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The officer in charge of police response to a Texas school has been fired

#officer #charge #police #response #Texas #school #fired

The much-criticized police officer responsible for responding to the Uvalde, Texas, school shooting that killed 19 children and two teachers was fired on Wednesday, US media reported.

The Uvalde school board voted unanimously to terminate County Police Commissioner Pete Arredondo’s contract, the Texas Tribune reported.

The state’s public safety chief previously said Arredondo “put the officers’ lives ahead of the children’s lives” and made “terrible decisions” while managing the crime scene.

Nineteen young children and two teachers were killed when a teenage gunman went on a rampage on May 24 at Robb Elementary School in America’s worst school shooting in a decade. The police eventually shot the shooter.

Local police have been under intense scrutiny since it was revealed that more than a dozen officers waited for over an hour outside two adjacent classrooms where the shooting took place, doing nothing while children lay dead or dying.

Arredondo, who was suspended in June for investigations, earlier Wednesday requested his suspension be lifted through a statement from his lawyer criticizing his treatment since the shooting.

“Chief Arredondo will not participate in his own illegal and unconstitutional public lynching and respectfully requests the board to immediately reinstate him, with all arrears and benefits, and to close the complaint as frivolous,” attorney George Hyde said in a statement issued to the was released shortly before the school board vote.

The Texas state legislature also slammed Arredondo in a report last month, saying he “failed to assume his previously assigned responsibility for command of the incident” and made analytical errors because he did not have all the required information.

Lawmakers said the situation was “chaotic” because the 376 officers at the scene acted “carelessly” to subdue the gunman.

They said no other officials offered to help or replace Arredondo during the massacre.

73 minutes elapsed between the arrival of the first officers and the death of the gunner, an “unacceptably long period of time”.

“The leadership gap may have contributed to the loss of life,” the report said.

“It is plausible that some victims would have survived had they not had to wait an additional 73 minutes for rescue,” the report said.

After the Texas lawmakers’ report was released, local media reported that Uvalde Police Lieutenant Mariano Pargas had been suspended while the city investigated his role in responding to the shooting.

The United States has faced a series of brutal gun-toting massacres in recent months, including at a grocery store in a predominantly black neighborhood in upstate New York and at an Independence Day parade in Illinois.

In June, US lawmakers broke a decades-long deadlock on gun control and passed the first major safety legislation in nearly 30 years, less than 24 hours after the Supreme Court strengthened the constitutional right to bear arms.

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