebody who’s an overall command flowing the information, making sure everybody knows what is going on. The fact that there was no overall commander outside the building where there should have been one should have been known by many. At *** minimum, there was multiple opportunities, depending on the relative training and experience of law enforcement officers to at least ask more questions or offer their guidance to try to remedy the chaotic situation and make sure there was effective overall command. There was *** lack of effective overall command That day. I’m going to recognize my colleagues for some brief statements and then we will answer the questions uh here today. Representative, moody. Thank you Mr Chairman. Um I’m joe moody *** democrat from El paso. I’m *** former prosecutor. I’ve worked on issues like criminal law and mental health for my entire legislative career and most importantly, I’m *** father of three and sadly, I’ve dealt with mass shootings before In just two weeks. It’ll be the third anniversary of the day. *** young man with *** rifle murdered 23 people. You know, passive after that we all kept asking why why did this happen to us? We’re here today to provide some of those answers in your body. And while this information will never make up for the unspeakable loss this community has endured. El paso ones know how important it is to know. I also know the report, we’ve given points to something very complex. It’s hard to hear that there were multiple systemic failures because we want to tell ourselves that systems work. We want to tell ourselves there’s one person we could point our fingers at, we want to tell ourselves that this won’t happen again. That’s just not true. What happened here is complicated, but there’s also *** call to action in this report because systems are something that we can and must improve. I see the report as *** baseline of information that we can all work from so often these days. Politics starts with the answer and doesn’t even care about the facts here. We’re starting with the facts, the most thorough, reliable report that’s been done on what happened at rob elementary. There’s more to do. But this report is *** shared platform for us to work from. Together the shootings in Uvalde and el paso have important differences. So did midland Odessa and Sutherland Springs in santa fe and on and on. But they also have important similarities that we can understand and address as *** state. Although today isn’t the day for that discussion, that’s what this report can and must lead to. I made *** promise to the people of el paso that I haven’t forgotten and that I will never forget to do everything in my power to make sure the legislature understands what happened and why and to fight for the solutions that we deserve. I make that same promise here today and develop. Thank you mr Chair. Thank you Representative moody Justice Guzman. Good afternoon. Um Eva Guzman, I’m *** former texas Supreme Court judge and I’m the public member of this committee. For the past several weeks, we have traveled to Yuval take testimony to hear firsthand what took place and in pursuit of the truth. I did so we did so at the request of texas House Speaker Dade Phelan, he charged us with delivering answers to the families who lost their loved ones and who seek to understand what happened that day. How could there be so many multiple systemic failures as our state and our country mourn the tragic deaths at rob elementary. Our committee impact the evidence to discover and report the facts as *** former judge. I spent much of my professional life ensuring that the facts I relied on to make decisions were accurate. I brought to this process. That same determination after all, accurate facts have to provide the backdrop for any policy changes that will come out of this throughout the investigative investigative process. Our only agenda was to follow the facts and the evidence as john Adams famously said, whatever may be our wishes, our inclinations or the dictates of our passion, they cannot alter the state of the facts and the evidence. That’s where we placed our focus there. We found the truth about what really happened at rob elementary that day, but we also found the reality of the breakdowns and procedures and protocols and processes of the breakdowns and failures in judgment and decision making that occurred before and during the tragedy. That truth, it’s heavy and it’s hard because it lays bare human failures and it makes us confront collapses in our systems. They were supposed to work. They were supposed to protect the innocent who now lie in their graves. Today, we stand before *** community that’s still gripped and grief with this report. Families who are crushed by sorrow and pain will