State police ‘did not fail’ in Uvalde: Texas chief


AUSTIN, Texas –

Texas’ state police chief stated Thursday that his division “did not fail” Uvalde in the course of the hesitant regulation enforcement response to the Robb Elementary School capturing, as a Republican congressman joined offended mother and father of a number of the 19 kids killed in the May assault in calling for him to resign.

Col. Steve McCraw, the top of the Texas Department of Public Safety, acknowledged errors by officers whereas a number of Uvalde households confronted him in Austin over a number of outrages: why police waited greater than 70 minutes earlier than getting into the fourth-grade classroom and killing the gunman, false and shifting accounts given by authorities, and information that stay withheld greater than 5 months later.

But McCraw defended his company, and through a gathering of the state’s Public Safety Commission, made the case that failures uncovered up to now did not warrant his removing whereas saying he was not shirking from accountability. Uvalde households bristled and requested how DPS may not have failed, provided that troopers had been among the many first on the scene.

“I can tell you this right now, DPS as an institution, right now, did not fail the community,” McCraw stated. “Plain and easy.”

Significantly, Republican Rep. Tony Gonzales stated for the primary time after the assembly that McCraw must also lose his job, changing into the primary main determine in the GOP to name for a change on the prime of Texas’ state police pressure. Gonzales, a former Navy officer, represents the sprawling South Texas district that features Uvalde.

“DPS Director McCraw should RESIGN immediately,” Gonzales tweeted. His workplace has not responded to a message in search of additional remark Thursday.

McCraw stated a legal investigation into the police response to the capturing led by Texas Rangers can be wrapped up by the top of the 12 months and turned over to prosecutors. He provided no indication as as to whether the findings would outcome in expenses towards any of the almost 400 officers who went to the college the place two academics had been additionally killed. Two officers have been fired in response to their actions on the scene and others have been positioned on go away.

The assembly Thursday at Texas state police headquarters was the primary public replace on Uvalde in weeks, though little new info was revealed. McCraw and Uvalde households addressed the state’s four-member public security fee, which oversees Texas state police.

Each of the board members had been appointed by Republican Gov. Greg Abbott, a longtime supporter of McCraw. The board did not ask McCraw any questions on Uvalde earlier than shifting on to different enterprise.

Families of youngsters killed in the assault have spent months accusing the Department of Public Safety of slow-walking the investigation, withholding info and making an attempt to attenuate its duty. There had been 91 state troopers on the scene, together with some that physique digital camera later revealed had been among the many first officers to reach.

Last week, the division fired considered one of seven troopers topic to an inside investigation into their actions throughout one of many deadliest classroom shootings in U.S. historical past.

Jesse Rizzo, whose 9-year-old niece Jacklyn Cazares was among the many victims, stated deceptive and false feedback from authorities in regards to the police response has compounded the small city’s grief and eroded belief in regulation enforcement.

“The aftermath that got here after that was completely unacceptable, hurtful, painful,” Rizzo stated. “Every single time appeared like lie after lie, disinformation.”

McCraw on Thursday apologized for the division initially saying that the gunman had been in a position to achieve entry to the college as a result of a trainer had propped open an exterior door with a rock. The trainer had gone again and shut the door, but it surely did not lock.

McCraw insisted his division “did not fail the neighborhood,” drawing condemnation from the assembled Uvalde households.

“If you’re a man of your word then you would retire,” Brett Cross, the uncle of 10-year-old sufferer Uziyah Garcia, advised McCraw. “But unfortunately it doesn’t seem like you’re going to do that because you keep talking in circles.”

Another of the state troopers underneath inside investigation was Crimson Elizondo, who resigned and later was employed by Uvalde colleges to work as a campus police officer. She was fired lower than 24 hours after outraged mother and father in Uvalde came upon about her hiring.


Associated Press author Jake Bleiberg contributed from Dallas.


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