‘Systemic failures’ in Uvalde school massacre, report says
According to the Texas Tribune, which reviewed the report ahead of its scheduled release later in the day, 376 law enforcement officers massed at the school. The overwhelming majority of those who responded were federal and state law enforcement. That included nearly 150 U.S. Border Patrol agents and 91 state police officials, according to the Tribune.
« It’s a joke. It’s a joke. They have nothing to do with a badge. None of them do, » said Vincent Salazar, grandfather of 11-year-old Layla Salazar, on Sunday.
The report follows weeks of closed-door interviews with more than 40 people, including witnesses and law enforcement who were at the scene of the shooting.
The flowers that had been piled up in the town’s central square had been removed on Sunday, leaving a few cards of stuffed animals strewn around the fountains alongside pictures of some of the children killed.
A nearly 80-minute hallway surveillance video released by the Austin American-Statesman this week publicly showed a halting and haphazard tactical response for the first time, which the Texas State Police Chief condemned as a failure and some residents of Uvalde castigated as a coward.
Calls for police accountability have multiplied in Uvalde since the shooting. So far, only one officer from the scene of the deadliest school shooting in Texas history is on leave.
The report is the result of one of several investigations into the shooting, including another conducted by the Department of Justice. A report released earlier this month by tactics experts at Texas State University alleged that a Uvalde police officer had the opportunity to arrest the shooter before he entered the school armed with a AR-15.
But in an example of the conflicting statements and disputed accounts since the shooting, Uvalde Mayor Don McLaughlin said it never happened. This report had been written at the request of the Texas Department of Public Safety, which McLaughlin increasingly criticized and accused of trying to minimize the role of his soldiers during the massacre.
Steve McCraw, the Texas DPS chief, called the police response an abysmal failure.