now have desperately needed and deserved answers. But no report can heal broken hearts only God can do that. Knowing the truth. We hope will equip texas, lawmakers and leaders with information and knowledge that will guide them and deciding next steps, we hope the truth about this tragedy will also give this community the resolve to forge *** path forward. I come here with humility and respect and I am here for you, for the people of you, val Thank you. Um pursuant to the House rules before *** question is asked, we will have to have *** witness affirmation form arise. I said you can email to the committee clerk, are we ready for questions at this time? Okay. Yeah. Yeah. When you ask your question, could you tell us your name and what news affiliate you represent? So with that, we’ll start with the media with questions. Could you state your name and your affiliation? Thanks. So what I am telling you is, we have substantive committees have already been formed. The governor formed those early on, uh, and the speaker of the house formed at the same time, 44 days ago. This has been done. They’ve already been working on this. We now have some baseline information. We can report to the legislature, help them basically make some decisions about systemic failures. I think each community can look at the things we’ve laid out in this report and make some determinations about how to prevent that from happening. I will tell you not as *** legislator, not as *** chairman of this committee, but as *** father, I have asked teachers at my school’s principles of my schools and others about some of the things that we learn to find out what the culture is and intend to continue to work on it. I think it takes everybody to continue to ask questions next question. Okay, thank you. I’m gonna start with this. I’m gonna ask my colleagues if they want to comment as well? Multiple systemic failures. Our report does not look at other comments that were made to try to compare contrast and whatsoever. We laid out the basic facts as we were charged with to do and what I said early on about law enforcement, the officers who knew or should have known known that this was an active shooter situation by their training experience should have done more. We are very clear on that. Not every officer on the scene had that same information and have that same opportunity to comply with their training. One of the things this committee has not done because we’re *** three person committee is to go through and determine which which law enforcement personnel knew, what, what did they know and when they knew it? In order to do that. I think that’s gonna take many months to go through all the different video body camera footage and to figure out. And I think there’s other investigatory arms trying to figure out what did this person know? When did they know it? And you know, what did they do with it? And I think you’re gonna need all of that to try to make all these questions. But we do say there was chaos on the scene. And certainly certainly with the chaos, people should have asked why is there not an incident commander, why there’s not overall commander outside the building helping try to organize that representative of Justice Guzman, Would you hold on *** second, let them, one of the things that that we’ve learned from this is the importance of an incident commander and the information that’s relayed out. We know we didn’t have that here. And you’re asking why the information was told the way it was. Who knew what when the failure to have an incident commander on the scene to receive information and to communicate with the media. I believe in part led two, some of the information that was reported inaccurately representative moody. Um This is *** double tail on that. I think the question is looking at maybe how information flow uh went post post the incident. And there is *** section in the report about about information flow and how we believe it is incumbent upon law enforcement as they make reports to report what is verifiable, understand what is verifiable and what is not verifiable. So when the chairman talks about multiple systemic failures, One of those is the handling of information in this in this investigation and that’s why it’s in the report in that section. Okay. Next question. Yes, over here, could we just hold it to one follow up and give everyone else *** chance uh rosa go ahead. So what I’m going to tell you is this today is about what the committee was tasked to do. It was tasked to come up with the facts and that is what the committee was charged with by the speaker after *** modicum of time. And by the way, there are other substantive committees have explained this. Looking at the policy is gonna debate everything after *** modicum