Uvalde: Fire All The Cops Except One

Uvalde: Fire All The Cops Except One

Uvalde: Fire All The Cops Except One

Every single time we think “surely this is the WORST of the details from the Uvalde shooting,” we learn of something even worse.

Is there no end to the catastrophic f**k up? At this point, it almost feels like the revelation might be incoming that the police knew who the shooter was, and didn’t want to take the shot because he was such a “troubled kid” or some such craziness. After Parkland, it feels beyond incredible that there could be this much failure in the moment of a crisis, but by all reports, the Uvalde police blew it. They blew it, they knew they blew it, and they would like to keep the public from knowing just how much they blew it.

Given the public’s anger at each ensuing revelation, the Texas Department of Public Safety is not inclined to cover for the failures in Uvalde.

Department of Public Safety Director Steve McCraw told a state Senate committee Tuesday that the law enforcement response to the Uvalde school shooting was an “abject failure” and police could have stopped the shooter at Robb Elementary School three minutes after arriving were it not for the indecisiveness of the on-scene commander, who “decided to place the lives of officers before the lives of children.”

McCraw said the inexplicable conduct by Uvalde school district police Chief Pete Arredondo was antithetical to two decades of police training since the Columbine High School massacre, which dictates that officers confront active shooters as quickly as possible.”

“The officers had weapons; the children had none,” McCraw told the Tribune in an interview. “The officers had body armor; the children had none. The officers had training; the subject had none. One hour, 14 minutes and 8 seconds. That’s how long children waited, and the teachers waited, in Room 111 to be rescued.”

We have also now learned that the doors to the classroom were never locked, and the police on scene never tried opening the door. Instead, they dithered around looking for a key that they DIDN’T NEED.

We know that victims bled out while waiting for someone to stop the shooter. Every second counted, and the police failed to test every available entrance to get into the classroom in order to neutralize the threat. Instead, they just SAT THERE.

As a parent, I find this so enraging that I can’t even find words to describe it. The on scene commander, we all assumed, was Uvalde Consolidated Independent School District chief of police Pete Arredondo. The amazing part is, Arredondo apparently didn’t think he WAS the on scene commander, though everyone assumed that he was.

Arredondo had previously told the Texas Tribune he did not consider himself the incident commander that day. However, at least one of the officers is noted at 11:50 a.m. expressing the belief that Arredondo was leading law enforcement response inside the school, telling others, “The chief is in charge,” according to the public safety department’s timeline.”

Despite the criticisms, McCraw expressed discomfort in calling out Arredondo individually. “I don’t like singling out a person and shifting and saying he’s solely responsible, but at the end of the day, if you assume incident command, you are responsible,” McCraw said.”

Arredondo’s story has changed so much over the course of the investigation – and he would like to not show up to his new job as a city council member now, too – that this man cannot stay in his current position as police chief for the school district’s police force, much less as a city councilman. So why is the mayor of Uvalde now mad at Texas DPS for their report?

(Mayor Don) McLaughlin sharply criticized the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) and its leader, Col. Steven McCraw. The Texas Rangers, a DPS agency, are leading the investigation into the shooting and McLaughlin told residents he was upset that he and other city officials have never been briefed on how the investigation is going. He went on to say he thinks McCraw is making misleading statements to help distance the actions of the state troopers and Texas Rangers who responded to the shooting.”

“Colonel McCraw has continued to, whether you want to call it … lie, leak, mislead or mistake information in order to distance his own troopers and Rangers from the response. Every briefing he leaves out the number of his own officers and Rangers that were on scene that day,” McLaughlin said.”

Is the mayor mad that he is being kept out of the information loop, or is he mad that his local police are the ones taking the biggest hit? Look, I’m plenty happy to spread out the blame, but the fact remains that Arredondo, by virtue of his own position, was the assumed on scene commander once he was on site. And if he can’t realize that, then he shouldn’t be in law enforcement.

In fact, every single Uvalde CISD officer needs to be fired if they were on site at Robb Elementary and did nothing. And any Uvalde police officer who showed up and did nothing should be fired. And any state trooper or Texas Ranger who showed up and did nothing should be fired. In fact, fire Arredondo and replace him with the only CISD officer who tried to do anything that day, Ruben Ruiz.

Let this horrifying fact sink into your mind and your heart. Ruben Ruiz was ready to get into that classroom, in order to save his wife and her students, and SOMEONE DISARMED HIM and TOOK HIM AWAY FROM THE SCENE. He was the most motivated person on scene in that moment, and SOMEONE stopped him. WHO. WAS. THAT. SOMEONE. Who ordered Ruiz disarmed and off the scene? We are going to find out eventually, and if it was Arredondo, I don’t know how he doesn’t leave Texas, let alone Uvalde, immediately.

