Latest Uvalde Report Shouldn’t Surprise Anyone

I can’t express the sympathy I feel for the families of the students and teachers killed and wounded during the school shooting in Uvalde two years ago. Like so many, when I see video of law enforcement officers standing around, taking little to no action to stop an active shooter situation, my blood boils. I can only imagine the pain it brings to those families who lived through it. Yesterday, the so-called independent report into what happened was released and all it did was rub salt into wounds still raw from what happened.

To say I have questions about the report would be putting it mildly. We’ll start with the fact it was called an “independent investigation”. It was, in so far as it was conducted by a former Austin, TX detective. But then you have to look at who hired him and what the reasoning for the report happened to be. He was hired by the city of Uvalde “in anticipation of litigation and/or for use in trial.” Right there you have to wonder if there was not some pressure, real or assumed, to slant the report to protect the city and its officers. After all, they wouldn’t want a report that confirmed what the Justice Department’s report said.

Then there’s the fact it was admitted every person interviewed for the report sat down with their attorneys to answer the investigator’s questions. Yeah, there wasn’t spin being put on those answers. Especially since the officers involved, assuming they were interviewed, still have their jobs despite pressure from the public to fire them.

Without going into the nitty gritty of the report–I am still trying to wade through its 182 pages–it appears it comes down to this: the report focused on whether or not the officers violated policy that was in place at the time. While that is an important question, it is NOT the only question and certainly not the most important one.

It is important, at least from the standpoint of the city, because it could limit any liability the city has for what happened. If the officers followed policy, it could be argued that to have done anything else would have put them in danger, etc. But that’s like saying, which the report does, that the acting chief of police should be vindicated because he “believed” the classroom door was locked. In other words, his intent was good even if he didn’t take any action to confirm his belief.

Sorry, but no. Why didn’t any of the hundred plus law enforcement officers simply creep forward and try to open the door? Other officers could have used distraction techniques to give him or her the opportunity.  But now. Instead of that, they spent precious time–and we’re not talking a few minutes–trying to find keys to the classroom.

Yes, I’m rolling my eyes.

Prado, the investigator, did admit there were failures in law enforcement response to the active shooter call at the school. Among the problems he identified were lack of equipment, no breaching practice since Covid, lack of communication from Uvalde-CISD police chief, Pete Arrendondo, and more.

But he found “no wrong doing by “the officers examined for his investigation.” There are a number of references to “acting in good faith”, “did as ordered”, etc. Hmmm, where have we heard that before?

Looking at the table of contents, it would appear only officers with the Uvalde PD and possibly Uvalde-CISD were interviewed and no one else on-scene.

I do not blame the families for losing their tempers when, after giving the report to the city council, Prado got up and left the room. I would have too.

I’ll be honest. I’m not sure I blame the individual cops for the response that day. They were doing what was ordered. But I do blame those in positions to order training, to order equipment, to take command at the scene for what happened. It isn’t enough to “believe” a door is locked when you have an active shooter killing his hostages. You have to confirm it one way or another. It isn’t enough to say you couldn’t communicate with anyone via cellphone and not go find a handheld radio or to get your ass inside and take command.

The whole purpose of this report reads like it is an attempt to shield Uvalde and the police department from liability. Unfortunately for Uvalde, the $100k-plus it spent on the report isn’t nearly enough to take the taint off the response of the PD, the U-CISD police department or any of the other agencies that responded.

And now the citizens of Uvalde continue to wait because the council won’t take any action on the report until at least next week when it meets again. How long will these families and friends have to wait for justice for their loved ones?

1 Comment

  1. First, they need to kick out the entire city council and elect those that will take action.
    Second, dependent on the first above, all Uvalde LE officers who were there and did not take swift action, should be fired and charged as being accessories to murder.
    Third, all non-Uvalde LE officers who were also there and did not take swift action, should also be fired and charged as being accessories to murder.
    Fourth, the victims families should sue each of the individual LE officers who were there and did not take swift action for several million dollars each.
    Fifth, the individual city council members in the first above should also be charged with attempting to cover the criminal malfeasance by the above LE officers and also sued as individuals by the victims families.
    Sixth, all of the above council and LE members above, should lose all accrued retirement pensions, and be permanently barred from working in any government position at any level including Federal.

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