of time, out of respect for this report. All of us I assume will have the opportunity to make the comments about the policy, the changes our feelings and what we think ought to be done. But today is not that day. If you ask me that question again, sooner than later, I’ll answer it for you. I’ll be glad to answer it for you. I think the members of this committee would be happy to do that. Just not today, out of respect for what we’ve been asked to do and the report that we have hold on *** second name and who you’re with. Okay, thank you. So I’m gonna tell you it’s *** great question and it’s one that I wish I was in *** position to answer about all of the mechanics of it. We spent 44 days looking at the facts to lay those out. You know, each different officer who is connected to an agency is gonna have to do their own internal review. Everybody’s gonna have to figure out as I said, who knew what and when and if somebody failed to exercise their training, if somebody new, there were victims in their being killed or dying and did not do more. I believe those agencies will have to find accountability for those officers, but that is not what we are tasked with in this report to come with. And I understand that, but the limit what we have done is put the facts forward so others can take *** look at that represent those facts will allow those agencies to take *** deeper dive into the actions of law enforcement and hold them accountable. The report says if you’re not willing to put the lives of the people you serve of those Children before you are owned. In my view, you should find another job. It’s public record. She, I mean everyone has it at this point in time. Next question. The lady in the hat over here. Thank you. Yeah, great question. I actually learned from it from your reporting for the first time. It was not *** meeting that we organized. We came at the mayor’s invitation. Um, I don’t know the specifics of it had had not have had *** chance to actually find out. But certainly there was nobody that I’m not willing to visit with and help understand deliver *** copy to and if somebody, you know, *** family member did not go into the meeting. You know, I’d love to know the circumstances, love to sit down and visit with them. Happy to do that one on one. But you know, that was not. I did not ask anybody, obviously not to be there. NBC back there in the dress. Go ahead. So the answer to that is we will go with the house precedent on investigatory committees when *** house investigatory committee is formed. We do our work in executive session and the documents that were delivered most of those I legally cannot release unless I’m given permission to from *** nondisclosure agreement. I’ve tweeted about that and make people aware and happy to share the nondisclosure agreement with you. But you know, our hands are tied by precedent and some of the things that we had to do to obtain this. And also I don’t know if there’s any other investigations that have been alluded to, but I wouldn’t do anything without consultation with the investigators in order to get something done to make sure they’re okay with it. To jeopardize that the person in the glasses with their hands. Thank you. We are not advised at this time you’re gonna have to talk to you know, the different individuals the agency heads. And again, I’m, you know, I’m assuming they’re going through *** very complicated review of looking at body cam footage to figure out what information was actually available what was not those types of things. And I we do not have able to do that lady in the back with the face mask. I know there’s *** lot, but you know who I’m talking about right there in the glasses, Make sure I understood your comment in my report. I think I’ve got it. So in my report I laid out that there is up to 80,000 school buildings that each the Children of Texas attend throughout the days of the school year. And does it seem like *** herculean task to actually overcome that? I’m gonna make *** quick comment. I think my colleagues want to make sure they get *** chance to answer as well. We put that fact in there to make sure that when we talk about school hardening and school safety measures or whatever that is, people remember there are 80,000 buildings in the state of texas and that is, but you know what, we have to recognize that as we talk about this policy representing moody had I not had an opportunity to to visit with with educators uh, from rob, not just during this process, but today as well. And that that idea of security and safety and moving forward specifically for them and for this community is something that um that they’re focused on and and and we are helping focus on that with them. Um, but I think that the broader point about lessons