The school district in Uvalde, Texas, on Friday withdrew its campus police force from work following a new wave of outrage over the hiring of a former state trooper who was part of the response. law enforcement indecision in the May shootings at Robb Elementary School. 21 people died.
School leaders also took two members of the county police department on administrative leave, one of whom chose to retire instead, according to a statement released by the Uvalde Unified Independent School District.
The unusual move by Uvalde school leaders to suspend school police operations – a month into the new school year in a southern Texas community – underscores the continued pressure that the families of some 19 children and two teachers killed in the May 24 attack continues. District.
Brett Cross, whose 10-year-old son Uziyah Garcia was among the victims, has been protesting outside the Uvalde school administration building for the past two weeks, demanding accountability over officers allowing a gunman. with the AR-15 style rifle staying. a 4th grade classroom for more than 70 minutes.
Uvalde families say students in the district are not safe as officers who have waited so long to confront and kill the gunman continue to work.
“We did it!” Cross-tweeted.
The Uvalde School District had five campus police officers at the scene of the shooting, according to a damning report from Texas lawmakers that has given multiple breakdowns in response. A total of nearly 400 officers responded, including school district police, city police, county sheriffs, state police and U.S. Border Patrol agents, among others.
Friday’s explosion was the first in Uvalde’s school police force since the school district fired former police chief Pete Arredondo in August. He remains the only officer fired after one of the deadliest classroom attacks in US history.
The district said it would ask the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS), which assigned dozens of military personnel to the district during the school year, for additional help. An agency spokesperson did not immediately return a message seeking comment Friday.
“We are confident that the safety of staff and students will not be compromised during this transition,” the district said in a statement.
The statement did not specify how long police activities on campus would be suspended. School police officers will be assigned other roles within the district, the statement said.
Outrage about recruitment
The move comes a day after it was revealed that not only did the district hire a former DPS soldier, one of the officers who rushed to the scene of Robb Elementary, but she was also among at least seven military personnel. was subsequently investigated internally for his actions.
Crimson employee Elizondo was fired on Thursday, a day after CNN first reported her hiring. She did not respond to voicemails and messages left by the Associated Press.
Steve McCraw, the head of the state’s Department of Public Safety, called the law enforcement response to the shooting a “disastrous failure”. McCraw has also come under pressure as leader of a division that has more than 90 troops on the scene but still has the support of Republican Governor Greg Abbott.
On Thursday, after Elizondo was fired, Abbott called it a “wrong decision” for the school to hire the veteran and that “owning it” was up to the district.