Unelected City Council to investigate every city officer who responded to school massacres

“This investigation looks at each individual officer and what his actions — what he did, what our policy says — and basically we’re going to get a report on everybody,” said Councilman Ernest “Chip” King III, adding, “we’re going to act on that, and we promise you that.”

Unelected police officers who responded to the scene will be interviewed by the council’s designated lead investigator, Jesse Prado, a former Austin police detective, King said.

“He will lead the investigation and we will let the investigation go, see what he decides, but everyone that is Uvalde PD that was there will be held accountable for their actions,” he said.

“We owe it to the families. We want to get it right,” said another council member, Everardo “Lalo” Zamora, alluding to the heartache the Texas community has suffered since the attack that left 19 students and two teachers dead. .
The law enforcement response to the massacre, the second deadliest at a US K-12 school, has been widely criticized for the 80-minute delay between the first shots being fired and the gunman finally being killed.

Unelected police officers were some of the first law enforcement personnel to arrive at the school, where a gunman fired at people outside, entered the school through a side door and entered a classroom, where he fired more than 100 bullets.

Uvalde school district unveils new safety plans during tense school board meeting as parents express frustration and anger

In all, nearly 400 officers from two dozen agencies responded to the May 24 shooting.

The unelected police department has 39 sworn officers, officials said Tuesday. 25 of them went to the scene of the shooting, according to a report by a Texas House investigative committee.
The city has already placed a lieutenant, who was the police department’s acting chief that day, on administrative leave while it determines whether he should have taken command.

The state Department of Public Safety is leading a criminal investigation into the shooting.

Two reviews of the response so far — by the Texas House Investigative Committee and the Advanced Law Enforcement Rapid Response Training Center at Texas State University — have blamed school district Police Chief Pedro “Pete” Arredondo, though neither of those reports is considered a complete accounting of the day and its fault. The investigative committee also pointed to the broad failures of the various law enforcement agencies that responded to the scene.
CNN's review of videos shows the Uvalde school principal in a central role during the unfolding of the massacre
Arredondo has not spoken significantly to the public about his actions that day, and he has declined CNN requests for comment. His attorney, who has not responded to CNN’s requests for comment, told the Texas Tribune that Arredondo was not the “instigator.”

Arredondo told the House Investigative Committee that he did not “consider himself to have assumed incident command,” according to the legislative report — which quoted the chief as saying, “My approach and thought was to respond as a police officer. And so I did. not naming names myself.”

The manager is on administrative leave and the school district superintendent has recommended that he be fired. A school board meeting to vote on his dismissal was canceled at the request of the chief’s attorney, officials have said.

Calls for officers to be taken off patrol

Some people at the city council meeting called for the city officers who attended the school to be put on leave or assigned desk duties.

“I know parents want answers. No one wants to provide those answers more than I do on the City Council,” Uvalde City Councilman Hector R. Luevano said during a public portion of Tuesday’s council meeting.

What we know about the victims at Robb Elementary School

“I am a former police officer so I have some insight into the actions that need to be taken,” he added. “I can assure the families of this community that I will do everything in my power as a member of this council to give you the answers that you need to hear,” he said.

“If there’s an officer that’s in violation of any policy or procedure that they’re supposed to be acting on that didn’t and maybe caused these kids to die, these teachers to die, I can assure you, heads will come to to roll,” Luevano said.

Council members said their investigator should complete his work within two months, after which Prado will make recommendations — possibly including disciplinary action — to the council.

Council member calls Texas governor

The council, like the school board the night before, passed a resolution asking Gov. Greg Abbott to call a special session of the state legislature to consider raising the minimum age to purchase a military-style semi-automatic rifle.

The Uvalde gunman bought two AR-15-style rifles for his 18th birthday. He used one in the massacre.

Luevano said it’s likely the governor will ignore the requests, citing Abbott’s connection with the National Rifle Association, noting that it had funded his campaign.

“So is this special session going to happen? I don’t think so,” he said. “And why do we have to ask for a special session? Why doesn’t he take the initiative?”

“I don’t even think he cares about Uvalde,” Luevano added.

CNN has requested comment from Abbott’s office.

CNN’s Rosa Flores and Rosalina Nieves reported from Uvalde and Steve Almasy wrote in Atlanta. Elizabeth Joseph contributed to this report.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.