learned and moving forward and why that number is important to know is that, that it is *** it is *** large task, but our our priorities, if our priorities are safety and security uh, of our kids, then then that is the task at hand. And so the job that we had here to set out facts to understand what’s going on that is an important fact to know. And you know, my kids are in two of those campuses back home. And so do I care about that? Am I going to visit with folks back home that the chairman has? Absolutely. And then we have we have an uh an obligation going forward at the state level as well. Justice Guzman, there’s *** section in the report on the school and the administrators. It’s my hope that every school district take some time to read this report. There were multiple systemic failures, including not locking doors. I hope that every school district, I can look at this report and glean something from the lessons, this unfortunate and tragic. The ladies standing up in the dress by the cameras. Wait. Mhm. So this is, so the question was about the mayor’s most recent actions. Um, you know, I saw him earlier, he made mention of that. I don’t know if our report, you know, gave him the emphasis to be able to do that or not. I’m not aware, but obviously, you know, you would need to talk to the mayor and I respect the mayor’s decisions. You know, I have to read the report into doing, you know, what he thinks needs to be done to protect the people of quality. The second question that you asked was remind me, Yeah, I think I think at the end of the day, we do not specify which officers should have taken over command in here because that’d be kind of *** little bit of our opinion as to who should have, what I will tell you is this, there were officers in that building who knew or should have known more needed to be done. And there’s also officers who should have seen some of the chaos going on in at least at *** minimum. If they didn’t take over command or try to assume command, they should’ve began asking questions or offer their support and guidance and eventually maybe they would have gotten command to have *** better response from that lady in the front row. Go ahead. Okay, go ahead. So there are autopsies and medical examiners that we do not have access to. I do not believe have been complete. Um, I’ve never been *** doctor. I’ve never gone back and done forensic exams. I’m not qualified to basically tell you what, who would not have we’ve talked to enough to know what we were able to say. And obviously if we get more information, this is *** preliminary report, I want to be very candid, you know, the decision that we made was we have done at least enough at this point in time to be able to issue *** preliminary report. You know, I am not telling you it’s conclusive and I think there’s other things out there. That’s certainly one of them that could be done. Lady in the front row, please state your name and your affiliation. Thank you. Federal. We don’t have we do not have jurisdiction over federal officers agents to basically, you know, force them to comply with the subpoena to bring them in. So that’s one of the things that you know, we did not allow them to have body cameras lady in the back row with your hand up please. You gotta follow up. Okay, go ahead. We got we got *** short time. So let’s try and move it along before you ask. That represented the wants to follow up on that as well and we’ll make sure he has *** good time. Yeah. Hold on. We’re gonna representing moody’s gonna comment on that first. Just just for *** matter of completeness while we didn’t have the ability to compel participation, there were statements taken from federal agents. Those we did have the opportunity to review and understand that there’s *** difference between reading *** statement and having the opportunity to question somebody lives. That’s for context. Okay, back behind me here, this gentleman, so that was confirmed to us by the investigation being done by the FBI and the DPS. They confirmed that with the video evidence. Uh you know, as far as it and certainly that’s commensurate with I think what you hear when you hear the audio and sound of that nature was in the first has something to follow up on. It was in the 1st 2.5 minutes. The report says 100 rounds were fired. Alright, thank you. Go ahead. I’ll check like Viano to identify del departamento de e End report identified ken uh, responsible sarah process. Oh Aquino is marquez stan represent que paso Cuando paso to identify card. Okay, robert, go ahead. Yeah, cheap. Why? Yeah. Second question is *** phenomenal question. Justice Guzman has brought that to my attention multiple times as his representative moody. Yes, absolutely. It is only appropriate to do that and