police response ‘chaotic’ and ‘apathetic’ according to parliamentary inquiry report

A situation “chaotic”a lack of command, agents “apathetic” : a Texas parliamentary commission of inquiry pinned on Sunday July 17 all the police services involved in the response to the massacre in the Uvalde school, which left 21 dead on May 24. The report takes no detour: the officer in charge of the police in Uvalde that day, Mariano Pargas, is singled out and has already been dismissed.

The mayor of this city of Texas Don McLaughlin also promises a thorough investigation into the command of Lieutenant Pargas. Within the Uvalde police, ” two or maybe three officers quit their jobs according to him.

A protester calls for school police chief Pete Arredondo to be prosecuted.  July 17, 2022.

A few weeks ago, Uvalde School District Police Chief Pete Arredondo was also suspended. “He did not assume his responsibility as commander” and he made errors of analysis because he did not have all the information, also believe the Texan parliamentarians.

Read also: Texas school shooting: Uvalde school district police chief suspended

According to this report, law enforcement “did not respect their training” and “did not put the lives of innocent victims ahead of their own safety”. Yet they were 376 on the spot. Different services were represented: border guards, state and city police, members of the local sheriff’s department or elite forces. But between the arrival of the first police and the death of the killer, 73 minutes passed, a delay “unacceptable” related “a lack of command that may have contributed to the loss of life”they write.

“absolute failure”

He is “probable that most of the victims died immediately after the first shots”some died during their transfer to the hospital and it is “plausible” that they could have survived if they had been rescued more quickly, assert the representatives.

A member of law enforcement pays respect to the memorial in Uvalde, Texas.  May 29, 2022.

Texas Public Safety Director Steven McCraw had previously qualified “absolute failure” The response from law enforcement: “the attitude of all the agents was apathetic”, “the scene was chaotic, with no one clearly in charge or leading the response”. The videos from the cameras carried by the police will be made public according to the mayor of Uvalde, Don McLaughlin.

Read also: Uvalde massacre: a damning video on the police intervention

The report was presented to the relatives of the victims who, for weeks, regretted the lack of transparency of the authorities, suspected of wanting to conceal the failures of the police. Criticism had increased after the publication this week of a near excruciating video showing the shooter arriving at the scene with an assault rifle, then the long wait for officers in a school hallway.

The World with AFP

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