After five months of criticism and outrage for the failure to detain the Uvalde police The Uvalde, Texas school district responsible after the Robb Elementary School shooting announced Friday that all district police were suspended. according to to ABC News.
The district said it has requested more soldiers from the Texas Department of Public Safety to replace school district officers. Although the length of the suspension has not been specified, soldiers will be stationed on campus and will monitor extracurricular activities in the meantime. “We are confident that staff and student safety will not be compromised during this transition,” the district said in a press release.
Brett Cross, the guardian of 10-year-old Uziyah Garcia, who was killed in the shooting, had called on the victims’ families to hold a 24-hour vigil outside the school district headquarters until they made changes to do so prevent happening again in their city.
“We took on a little bit of responsibility,” he told ABC News. “Well, it’s a win, and we don’t get very many of it.”
Gloria Cazares, whose nine-year-old daughter Jackie lost her life in the shooting, called the department’s suspension “bittersweet,” adding, “We’re not done yet.”
Uvalde School District Superintendent Hal Harrell also announced he would be retiring a few hours after the suspension became known. Lt. Miguel Hernandez, who headed the department after the Uvalde shooting that killed 19 students and two teachers, and Ken Mueller, the director of the district’s student union, have both been placed on administrative leave, although Mueller has since decided to retire to go.
Police officers who arrived at the scene in response to calls that a gunman had entered the elementary school were widely condemned for waiting more than an hour to storm the school. The gunman was eventually left alone with students and teachers for 77 minutes before the 376 police officers intervened. The event was widely viewed as a “pathetic failure” by law enforcement to protect the lives of the community’s children.
The school district police were suspended a day later the firing of Officer Crimson Elizondo, one of the first cops to arrive at Robb Elementary, who allegedly failed rescue attempts. According to ABC, an internal DPS review found that Elizondo did not bring her rifle or vest to school. But somehow the Uvalde school district policeman got hired after the massacre while being investigated for her involvement as a DPS soldier.
“They don’t know how to hire people, they don’t know how to screen officers,” Kimberly Rubio, who lost her daughter at Robb Elementary, told ABC. “They didn’t provide proper education.” Before the school year, several parents said they were take their children out of public schoolin favor of online and private education because they were unsure if their children were safe.
On Friday, the school district said “decisions regarding” the police department had not yet been made as they awaited full investigations from the Texas Police Chiefs Association and private investigative firm JPPI Investigations. But “recent developments have uncovered additional concerns about department operations,” they said, adding that the inquiry “will guide the rebuilding of the department and the hiring of a new police chief.”
Former school district police chief Pete Arredondo was fired in August.
https://jezebel.com/uvalde-school-district-suspends-entire-police-force-fiv-1849632613 Uvalde School District suspends all police force five months after mass shooting