Uvalde Shooting Report Undermines Calls To Ban Guns and ‘Back the Blue’
If you really need further evidence of how foolish it is to surrender your right to protect yourself and defer to government employees who are supposed to assume that responsibility, the record of police non-response during the Uvalde mass murder should do the job. Those who, in the future, continue to insist that we disarm ourselves and venerate government enforcers who are tasked to protect us should be unceremoniously kicked to the curb.
“At Robb Elementary, law enforcement responders failed to adhere to their active shooter training, and they failed to prioritize saving the lives of innocent victims over their own safety,” finds a devastating report published July 17 by the Texas House of Representatives Investigative Committee on the Robb Elementary Shooting. “The first wave of responders to arrive included the chief of the school district police and the commander of the Uvalde Police Department SWAT team. Despite the immediate presence of local law enforcement leaders, there was an unacceptably long period of time before officers breached the classroom, neutralized the attacker, and began rescue efforts.
That delay (73 minutes in the report, or 77 minutes according to news stories) was documented in excruciating detail in video of police response published last week in both edited and full form by the Austin American-Statesman and KVUE before it was formally screened by authorities.
“We know now…that some students quietly called 911 from inside the classrooms for help, a critically wounded teacher could hear officers just outside the classroom, and that 911 dispatchers were fielding their calls of desperation,” Manny Garcia, executive editor, wrote for the Austin American-Statesman in explaining the decision to publish the video. “We also know that exasperated parents, family members and bystanders standing outside the school begged authorities to do something. After 77 minutes, the video shows the officers breach the classroom.”
Before the release of the Texas lawmakers’ report documenting failures not just by police, but by school officials who ignored their own security measures, some Uvalde families and government officials criticized the media for publishing the video before a carefully planned screening by Texas lawmakers.
“I am deeply disappointed this video was released before all of the families who were impacted that day and the community of Uvalde had the opportunity to view it as part of Chairman Dustin Burrows’ plan,” Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) Director Steven McCraw added, referencing the planned official release of the recording.
But, while the grief of Uvalde parents is understandable, the fact that politicians intended to stage-manage release of the video is exactly the problem. We already know that elected officials leaned on DPS “to publicly paint a more positive picture of the law enforcement response,” as reported by ABC News. To his credit, McCraw hasn’t done that; he says “the law enforcement response to the attack at Robb Elementary on May 24 was an abject failure.” But the pressure to spin lethal dawdling demonstrates why officials shouldn’t control how their betrayals of public trust are pres
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