As police in Uvalde, Texas, face scrutiny for how they handled a teenage gunman shooting up an elementary school, the United States Department of Justice announced that it will run an investigation into how law enforcement responded to the tragic incident. From a statement attributed to spokesman Anthony Coley:
At the request of Uvalde Mayor Don McLaughlin, the U.S. Department of Justice will conduct a Critical Incident Review of the law enforcement response to the mass shooting in Uvalde, Texas, on May 24.
The goal of the review is to provide an independent account of law enforcement actions and responses that day, and to identify lessons learned and best practices to help first responders prepare for and respond to active shooter events. The review will be conducted with the Department’s Office of Community Oriented Policing.
As with prior Justice Department after-action reviews of mass shootings and other critical incidents, this assessment will be fair, transparent, and independent. The Justice Department will publish a report with its findings at the conclusion of its review.
A gunman shot and killed 19 children and two teachers at Robb Elementary School after shooting his grandmother, authorities have said. He too died at the scene. Police faced staunch criticism as their initial narratives shifted. Authorities said on Friday that police waited more than 45 minutes to enter the classroom.
“It was the wrong decision,” said Steven McCraw, the head of the Texas Department of Public Safety.
NBC News reported that federal law enforcement agents were asked to stand down when they arrived at the scene. They finally went against the commands of local authorities, entered the school, and shot and killed Ramos, NBC said.
U.S. Attorney General Merrick B. Garland referenced the Uvalde shooting, and other recent mass shootings out of Buffalo, New York, and Laguna Woods, California.
“An unspeakable act of violence has devastated families and an entire community in Uvalde, Texas,” he said Sunday. “I know I speak for all of us here that our hearts are broken. Before that horrific attack – and before the horrific attack in Laguna Woods and the horrific attack in Buffalo – I had decided I wanted to make this speech about public service. About what each of us owes to each other, and about what we all owe as residents of a democracy.”
[Screenshot via KHOU]
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