that will be done. Um, first question your first question had to do with uh Chief Arredondo and as far as taking over command in our report, we did put some specific quotes from him in there. I would direct the audience and you and everybody to what he actually said and quote him directly. But essentially he testified that he felt like he was not in command that all being said. He certainly during that day, you know, took actions and I think would agree and did agree that if anybody was in charge of at least the response south of the door versus north, it was him at least until vortec arrived and took over the tactical command and they’re the ones who made entry. Okay, lady in the back by the camera with her hand up. Yes. Great. Let me say this. I think represented moody. I’m gonna let him answer it and then Justice Guzman and make sure she’d be able to translate parts of what she wanna say in spanish it is clear that this report does try to address the impact of the misinformation on the community who knew what when and how it flowed was clearly issues and has created some problems in the back part of the report. Certainly does touch on that. And our report speaks to that very directly very clearly. And I want to thank Representative moody for taking part of the lead and helping that. I’d like him to be able to give the opportunity to say some more. And I’m gonna let Justice Guzman speak to that some more as well as we as we worked on this and understood that there were multiple systemic failures in security and in police response. Um, and and in in in the life of the attacker, right, What and how those systems that we have didn’t address any of that. What became very evident to us also, was that the information flow exacerbated the pain of this community that was told to us multiple times. Um that that those the back and forth or the out of context or the miss truths or half truths or harmful in and of themselves. And so it was as we discussed multiple systemic failures that we have to address that this portion of the investigation was also *** failure and and has caused *** rightful, right rightfully cynical approach to the way this committee has done its business. Even though as the chairman said that this is the way investigative committees always work. But when you lay that on, we don’t operate in *** vacuum. When you lay that on top of the situation as it was or as it is, then then then you have to address it and put it forward. That’s why it’s in the report because our job is not to our job and we saw very clearly is not to add to that confusion but to create stable level ground that unifies facts that we can then build from. There are many of us that that in in this community and across the state that want to know where we go next in *** lot of different areas I know as policymakers, we’re gonna turn that corner and do that too. But you cannot do that without *** stabilizing force of facts. That was our mission here. That’s why we address the fact that that that that information flow was was part of the systemic failure that that that occurred here in justice. Terrific article report espanol in La Proxima Semana, it’s not claro La Pregunta is sobre el impacto de line formation Price. Okay, let me get through this one answer and then we’ll address your concerns. Thank you. Yeah, the different reporting. Yes. S produced. It’s correct. Chart bases line formation, Diferente Gracias Alright. As I stated at the beginning, we have to make *** 6:00 mass mass. This is gonna be the last question and that goes to that lady right over there in the blue. So so two things in the report, we go to great pains to try to set what actually the context of that statement related to the evacuation. And I think when you read it all together I’ll do that. Let me address the key. Because I think this is very important. *** lot of questions have asked about it. The board, the statements from Vortec were yes, they put *** key in the door and they unlocked it. There is enough information to be very uncertain whether or not that door was ever locked. The committee believes based on all the testimony and information we’ve received. It was very likely that door was either not locked or secured at the time. However, I am not willing to tell you with 100% absolute certainty that we know and we may never know whether or not that door was actually locked and secured at that time. But there’s *** strong emphasis and we put in the report that is more likely than not very strong that if somebody had just gone up and tried the door handle that could have opened it without *** camera. Thank you Mr Chairman. That will be it for today. We’ve got to get to mass. The archbishop has invited us and we’re gonna move on out. Thank you so much

