The mayor of Uvalde, Texas, visibly frustrated with the constantly changing information released about what happened the day 19 children and two teachers were gunned down, lashed out Tuesday, telling residents at a city council meeting he’s tired of being kept in the dark about what evidence has been uncovered.
At the meeting, Mayor Don McLaughlin also said Robb Elementary, where the massacre occurred May 24, will be razed.
“You could never ask a child to go back or a teacher to go back to that school. Ever,” he said.
McLaughlin sharply criticized the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) and its leader, Col. Steven McCraw. The Texas Rangers, a DPS agency, are leading the investigation into the shooting and McLaughlin told residents he was upset that he and other city officials have never been briefed on how the investigation is going. He went on to say he thinks McCraw is making misleading statements to help distance the actions of the state troopers and Texas Rangers who responded to the shooting.
“Colonel McCraw has continued to, whether you want to call it … lie, leak, mislead or mistake information in order to distance his own troopers and Rangers from the response. Every briefing he leaves out the number of his own officers and Rangers that were on scene that day,” McLaughlin said.
Earlier in the day, McCraw appeared in front of Texas lawmakers, slamming the law enforcement response to the massacre and harshly criticizing the decisions of Uvalde school district police chief Pedro “Pete” Arredondo.
“There is compelling evidence that the law enforcement response to the attack at Robb Elementary was an abject failure and antithetical to everything we’ve learned over the last two decades since the Columbine massacre,” McCraw told the Texas Senate Special Committee to Protect All Texans in Austin.
“Three minutes after the subject entered the West building, there was a sufficient number of armed officers wearing body armor to isolate, distract and neutralize the subject,” he continued. “The only thing stopping the hallway of dedicated officers from entering rooms 111 and 112 was the on-scene commander, who decided to place the lives of officers before the lives of children.”
Arredondo, who has not spoken in a public capacity since the incident, testified Tuesday behind closed doors to the committee. The recently sworn in council member was not present at the meeting where the other members voted unanimously to deny him a leave of absence from future sessions.
McLaughlin told residents in the meeting room he was angry that he couldn’t get the community answers to the questions they have and said he has no allegiances to anyone, noting he cannot run for mayor again.
“The gloves are off,” he said. “As we know (information about the investigation), we will share it. We are not going to hold back anymore. We kept quiet at the request (of other agencies) because we thought we were doing a formal investigation and doing the right thing.”
The mayor said he requested body camera video from …read more
Source:: The Mercury News – Latest News
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