Uvalde Mayor Don McLaughlin declared that the “gloves are off” in the probe of law enforcement response to the tragic Texas school shooting last month.
The mayor voiced his frustration Tuesday during a City Council meeting, accusing Texas authorities and the head of the Texas DPS in particular of not sharing relevant information in the investigation of the massacre that claimed the lives of 19 children at two teachers at Robb Elementary school.
McLaughlin specifically called out Texas Department of Public Safety Director Steve McCraw who, earlier Tuesday, told a state Senate committee that the law enforcement response to the shooting was an “abject failure.”
The mayor declared that McCraw has continued to “lie, leak, mislead, or misstate information” in order to make the local law enforcement look bad.
After initially sending out a press release saying there would be no comments on the investigation by the City of Uvalde “for legal reasons,” McLaughlin spoke out during Tuesday night’s City Council meeting.
“The gloves are off,” he said according to The Texas Tribune. “As we know it, we will share it. We are not going to hold back. We kept quiet at the request because we thought we were doing an investigation and doing the right thing but yet, they can go to Austin and have public deals and talk about different things and don’t share anything with this city.”
Details on the investigation were revealed as McCraw publicly testified before a special Texas Senate committee Tuesday, saying the “only thing stopping a hallway of dedicated officers from entering room 111 and 112 was the on-scene commander who decided to place the lives of officers before the lives of children.”
Head of Texas safety calls Uvalde response ‘abject failure’, parents demand police chief be fired https://t.co/jRcEtGMOrK
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But the mayor lambasted the DPS director as well as DPS, the Texas Legislature, the Uvalde County District Attorney’s office and the FBI for failing to brief city officials about the probe’s findings.
“Colonel McMcraw, whether you want to call it a lie, leak, mislead or misstate information in order to distance his own troopers and Rangers from the (law enforcement) response,” he said. “Every briefing, he leaves out the numbers of his own officers and Rangers that were on scene that day.
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“Col. McCraw has an agenda and has not to present a full report and to give factual answers to the families of this community. The petty infighting to make headlines and politically motivated scapegoating is not helping anyone. It is dividing a community and further frustrating grieving families,” McLaughlin said.
McCraw had testified that Uvalde school district police chief Pete Arredondo had made “terrible decisions.”
According to The Texas Tribune:
The special meeting was held in part to discuss whether to grant a leave of absence for Pete Arredondo, the newly elected City Council member who also serves as the chief of police of the city’s school district and has been criticized for his role in the law enforcement response to the shooting. Local leaders unanimously denied giving him the leave of absence from future council meetings.
Uvalde residents expressed their anger and frustration, demanding accountability while the mayor angrily rebuked McCraw and other officials.
“There were no less than eight law enforcement agencies present in the hallway leading up to the breach of the door at Robb Elementary School,” he said at the city council meeting.
“Every briefing, he leaves out the number of his own officers and rangers that were on scene that day,” he added. “He leaves out that during this time, every other classroom in the building was safely evacuated by Uvalde peace officers with the assistance of Border Patrol.”
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