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Uvalde Faculty Police Chief Fired for Response to Taking pictures


The Uvalde college district has fired police chief Pete Arredondo below mounting strain within the grieving Texas city to punish officers over the regulation enforcement response to the lethal elementary college bloodbath during which a person armed with an AR-15-style rifle remained in a 4th grade classroom for greater than an hour, killing 19 kids and two lecturers.

In a unanimous vote Wednesday night, the Uvalde Consolidated Impartial Faculty District’s board of trustees fired Arredondo throughout a gathering additionally attended by dad and mom and survivors of the Might 24 bloodbath. Arredondo, who was not current, is the primary officer to lose his job following one of many deadliest classroom shootings in U.S. historical past.

His ouster got here three months to the day after the tragedy and fewer than two weeks earlier than college students return to high school in Uvalde, the place some kids are nonetheless too scared or scarred to return inside a classroom.

The gang cheered following the vote, and a few dad and mom walked away in tears. Exterior, a number of Uvalde residents known as for different officers to be held accountable.

“Coward!” some within the viewers yelled because the assembly obtained underway.

Arredondo, who has been on depart from the district since June 22, has come below probably the most intense scrutiny of the practically 400 officers who rushed to high school however waited greater than 70 minutes to confront the 18-year-old gunman within the 4th grade classroom at Robb Elementary Faculty.

Most notably, Arredondo was criticized for not ordering officers to behave sooner. Col. Steve McCraw, director of the Texas Division of Public Security, has stated Arredondo was in control of the regulation enforcement response to the assault.

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Minutes earlier than the college board assembly obtained underway, Arredondo’s legal professional launched a scathing 4,500-word letter that amounted to the police chief’s fullest protection thus far of his actions. Over 17 defiant pages, Arredondo was described not as a fumbling chief blamed in a damning state investigation for not taking command and losing time looking for keys to a probable unlocked door, however as a substitute as a courageous officer whose level-headed choices saved the lives of different college students.

It alleges that Arredondo warned the district about quite a lot of safety points within the faculties a yr earlier than the capturing and asserted he wasn’t in control of the scene. The letter additionally accused Uvalde college officers of placing his security in danger by not permitting him to hold a weapon to the college board assembly, citing “professional dangers of hurt to the general public and to Chief Arredondo.”

“Chief Arredondo is a pacesetter and a brave officer who with the entire different regulation enforcement officers who responded to the scene, needs to be celebrated for the lives saved, as a substitute of vilified for these they couldn’t attain in time,” George Hyde wrote.

Hyde’s workplace has not responded to a request for remark.

Uvalde college officers have been below rising strain from victims’ households and members of the neighborhood, lots of whom had known as for Arredondo’s termination. Superintendent Hal Harrell first moved to fireplace Arredondo in July however postponed the choice on the request of Arredondo’s legal professional.

On the assembly was Ruben Torres, father of Chloe Torres, who survived the capturing in room 112 of the college.

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“Proper now, being younger, she is having a tough time dealing with this horrific occasion,” Torres stated.

Shirley Zamora, the mom of a pupil at Robb Elementary, stated accountability shouldn’t finish with Arredondo’s dismissal.

“That is simply going to be the start. It’s an extended course of,” she stated.

Just one different officer — Uvalde Police Division Lt. Mariano Pargas, who was town’s performing police chief on the day of bloodbath — is thought to have been positioned on depart for his or her actions in the course of the capturing.

The Texas Division of Public Security, which had greater than 90 state troopers on the scene, is conducting an investigation into the response by state police. State Sen. Roland Gutierrez, a Democrat who represents Uvalde, stated McCraw, the state police chief, additionally deserves scrutiny.

“You fail at one thing so badly that persons are getting harm, then actually we have now to have some better accountability,” he stated.

Faculty officers have stated the Robb Elementary campus will not be used when college students return Sept 6. As a substitute, campuses elsewhere in Uvalde will function non permanent lecture rooms for elementary college college students, not all of whom are prepared to return to high school in-person following the capturing.

Faculty officers say a digital academy can be provided for college students. The district has not stated what number of college students will attend just about, however a brand new state regulation handed final yr in Texas following the pandemic limits the variety of eligible college students receiving distant instruction to “10% of all enrolled college students inside a given college system.”

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Colleges can search a waiver to exceed the restrict however Uvalde has not carried out so, in response to the Texas Schooling Company.

New measures to enhance college security in Uvalde embrace “8-foot, non-scalable perimeter fencing” at elementary, center, and highschool campuses, in response to the college district. Officers say they’ve additionally put in extra safety cameras, upgraded locks, enhanced coaching for district workers and bettering communication.



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