The Justice Dept. will conduct a review of Uvalde’s police response

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The New York Times, the Wall Street Journal and the local Texas newspapers have been doing an outstanding job covering the Uvalde massacre of children and the abject cowardice of local law enforcement. Over the weekend, the New York Times did one of the most detailed timelines of events on May 24 – go here to see. The murderer entered Robb Elementary at 11:33 am. He was not stopped/killed for 78 minutes. In those 78 minutes, children in the school were repeatedly calling 911 and begging the police to save them. In those 78 minutes, cops were choosing to stand down, claiming that they thought everyone was dead (again, the children were still calling 911). The timeline is haunting as you can see the minutes click by and no one is coming to save those little kids.

Everything we’ve heard and seen from the Uvalde police force has convinced me that they are contemptible liars, cowards and incompetent buffoons. The state law enforcement and bureaucracy has not been any better, as it seems ass-covering is more important than accountability. So… now the Justice Department is getting involved:

The Justice Department will conduct a review of the law enforcement response to the deadly mass shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, a spokesperson announced Sunday. The critical incident review, requested by Uvalde Mayor Don McLaughlin, will include a report on law enforcement actions on May 24, the day of shooting. The report will be conducted by the department’s Office of Community Oriented Policing.

“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,” Justice Department spokesman Anthony Coley said in a statement.

“As with prior Justice Department after-action reviews of mass shootings and other critical incidents, this assessment will be fair, transparent, and independent.”

Local police have admitted to a number of failures in responding to the shooting, which left 21 people dead, including 19 children.

Steve McCraw, director of the state’s Department of Public Safety, said Friday that police made the “wrong decision” by waiting to confront the shooter.

[From NBC News]

While the Uvalde mayor requested this, a DOJ review was likely to happen regardless. Part of me feels like this is also part of the bureaucratic ass-covering too. A DOJ review takes months, so it’s a kick-the-can-down-the-road move meant to deflect from accountability right now. If that’s the goal, it won’t work.

These are photos of President Biden and First Lady Dr. Jill Biden visiting Uvalde on Sunday.

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Photos courtesy of Getty.

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24 Responses to “The Justice Dept. will conduct a review of Uvalde’s police response”

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  1. Amy Bee says:

    I’m glad the DoJ is going in there but they should’ve initiated an investigation right away and not waited for the mayor to make the request. There’s one element of the case that is not being discussed which could partially explain the police’s slow or non-reaction but I won’t mention it because I know I will get deleted.

  2. rawiya says:

    Let’s not forget that they ran in to save THEIR OWN kids, and handcuffed parents who wanted to do the same. Bad things need to happen to every single person on that force.

    • Desdemona says:

      I can’t even begin to imagine those poor children fear and their parents’ pain. Those police officers must be put in jail…

    • Julia K says:

      At first I was skeptical about this being true. It’s been denied but there are witnesses that observed cops going in to save their own children while still an active shooter in the school.

  3. equality says:

    Their excuse is flawed anyway. Even if you think there isn’t an active shooter, there still could be injured people inside who would be saved by quick medical aid.

    • FancyPants says:

      There has been reporting of one victim’s parents saying they were told by doctors that their daughter might have had a chance if she had gotten medical attention more immediately. That could be hard to prove, but I hope they sue the **** out of the police department for wrongful death somehow.

      • Jan90067 says:

        Easy enough to calculate with the child’s stats (weight/height/wound); they know how much/long it would take to bleed out by the place of the wound, the size of it, and lapsed time.

        I hope that those bastards never have a moments’ peace again.

  4. Jay says:

    Question from a non-American: Can the department of justice take action if any of these officers were found to be negligent? Or would that require a separate investigation, like the FBI?

    • Lucy says:

      Nope. According to a 2005 Supreme Court ruling (Castle Rock v. Gonzalez) police are not required to enforce laws. The function of police has always been to protect property, not people. “Serve and protect” is just a tag line.

      • Mina_Esq says:

        I know people have been throwing this case around over the past several days, but it doesn’t stand for the proposition that police officers can’t be prosecuted for their actions/inactions on the job. Police can be criminally charged and prosecuted. It just doesn’t happen as often as we’d like for a variety of reasons and, when it does, it’s often not successful because of their qualified immunity (it’s not a complete immunity). I’m not holding my breath that there will be any charges in this instance, but who knows. Public pressure and availability of video, phone calls, etc. may be enough to warrant consequences.

      • Lucy says:

        Given the current roster of judges at every level and their application of the law, I won’t hold my breath.

      • Desdemona says:

        ” The function of police has always been to protect property, not people.” What????
        How??? Why???

        That’s outrageous…

      • Lucy says:

        What’s confusing? Police don’t prevent crime, they respond to it.

    • MissMarirose says:

      The FBI is part of the DOJ, but the answer is kinda complicated. It is technically possible, though unlikely, that an individual officer could be criminally charged. For instance, the officers who killed George Floyd were charged in state court with murder and were charged in the federal court with denying Floyd his civil rights.
      But it sounds like this is a civil investigation. In that case, what DOJ is most likely to do is come out with a report detailing all the things the Uvalde PD and Uvalde ISD PD did wrong and then maybe put them under a review where they basically have to make certain changes to their department, then get approval from DOJ for any other personnel and policy changes for a certain amount of time.

  5. Harla says:

    Having worked in the support side of law enforcement for 17 yrs, I’m shocked that the commander of this operation is not out on administrative leave pending the investigation into his fatal decisions. Frankly, I’m also appalled that the chief has not resigned, how can any of his officers or anyone in that community have any confidence in him or his ability to run a police department?

    • Nlopez says:

      +1000 HARLA!!!!!

    • MissMarirose says:

      It looks like they’re blaming the school district police commander at this point and I don’t know who is over him. Regardless of whether that guy was in charge or not, I agree with you that Uvalde PD should have some folks on admin leave for just allowing that clearly incompetent officer to remain in charge.

  6. Mabs A'Mabbin says:

    Right, because our investigations are so thorough and results oriented.

  7. Chantal says:

    They need to fire that entire police dept and start over. The cowardice, lack of leadership, and refusal to do even the minimum proves all to be incompetent, immoral and lacking in the necessary skills required for that job. My heart goes out to the families and I hope they successfully sue everyone responsible for these egregious decisions. Unfortunately, until we get money out of politics, nothing will change. These lobbyists and special interest groups have bought our politicians loyalty. Many refuse to even discuss the possibility of gun control or other attempts at possible mitigation.

  8. Twin Falls says:

    This is not a criminal investigation. They are not going to arrest anyone. Identify lessons learned? It’s bullshit.

    “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,” Justice Department spokesman

  9. Mrs. Smith says:

    So the police departments across Texas are as bad as their elected officials?? It’s funny to me that (certain) Texans love to strut their cowboy bravado, when in reality, those very same people are sniveling cowards. I hope every dem in Texas presses their officials nonstop and show up to vote. It’s the only way out of this mess.