Two months after the Uvalde school massacre, Texas state police on Monday announced an internal review into the actions of dozens of troopers who were at Robb Elementary during 73 minutes of bewildering inaction by law enforcement as a gunman slaughtered 19 children and two teachers. Video above: Texas House committee hosts news conference after releasing its Uvalde school shooting reportThe announcement appeared to widen the fallout of a damning 80-page report released over the weekend by the Texas House that revealed failures at all levels of law enforcement and identified 91 state troopers at the scene — more than all Uvalde officers combined. It also amounted to a public shift by the Texas Department of Public Safety, which until now has largely criticized local authorities for failing to confront the gunman sooner.The report made public Sunday laid bare for the first time just how massive a presence state police and U.S. Border Patrol had on the scene during one of the worst school shootings in U.S. history.“You got 91 troopers on the scene. You got all the equipment you could possibly want, and you’re listening to the local school cop?” said state Sen. Roland Gutierrez, a Democrat whose district includes Uvalde and who has accused DPS of seeking to minimize its role in the response.The findings that Border Patrol agents and state troopers made up more than half of the 376 law enforcement officials who rushed to the South Texas school on May 24 spread the responsibility for a slow and bungled response far wider than previous accounts that emphasized mistakes by Uvalde officers.The report made clear that “egregiously poor decision making” by authorities went beyond local law enforcement in Uvalde, who were eventually outnumbered more than 5-to-1 by state and federal officers at the scene. Other local police from the area around Uvalde also responded to the shooting.The report puts a new spotlight on the roles of state and federal agencies whose leaders, unlike local authorities, haven’t had to sit through meetings where they were confronted by the furious parents of the dead children.Of the nearly 400 officers who converged on the school, only two are currently known to be on leave pending investigation into their actions: Pete Arredondo, the Uvalde Consolidated School District police chief, and Lt. Mariano Pargas, a Uvalde Police Department officer who was the city’s acting police chief during the massacre.State police have previously said no troopers at the scene have been suspended. On Monday, Republican Texas Gov. Greg Abbott said the findings in the report “are beyond disturbing” but did not single out any one agency.Texas DPS did not put a timeline on when the review would be complete. It said the actions of every trooper, state police agent and Texas Ranger on the scene would be examined “to determine if any violations of policy, law, or doctrine occurred.”Col. Steve McCraw, the director of Texas DPS, has previously laid much of the blame for the response at Arredondo, identifying him as the incident commander and criticizing him for treating the gunman in the classroom as a barricaded subject and not an active shooter.The new report — the fullest accounting yet of the tragedy — also says Arredondo wasted critical time during the shooting by searching for a key to the classroom and not treating the gunman with more urgency. But it also emphasized that all law enforcement at the scene fumbled the response.“There is no one to whom we can attribute malice or ill motives. Instead, we found systemic failures and egregiously poor decision making,” the report said.Abbott said there are “critical changes needed” but in a statement did not address whether any officers or agencies should be held accountable.In Uvalde, meetings of the city council and school board in the eight weeks since the shooting have become recurring scenes of residents shouting at elected leaders for police accountability, which continued after the report was made public.Video above: Uvalde victim’s sister pleads for gun safety laws“It’s disgusting. Disgusting,” said Michael Brown, whose 9-year-old son was in the school’s cafeteria on the day of the shooting and survived. “They’re cowards.”According to the report, the gunman fired approximately 142 rounds inside the school — and it is “almost certain” that at least 100 shots came before any officer entered, according to the committee, which laid out numerous failures.Among them: No one assumed command despite scores of officers on the scene, and no officer immediately tried to breach the classroom despite a dispatcher relaying a 911 call that there were victims in the room.The report also criticized a Border Patrol tactical team, saying it waited for a bulletproof shield and working master key for a door to the classroom, which was most likely never locked, before entering. In all, the report put nearly 150 Border Patrol agents at the scene.Cecilia Barreda, a spokeswoman for U.S. Customs and Border Protection, said Monday that a review of the agency’s response was still underway and has not reached any final conclusions.Hours after the report was released, Uvalde officials separately made public for the first time hours of body camera footage from the city’s police officers who responded to the attackOne video from Uvalde Staff Sgt. Eduardo Canales, the head of the city’s SWAT team, showed the officer approaching the classroom when gunfire rang out at 11:37 a.m.A minute later, Canales said: “Dude, we’ve got to get in there. We’ve got to get in there, he just keeps shooting. We’ve got to get in there.” Another officer could be heard saying “DPS is sending their people.”It was 72 minutes later, at 12:50 p.m., when officers finally breached the classroom and kill the shooter.___Weber reported from Austin, Texas. Associated Press writer Jamie Stengle contributed from Dallas.

