Uvalde schools suspend all police force after outrage

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Uvalde’s school district suspended its entire police force on Friday amid renewed anger over the hesitant response of law enforcement to the gunman who murdered 21 people at Robb Elementary School.

The extraordinary move came after it was revealed that the district had hired a former state trooper who was among the hundreds of police who rushed to the scene of the May 24 shooting.

School leaders have placed two members of the district police department on administrative leave, one of whom has chosen to retire, according to a statement by the Uvalde Consolidated Independent School District. The remaining officers will be assigned to other posts in the county.

Uvalde school leaders take a one-month break from campus police operations to a new school year It underscores the continued pressure exerted on the region by the families of some of the 19 children and two teachers killed in South Texas society.

Brett Cross, the uncle of 10-year-old victim Uziyah Garcia, has been protesting outside the Uvalde school administration building for the past two weeks, demanding that officers be held accountable for allowing a gunman with an AR-15-style rifle to stay in fourth row. -class class more than 70 minutes.

The Uvalde families said students in the area were not safe as long as officers who had waited so long to confront and kill the gunman remained on duty.

“We did!” To go past tweeted out.

There were five campus police officers at the shooting scene in the Uvalde school district, according to a damning report from Texas lawmakers that revealed multiple faults in response. A total of about 400 officers intervened, including school district police, city police, county sheriff’s deputies, state police, and U.S. Border Patrol agents, among others.

Friday’s fallout is the first in Uvalde’s school police force since the district sacked former police chief Pete Arredondo in August. He remains the only officer fired from his job following one of the deadliest classroom attacks in US history.

The district said it would seek additional assistance from the Texas Department of Public Safety, which has assigned dozens of soldiers to the district for the school year. Spokespersons for the agency did not immediately return messages seeking comment on Friday.

“We are confident that staff and student safety will not be compromised during this transition,” the district said in a statement.

The statement did not specify how long campus police operations would be suspended.

The former DPS soldier recruited by the district was among at least seven soldiers who were later put under internal investigation for his actions at Robb Elementary School.

Officer Crimson Elizondo fired on Thursday, a day after CNN first reported on her hiring. He did not respond to messages left by the Associated Press.

Steve McCraw, head of the Department of Public Safety, called law enforcement’s response to the shooting a “silly failure”. McCraw also came under pressure because the leader of one division had the support of Republican Governor Greg Abbott despite the presence of more than 90 soldiers at the scene.

On Thursday, after Elizondo was fired, Abbott called the school’s hiring of the ex-military a “bad decision” and said it was up to the county to “own it”.

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For more AP coverage on the Uvalde school attack: https://apnews.com/hub/uvalde-school-shooting

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This story has been corrected to reflect that Brett Cross is Uziyah Garcia’s uncle.


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