Why Uvalde Matters

Uvalde matters because this is the time when our nation’s police need to restore public trust; without it, police cannot effectively perform their duties. The primary duty of police in a free society is to “protect and serve” others within the law. That’s seems not to have happened in Uvalde.

Uvalde further matters because of what happened on May 24, 2022 is either gross incompetence or wanton disregard for the lives of children. In either case, this is a searing indictment of police and a failure of one or more areas of police policy, training, leadership, or culture.

When highly documented events (often video-taped and seen my millions of viewers) occur which appear to question the ability or integrity of our police, it is incumbent upon a police leader to reassure the community this will not happen in their town or city and the plans, procedures and training police have done to prepare to effectively respond.

If this dialogue has not happened in your community initiated by your police leader, you need to ask the question and to make sure the community to hears the answer to their satisfaction!

This is called leadership. And it is precisely what needed to happen, for example, after the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis in 2020 and what needs to happen today with regard to Uvalde.

How your police department is trained and organized to respond to an active school shooting which (unfortunately) is not an out-lying events in an armed society matters and matters greatly!

A recent investigation by The New York Times by reporters Robin Stein and Alexander Cardia investigates what we know so far about what happened in Uvalde, Texas on May 24, 2022:

Oct. 12, 2022, 5:00 a.m. ET

“After the massacre in Uvalde, Texas, in May, a simple account of the police response took hold: A school police chief misread the threat and scores of officers from over a dozen federal, state and local agencies, following his command, idly stood by, waiting for equipment and SWAT teams while children trapped in classrooms with the gunman called 911 for help.

“This shocking scene was described by the agency leading the criminal investigation of the mass shooting, the Texas Department of Public Safety.

“Nearly five months later, despite questions raised by other government reviews and journalists, D.P.S. continues to claim that the evidence supports this version of events and the public understanding it fueled.

“But an analysis of footage by The New York Times found major gaps and contradictions in the D.P.S. findings.

“Visual evidence from the scene, while limited, indicates the problem was not simply one incompetent school police chief, or officers who knew better, but failed to take action. The available footage shows high-ranking officers, experienced state troopers, police academy instructors — even federal SWAT specialists — came to the same conclusions and were detoured by the same delays the school police chief has been condemned for causing.

“Three days after the shooting, D.P.S.’s director, Steven McCraw, announced his investigative team had identified why the police took 77 minutes to kill the gunman. Mr. McCraw said every officer was trained to immediately neutralize active shooters, but they were hamstrung when the incident commander, Pete Arredondo, wrongly determined the gunman was a so-called ‘barricaded subject,’ which calls for a slower, more deliberate response.

“Mr. McCraw was more pointed during a State Senate hearing in June.

“But claims by Mr. McCraw that Mr. Arredondo stymied 360 officers with flawed orders or misinformation are not supported by the available footage, which shows little evidence that commands were issued by the school chief, let alone widely communicated.

“The available footage shows the D.P.S. timeline — which Mr. McCraw told lawmakers was corroborated by ‘frame-by-frame’ video analysis — miscast Mr. Arredondo’s role and omitted actions, and inaction, by other officers, especially D.P.S. troopers and federal agents, who were involved earlier or more centrally than it notes.

“’The only thing stopping the 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 testified…”

You can decide for yourself:

  • Read the NYT investigation HERE.
  • Read about the Texas Department of Safety investigation HERE.
  • And a further analysis by journalists HERE.

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