Two months after the Uvalde school massacre, Texas state police on Monday announced an internal review into the actions of dozens of troopers who were at Robb Elementary during 73 minutes of bewildering inaction by law enforcement as a gunman slaughtered 19 children and two teachers.

Video above: Texas House committee hosts news conference after releasing its Uvalde school shooting report

The announcement appeared to widen the fallout of a damning 80-page report released over the weekend by the Texas House that revealed failures at all levels of law enforcement and identified 91 state troopers at the scene — more than all Uvalde officers combined. It also amounted to a public shift by the Texas Department of Public Safety, which until now has largely criticized local authorities for failing to confront the gunman sooner.

The report made public Sunday laid bare for the first time just how massive a presence state police and U.S. Border Patrol had on the scene during one of the worst school shootings in U.S. history.

“You got 91 troopers on the scene. You got all the equipment you could possibly want, and you’re listening to the local school cop?” said state Sen. Roland Gutierrez, a Democrat whose district includes Uvalde and who has accused DPS of seeking to minimize its role in the response.

The findings that Border Patrol agents and state troopers made up more than half of the 376 law enforcement officials who rushed to the South Texas school on May 24 spread the responsibility for a slow and bungled response far wider than previous accounts that emphasized mistakes by Uvalde officers.

The report made clear that “egregiously poor decision making” by authorities went beyond local law enforcement in Uvalde, who were eventually outnumbered more than 5-to-1 by state and federal officers at the scene. Other local police from the area around Uvalde also responded to the shooting.

The report puts a new spotlight on the roles of state and federal agencies whose leaders, unlike local authorities, haven’t had to sit through meetings where they were confronted by the furious parents of the dead children.

Of the nearly 400 officers who converged on the school, only two are currently known to be on leave pending investigation into their actions: Pete Arredondo, the Uvalde Consolidated School District police chief, and Lt. Mariano Pargas, a Uvalde Police Department officer who was the city’s acting police chief during the massacre.

State police have previously said no troopers at the scene have been suspended. On Monday, Republican Texas Gov. Greg Abbott said the findings in the report “are beyond disturbing” but did not single out any one agency.

Texas DPS did not put a timeline on when the review would be complete. It said the actions of every trooper, state police agent and Texas Ranger on the scene would be examined “to determine if any violations of policy, law, or doctrine occurred.”

Col. Steve McCraw, the director of Texas DPS, has previously laid much of the blame for the response at Arredondo, identifying him as the incident commander and criticizing him for treating the gunman in the classroom as a barricaded subject and not an active shooter.

The new report — the fullest accounting yet of the tragedy — also says Arredondo wasted critical time during the shooting by searching for a key to the classroom and not treating the gunman with more urgency. But it also emphasized that all law enforcement at the scene fumbled the response.

“There is no one to whom we can attribute malice or ill motives. Instead, we found systemic failures and egregiously poor decision making,” the report said.

Abbott said there are “critical changes needed” but in a statement did not address whether any officers or agencies should be held accountable.

In Uvalde, meetings of the city council and school board in the eight weeks since the shooting have become recurring scenes of residents shouting at elected leaders for police accountability, which continued after the report was made public.

Video above: Uvalde victim’s sister pleads for gun safety laws

“It’s disgusting. Disgusting,” said Michael Brown, whose 9-year-old son was in the school’s cafeteria on the day of the shooting and survived. “They’re cowards.”

According to the report, the gunman fired approximately 142 rounds inside the school — and it is “almost certain” that at least 100 shots came before any officer entered, according to the committee, which laid out numerous failures.

Among them: No one assumed command despite scores of officers on the scene, and no officer immediately tried to breach the classroom despite a dispatcher relaying a 911 call that there were victims in the room.

The report also criticized a Border Patrol tactical team, saying it waited for a bulletproof shield and working master key for a door to the classroom, which was most likely never locked, before entering. In all, the report put nearly 150 Border Patrol agents at the scene.

Cecilia Barreda, a spokeswoman for U.S. Customs and Border Protection, said Monday that a review of the agency’s response was still underway and has not reached any final conclusions.

Hours after the report was released, Uvalde officials separately made public for the first time hours of body camera footage from the city’s police officers who responded to the attack

One video from Uvalde Staff Sgt. Eduardo Canales, the head of the city’s SWAT team, showed the officer approaching the classroom when gunfire rang out at 11:37 a.m.

A minute later, Canales said: “Dude, we’ve got to get in there. We’ve got to get in there, he just keeps shooting. We’ve got to get in there.” Another officer could be heard saying “DPS is sending their people.”

It was 72 minutes later, at 12:50 p.m., when officers finally breached the classroom and kill the shooter.

___

Weber reported from Austin, Texas. Associated Press writer Jamie Stengle contributed from Dallas.

Texas state police launch internal review of Uvalde response Source link Texas state police launch internal review of Uvalde response

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