Yes, you read that right. FOUR HUNDRED.
It seems like every time there’s a new update on the devastating mass shooting in Uvalde, Texas, it’s an update that illustrates the utter ain’t-sh**-ness of law enforcement.
According to the Texas Tribune, an investigation into the shooting has revealed that Uvalde police officers weren’t the only ones standing around outside Robb Elementary School while 18-year-old Salvador Ramos ruthlessly killed 19 children and two adults. In fact, there were nearly 400 (367 to be exact) officers of the law failing to act for more than an hour that day, and the overwhelming majority of those officers were state and federal police. 149 were U.S. Border Patrol agents and another 91 were state police.
From the Tribune:
The big takeaway here is that hundreds of trained officers failed to take down an amateur shooter because they were either too cowardly, too afraid to break the chain of command or too disorganized to give commands that would likely have saved lives. And for all the well-deserved heat local authorities have taken, the fact remains that only 25 officers at the scene were Uvalde police and only 16 were Uvalde sheriff deputies.
“These local officials were not the only ones expected to supply the leadership needed during this tragedy,” the report said. “Hundreds of responders from numerous law enforcement agencies — many of whom were better trained and better equipped than the school district police — quickly arrived on the scene.”
The report also noted that this legion of responding officers “failed to prioritize saving the lives of innocent victims over their own safety,” which shouldn’t surprise anyone coming from a culture of cops who use “I was in fear for my life” as a crutch when having to answer for the shootings of unarmed Black people.
“At its core, the committee report echoes criticisms made previously by police tactics experts: that instead of following the doctrine developed after the 1999 Columbine High School massacre, which dictates that officers immediately confront active shooters, police at Robb Elementary retreated after coming under fire and then waited for backup,” the Tribune reported
The report also noted that officers who were interviewed by the committee either had no idea who was in command or they assumed Uvalde Consolidated Independent School District police Chief Pete Arredondo was in command while Arredondo told The Texas Tribune in June he didn’t consider himself to be the commanding officer despite being one of the first responders to enter the school. He said he assumed another officer outside this school would take on the role of the commanding officer.
It really just seems like, while children were being murdered inside the school, a bunch of cops were standing around playing a “hot potato” game of who’s going to be in charge. In fact, Arredondo reportedly co-authored the school district’s active shooter response plan, which literally states that the chief will “become the person in control of the efforts of all law enforcement and first responders that arrive at the scene.”
“In this crisis, no responder seized the initiative to establish an incident command post,” the committee wrote. “Despite an obvious atmosphere of chaos, the ranking officers of other responding agencies did not approach the Uvalde CISD chief of police or anyone else perceived to be in command to point out the lack of and need for a command post, or to offer that specific assistance.”
So basically, passing the buck was a bigger priority than saving lives. This is just a damn shame all around.