A ‘chaotic’ situation, lack of command, ‘negligent’ agents: A Texas parliamentary commission of inquiry has pushed back all police departments involved in the response to the killing at the Uvalde school on Sunday.
According to the report, some police officers are more reluctant to charge than others, saying the police ‘do not respect their training’ and ‘do not put the lives of innocent victims before their own safety’.
A total of 376 agents — from the Border Patrol, state, city, local sheriff’s department or elite forces — intervened at the school Rape Elementary School, Texas’ House of Representatives elected officials revealed in a preliminary investigation report. But between the arrival of the first police and the killer’s death, 73 minutes passed, an ‘unacceptable’ delay linked to ‘a lack of command that may have contributed to the loss of life,’ they write.
They reiterate that although ‘the majority of victims likely died immediately after the first shots’, some died on the way to hospital and it is ‘plausible’ that they could have survived had they been rescued quickly.
Texas Public Safety Director Steven McGraw previously called law enforcement’s response a ‘complete failure’, focusing his criticism on Uvalde School District Police Chief Pete Arredondo’s suspension. “He didn’t live up to his responsibility as commander in chief” and made analytical errors because he didn’t have all the information, Texan lawmakers believe.
But no one came forward to help or replace him, they note: ‘The attitude of all the officers was apathetic’, ‘the scene was chaotic and no one was clearly taking responsibility or answering’. Their results were delivered to victims’ relatives, who for weeks lamented the authorities’ lack of transparency, suspecting them of wanting to cover up police failures.
Criticism grew after a horrifying video was released this week showing the shooter arriving on the scene with an assault rifle and then officers waiting for a long time in the school hall.
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