Every single one of the police officers on scene from the Uvalde CISD needs to be fired except for Ruben Ruiz. Make him the new chief. Make each officer who wants their job back come in and look Ruiz in the eye, knowing that they stood in a hallway while his wife bled out and they didn’t help him get in there to save her and the children, and then they can ask for their job back. If they manage to get their cowardly asses through the door to look that man in the eye, I’ll be shocked.

Featured image: Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, via VOA on Wikimedia Commons, cropped, public domain

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  • Cameron says:

    “But the important part is that our officers went safely home that night.”

  • GWB says:

    OK, based on that testimony about the classroom door, I withdraw all prior “We need more facts” concerning the officers, related to the interior door.

    Not a single one snuck up to the door below the level of the window and tried the door?
    (Every roleplayer I know knows the first question you always ask is, “Is the door locked?”. Followed by “Do I detect any traps?”)

    I do, however, wonder what the police officer assumptions were, based on any previous training at the school, or sand table drills they might have done. Were they dumb or mal-trained? Still should have checked.

    • GWB says:

      BTW, anyone know where the video of the testimony is that might show other entrances/exits from the room(s)? Windows? Outside door?

    • Ralph Robert Jaeger says:

      Will the public ever find out how an unemployed high school dropout managed to pay for two rifles, ammunition and magazines amounting to about $8000.00?

      • GWB says:

        He got a job at Wendy’s. That information has been out there for weeks.
        As a matter of fact, he got the job only long enough to pay for the rifles he bought. Too bad he didn’t apply that sort of planning for something productive in life.

  • GWB says:

    leaves out the number of his own officers and Rangers that were on scene that day
    OK, I give. How many was it? And define “on scene”, please. Were they responding to the actual incident or providing other support?
    I’ll demand the same thing of the mayor I demanded of everyone casting stones at the cops: show how it went down, and that they acted not in accord with reason, training, and basic expectations of a Texas Ranger.

    • Hate_me says:

      Altogether, there are still far too few details on which to base any direct blame. Were the responding officers ordered to stand down before they ever got close to the door? Are any of the snippets of information that’ve been put out independently verified? Were they ever trained or rehearsed on their response to such a situation? If not, why the goddamn hell weren’t they?

      I cannot imagine those officers feel anything but shame over their actions that day, and I’ve known the horror of trying to improve a professional culture or policy or plan only to be overruled by leaders who are unworthy of their men. I have never met any LEO from Uvalde, but it’s entirely possible they were lions led by a sheep.

      I can’t defend their results, but I won’t condemn them without due diligence.

      This whole incident has created a political win for gun control advocates. In my experience, when higher-level leadership diverges from accepted protocol, it’s political and motivated by something far removed from the mission. The greatest atrocities in history have all been done in the name of some greater good.

      • GWB says:

        This whole incident has created a political win for gun control advocates.
        Maybe in some places where reason doesn’t hold sway. But in most other places – at least where they’re hearing these facts come out – it seems to be thoroughly undercutting the anti-2A premise of “Only the cops are smart enough, trained enough, and good enough to have guns.” Lots more people are thinking “What if one of the teachers in those two rooms had been carrying?”

        And the pro-2A argument has shifted from “When seconds count the police are only minutes away” to “When seconds count, the police are standing right outside for an hour.”

  • BSmith says:

    Short of finding out the victims were shot by the police, this is about as bad as it gets. Total failure. Both at the scene and the way it has been handled since.

  • Why should we have expected other behavior from those Uvalde police? They’ve been told — by the Supreme Court of the United States! — that they have no duty to protect. They’ve been told by their commanders that going home alive and whole is their first duty. And they’ve been told, mostly by one another, that civilians are a lesser breed — that only the guys wearing badges really matter. Given all that, pounded at them for decades now, why should we have expected them to risk mussing their uniforms by charging an active shooter?

    • GWB says:

      that civilians are a lesser breed
      The cops are “experts”! They’re “professionals”.

      And that worked so well with Wuhan Flu. And the economy. And foreign relations, and oil, and energy, and our supply chain, and….

  • […] Consolidated Independent School District chief of police Pete Arredondo. We have discussed this before. We have also addressed how the city is upset with the Texas Department of Public Safety’s […]

  • […] failure on scene.  Deanna Fisher asks the only relevant question that needs to be answered her piece last […]

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