Uvalde City Council will investigate every city officer who responded to the school massacre

“This investigation is looking at every officer and their actions — what they’ve done, what our policy says — and basically we’re going to get a report on everyone,” said board member Ernest “Chip” King III, adding, “we will act on it, and we promise you that.”

Uvalde officers who responded to the scene will be interviewed by council-appointed lead investigator Jesse Prado, a former Austin police detective, King said.

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

“We owe it to the families. We want to get it right,” said fellow council member Everardo “Lalo” Zamora, alluding to the grief the Texas community has endured since the assault that left 19 students and two teachers dead.
Law enforcement’s response to the massacre, the second-deadliest at a U.S. K-12 school, was widely criticized because of the 80-minute delay between the time the first shots were fired and the shooter was eventually killed.

Uvalde police officers were among the first members of law enforcement to arrive at the school where a gunman shot at people outside, entered the school through a side door and entered in a classroom where he fired over 100 bullets.

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

The Uvalde Police Department has 39 sworn officers, officials said Tuesday. Twenty-five of them went to the scene of the shooting, according to a Texas House Investigative Committee Report.
The city has already placed a lieutenantwho was the acting chief of the police department that day, on administrative leave while he determines whether he should have taken command.

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

So far, two reviews of the response — by the Texas House Investigative Committee and Texas State University’s Advanced Law Enforcement Rapid Response Training Center — have implicated the school district’s police chief. Pedro “Pete” Arredondo, although none of these reports are considered a full account of the day and its failures. The investigating committee also pointed to the broad failures of the various law enforcement agencies that responded to the scene.
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Arredondo did not speak substantially to the public about his actions that day, and he declined CNN’s requests for comment. His attorney, who did not respond to CNN’s requests for comment, told the Texas Grandstand that Arredondo was not the “incident commander”.

Arredondo told the House Investigating Committee that he “did not consider himself to have assumed command of the incident,” according to the legislative report – which quoted the leader as saying: “My approach and thinking responded as police officer. And so I don’t have I don’t call myself.”

The chief is on administrative leave and the school district superintendent has recommended his dismissal. A the school board meeting to vote on his dismissal was canceled at the request of the chief prosecutor, officials said.

Calls for officers to be removed from patrol

Some people present at the city council meeting demanded that the city workers who went to school be put on leave or assigned to office duties.

“I know parents want answers. No one wants to give those answers more than me to the city council,” Uvalde City Council member Hector R. Luevano said during a public portion of the council meeting. of Tuesday.

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“I’m a former police officer so I have 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 you need to hear,” he said.

“If there is an officer who violates a policy or a procedure that he was supposed to act on and who did not and could have caused the death of these children, the death of these teachers, I can assure you that heads are going to roll,” Luevano said. .

Board members said their investigator should complete his work within two months, and then Prado will make recommendations — including possibly disciplinary action — to the board.

Council member challenges Texas governor

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

The Uvalde shooter 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 and cited Abbott’s connection to the National Rifle Association, noting he funded his campaign.

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

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

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.

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