Police in Uvalde no longer cooperating with investigation as anger boils over, walls close in on chief

The top Uvalde Police Department official who reportedly ordered officers to remain in the hallway during last week’s mass shooting was quietly sworn in as a city councilmember Tuesday despite the mayor suggesting just hours earlier that his swearing-in would be delayed until, at the very least, the deceased had been buried.

News of the startling development, which critics say is more evidence that Uvalde is full of lying officials, broke around the same time that confirmation emerged that said official, Pedro Arredondo, is no longer cooperating with state investigators.

Late Monday, CNN reported that “the city’s mayor has postponed a city council meeting at which several new members were to be sworn in — including school police chief, Pedro ‘Pete’ Arredondo, who had been elected to the council earlier this month.”

Arredondo is reportedly the chief of both the Uvalde Police Department and the Uvalde Independent School District police force, and he’s been accused of being the man behind the police’s decision to not take immediate action in last week’s shooting.

The public took Mayor Don McLaughlin’s announcement to mean that he’d be delaying the swearing-in ceremony itself. But late Tuesday, the mayor released a statement announcing that Arredondo and others had been secretly sworn-in.

“Uvalde City Council members were sworn in today as per the City Charter. Out of respect for the families who buried their children today, and who are planning to bury their children in the next few days, no ceremony was held,” he said.

The report sparked anger, with critics accusing McLaughlin of being a liar and also raising concerns about the legality of the “secret meeting” he’d held.

News of the secret meeting came a few hours after ABC News dropped a bombshell report claiming that local police are no longer cooperating with investigators.

“Uvalde Police Department and the Uvalde Independent School District police force are no longer cooperating with the Texas Department of Public Safety’s investigation into the massacre at Robb Elementary School and the state’s review of the law enforcement response,” ABC News reported, citing “multiple law enforcement sources.

“According to sources, the decision to stop cooperating occurred soon after the director of DPS, Col. Steven McCraw, held a news conference Friday during which he said the delayed police entry into the classroom was ‘the wrong decision’ and contrary to protocol.”

During the news conference, McCraw attributed the police’s failures during last week’s mass shooting specifically to Arredondo’s poor decision-making.

“Texas Department of Public Safety Director Steve McCraw said Friday that Arredondo wrongly determined that no more lives were at risk after the gunman fired multiple rounds inside a locked classroom,” as reported by the Austin American-Statesman.

“Arredondo determined that the situation inside Robb Elementary School had transitioned from an active shooter to a barricaded subject, McCraw said. That decision runs counter to broadly accepted doctrine on handling active shooter situations.”

Following ABC News’ report, a Texas Department of Public Safety spokesperson pushed back on it, claiming to various media outlets that the police themselves are cooperating and that it’s Arredondo in particular who’s no longer playing ball.

“The Uvalde Police Department and Uvalde CISD Police have been cooperating with investigators. The chief of the Uvalde CISD Police provided an initial interview but has not responded to a request for a follow-up interview with the Texas Rangers that was made two days ago,” the spokesperson said.

As of Wednesday morning, this allegedly uncooperative police chief — one whom even DPS says acted poorly during last week’s mass shooting — is apparently a city council member.

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