Uvalde school police chief put on leave after response called ‘abject failure’

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The Uvalde school district’s police chief has been positioned on leave following allegations his response to the mass taking pictures at Robb Elementary School that left 19 college students and two academics useless was an “abject failure”.

valde Consolidated Independent School District superintendent Hal Harrell mentioned that he put colleges police chief Pete Arredondo on administrative leave as a result of the details of what occurred the day in southern Texas stay unclear.

In a press release, Mr Harrell didn’t deal with officer’s actions as on-site commander in the course of the assault, however mentioned he didn’t know when particulars of a number of investigations into the legislation enforcement response to the slayings can be revealed.

“From the beginning of this horrible event, I shared that the district would wait until the investigation was complete before making personnel decisions,” Mr Harrell mentioned.

“Because of the lack of clarity that remains and the unknown timing of when I will receive the results of the investigations, I have made the decision to place chief Arredondo on administrative leave effective on this date.”

A spokesperson for the Uvalde school district, Anne Marie Espinoza, declined to say whether or not Mr Arredondo would proceed to be paid whereas on leave.

Another officer will assume the embattled chief’s duties, Mr Harrell mentioned.

Colonel Steven McCraw, director of the Texas Department of Public Safety, informed a state Senate listening to on Tuesday that Mr Arredondo made “terrible decisions” because the bloodbath unfolded on May 24 , and that the police response was an “abject failure”.


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Steven McCraw has mentioned dad and mom begged police outdoors the school to maneuver in and college students contained in the classroom repeatedly pleaded with 911 operators for assist (Eric Gay/AP)

Three minutes after 18-year-old Salvador Ramos entered the school, ample armed legislation enforcement had been on scene to cease the gunman, Mr McCraw testified. Yet police officers armed with rifles waited in a school hallway for greater than an hour whereas the gunman carried out the bloodbath.

The classroom door couldn’t be locked from the within, however there is no such thing as a indication officers tried to open the door whereas the gunman was inside, Mr McCraw mentioned.

The colonel has mentioned dad and mom begged police outdoors the school to maneuver in and college students contained in the classroom repeatedly pleaded with 911 operators for assist whereas greater than a dozen officers waited in a hallway. Officers from different businesses urged Mr Arredondo to allow them to transfer in as a result of youngsters had been in peril.

“The only thing stopping a hallway of dedicated officers from entering Room 111 and 112 was the on-scene commander who decided to place the lives of officers before the lives of children,” Mr McCraw mentioned.

Mr Arredondo has tried to defend his actions, telling the Texas Tribune that he didn’t take into account himself the commander answerable for operations and that he assumed another person had taken management of the legislation enforcement response.

He mentioned he didn’t have his police and campus radios however that he used his cellphone to name for tactical gear, a sniper and the classroom keys.

It continues to be not clear why it took so lengthy for police to enter the classroom, how they communicated with one another in the course of the assault and what their physique cameras present.

Officials have declined to launch extra particulars, citing the investigation.

Mr Arredondo, 50, grew up in Uvalde and spent a lot of his practically 30-year profession in legislation enforcement within the metropolis. He took the top police job on the school district in 2020 and was sworn in as a member of the town council in a closed-door ceremony on May 31.

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