Uvalde school shooting: Texas DPS ‘did not fail’ Uvalde in its response, director says, as families demand he resign


In the face of calls for his resignation from victims’ relatives and major newspapers, Texas Department of Public Safety Col. Steven McCraw did not resign, saying in a meeting of the watchdog’s meeting Thursday that his officers “did not fail. the community” of Uvalde during the May mass shooting in in which 19 four students and two teachers were killed.

“If DPS is failing the family, failing the school, or failing the community of Uvalde, then I have to go,” McCraw said at the Texas conference. Public Safety Commission. “But I can tell you right now: DPS as an organization has not lost the community, plain and simple.”

McCraw’s comments, which came after several victims’ families called for his resignation, followed the referral of seven DPS officers for investigation by the agency’s investigators examine what they did — or didn’t do — as the gunman killed 21 people at Robb Elementary in the worst U.S. school shooting in nearly a decade.

When nearly 400 officers from DPS and 22 other agencies responded May 24 to the Uvalde school within minutes of the first gunshot, police waited 77 minutes — to do Violation of firearms regulations and training – before breaching the link class to find victims. and killed the 18-year-old gunman.

McCraw previously vowed to “race (him) out as governor” if his department is found guilty of wrongdoing in connection with the shooting.

“It’s been five months and three days since my son, his classmates and his teachers were killed,” said Brett Cross, who helped support his 10-year-old son Uziyah Garcia before the son was killed in the shooting.

But while the clock is still ticking, Hla said, “Many of the numbers are still the same: 77 minutes that 91 of you police officers waited outside while our children were killed.

“We are not waiting anymore. Our families, our community, our state have waited long enough. And politics only puts the lives of more Texans at risk,” Cross said, adding, “I expect … your immediate resignation.”

Cross repeated his call for McCraw to resign – or be fired by the governor – on CNN’s “Anderson Cooper 360 °.”

“He just refuses to do the right thing, and it’s, it’s disgusting,” he told Cooper. “How are we supposed to believe, you know, as Texans, that the police on him when he set the bar for the children being killed was not a failure.”

After the oversight meeting, major Texas newspapers also called for McCraw’s resignation or firing.

“In the days since the May 24 shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas Department of Public Safety Steve McCraw, met Thursday by Uvalde parents, has established a solid case for him to resign or be fired,” the San Antonio Express-News wrote.

“McCraw should resign. And if he doesn’t, Abbott should kill him. ”

The paper describes how family members warned McCraw he told CNN in September he would resign if the military was “criminal” in its slow response. for the situation.

McCraw on Thursday did not provide further details on his agency’s internal review of the response, only reiterating that all DPS officers at the scene will be reviewed.

One officer, McCraw said, resigned during the investigation and is not eligible to return to the department, while another is “in the process of being cut right now.”

However, while McCraw acknowledged Thursday that his office was not at fault — acknowledging his officers were on the scene within minutes of the shooting starting — he did not immediately resign. that.

Thursday’s meeting began with a public comment period, with five minutes per speaker, starting with state Sen. Roland Gutierrez, who represents Uvalde and called for McCraw’s resignation, confirmed.

Pointing not only to the wrongful date of the shooting, but to the false information DPS released in the following weeks, Gutierrez said the shooting “devastating” Texans. faith “we can trust the words and actions of the police. – especially the Department of Public Safety.”

In a statement, Lives Robbed, a group formed by some of the victims’ loved ones, expressed disappointment about Thursday’s meeting, saying it fell short of their expectations.

“Today, the Department of Public Safety promised an update in their investigation of the Robb Elementary School shooting. That did not happen,” the statement said. and instead, they held a prestigious press conference and once again refused to accept responsibility for their failure.”

“We will not allow the Department to share our grief, and the death of our children. We call on the Department of Public Safety and the Council to provide an update serious about their investigation, and that it is held in the community affected by this terrible situation,” he said.

Cross told CNN the meeting was ridiculous and, “I’m upset that DPS continues to waste our time. … They’re not telling us anything.”

The meeting comes as the crisis of US school shootings shows no signs of abating, with at least 67 such attacks reported this year in US schools, counting with high school students and a teacher killed Monday in St.

McCraw’s remarks drew little ire from the victims’ families, some of whom told the commissioner before the meeting was cut short and moved on to other businesses.

Cross pressed the chief on his statement that he would resign if DPS was found guilty, asking McCraw, “So your officers were there in 10 minutes. Right?”

“Yes,” McCraw said.

“They are not representatives of your company?” Skip continues.

“Of course,” said McCraw.

“So, they failed?” Skip the question.

“Of course,” said McCraw.

“Therefore, DPS failed, therefore, there was a fault,” Cross said. “So, if you are a man of your word, then you will retire.”

Thursday’s hearing marked McCraw’s first public testimony about the bloodshed in Uvalde since June when, before a state Senate committee, he wrote that the response to the shooting was “complaints” – but blamed much on city and school officials, including the agency’s director Pedro “Pete” Arredondo, who state officials say is the boss take the situation.

Arredondo, who has denied he was in that role, was fired in August — a move his attorney called “an unjust public lynching, ” added Arredondo should be reinstated, with full back pay and benefits.

Arredondo was one of five school officials at Robb Elementary, while DPS had 91 personnel respond to the shooting — the most for the U.S. Border Patrol, according to a July report. from the State House of Representatives.

The agency has come under increasing scrutiny for its role in responding to the incident, beginning with its initial description of what happened in the days of the bloodshed and expanding during the Body camera footage showed CNN that a DPS trooper arrived at Robb Elementary before agency officials. will be recognized publicly.

After an internal review of the actions of all DPS officers at the scene, seven were referred by the agency for investigation by the agency’s auditor.

Among them is the state police Capt. Joel Betancourt, who tried to stop a group of police officers from entering the classroom, told investigators that he thought a potential group was on their way, CNN reported.

Also included is Texas Ranger Christopher Ryan Kindell, whose sources told investigators he was focused on giving his new leadership and did not discuss the choice of criminal class. He was seen in footage from surveillance cameras and body cameras talking on the phone and, at one point, was seen having a conversation with the gunman.

McCraw reported similar attempts at negotiation by Arredondo, calling it a “wrong decision.”

Another of the seven, Sgt. Juan Maldonado, received a letter of termination, DPS said on Friday, with sources confirming to CNN that he was fired as a result of his role in the response the day of the shooting.

And former DPS trooper Crimson Elizondo worked this summer with the school police, but was fired after CNN revealed he was among those being investigated.

All of these officials declined to comment or did not respond to calls from CNN.

The Public Safety Commission currently consists of four members – all appointed by Gov. Greg Abbott. Many of Uvalde’s victims’ families, meanwhile, voiced support for Beto O’Rourke, Abbott’s Democratic rival who called Uvalde’s response in the debate over the governor’s tenure terminated. .


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