WHEN CHILDREN DIE - PART FOUR



WHEN CHILDREN DIE 

— PART FOUR—  UVALDE — 

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👺  Justice Department To Review Police Response To Uvalde School Shooting

The Justice Department announced Sunday it will conduct a review of the law enforcement response to the mass shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, that left 19 children and two teachers dead.

"At the request of Uvalde Mayor Don McLaughlin, the U.S. Department of Justice will conduct a Critical Incident Review of the law enforcement response to the mass shooting in Uvalde, Texas, on May 24," DOJ Spokesman Anthony Coley said in a statement.

The review is a significant development as Texas officials and law enforcement have been under intense scrutiny for the way officers responded to the shooting.  We watched and after watching and hearing about how the police conducted themselves we deduced they'e better of using their hats as porter potty’s. 


👺  Parents Pleaded With Police  — A Complete Lack Of Command — 

  • As news of the shooting got out in the tight-knit community, parents rushed to the school to search for their children and found mayhem. Angeli Rose Gomez, whose children were in the second- and third-grades, told the Wall Street Journal she was one of many assembled parents who urged officers stationed outside to go in. “The police were doing nothing,” she said. 
  • “They were just standing outside the fence. They weren’t going in there or running anywhere.” According to Gomez, she was placed in handcuffs by U.S. Marshals who claimed that she was interfering with an investigation. 
  • She was able to get local police officers whom she knew to convince the marshals to release her, but saw other parents get accosted by law enforcement, including “a father tackled and thrown to the ground by police and a third pepper-sprayed.” Gomez was able to get her two children out by scaling a fence herself and running inside to grab them.

👺  A Confusing Investigation — Showing How the Police F*ked up — 

  • Officials have offered contradictory and false statements from almost the moment the attack ended, adding to the growing furor of how law-enforcement handled the the incident. The initial narrative presented by officials a day after the attack included that a school-resource officer engaged the gunman. 
  • Both of those statements were contradicted by the Texas Department of Public Safety during a heated press conference on Thursday, which also revealed a one-hour gap between the time officers responded and the attack ended.
  • DPS official Victor Escalon first offered an updated timeline, starting at 11:28 a.m. on Tuesday when the gunman crashed a truck into a ditch near the school. The gunman exited carrying a long rifle and a bag later found to contain a large amount of ammunition. 
  • Two minutes later, a 911 call reported a gunman walking towards the school. The gunman fired in the direction of two eyewitnesses who were watching from a funeral home, before he climbed a fence and fired at the school.
  • At 11:40 a.m., the gunman entered the school through what Escalon said was a door that “appears unlocked,” and made his way, firing, to a fourth-grade classroom where he locked himself inside and proceeded to kill.
  • Escalon clarified a prior statement by DPS that the gunman was first met by a school police officer outside. “It was reported that a school district police officer confronted the suspect that was making entry. 
    Not accurate. He walked in unobstructed initially. So, from the grandmother’s house to the car ditch to the school, into the school, he was not confronted by anybody,” Escalon said, offering no explanation for why DPS got their initial story wrong.
  • Four minutes after he entered, Uvalde city and school officers arrived. Inside, the officers moved toward the sound of gunfire and were fired upon before taking cover and calling for back up.  During this time, the gunman was barricaded inside the locked classroom and authorities began some sort of “negotiations” with the gunman, Escalon said.
  • At approximately 12:44 p.m., Escalon said tactical teams from U.S. Border Patrol and a team of local officers entered the classroom and killed the gunman. Escalon would not answer why it took an hour for authorities to bring the attack to an end.
  • Texas DPS official refuses to say why officers didn't breach the door of the classroom for the hour that the Uvalde shooter was in there shooting children. 


👺  We Need To Hear The Truth Not the Frikken Political Coverup —  

  • PRAISE FOR Texas Congressman Joaquin Castro who has also sent a letter to the FBI Director Christopher Wrey requesting the bureau investigate the timeline of the assault, citing “conflicting accounts.”   
  • He also confronted Gov. Abbott, about as crazy a moron TRUMPSTER as Desantis of Florida,  a certified incompetent, T-Rum-pet and political hack,  acolyte and schmuck.  They deserve each other, hopefully when both go to hell they can share a room.  I sent a Firegram to Lucifer Mestopheles to assure that.  He looks forward to having both of them.  


👺  Truth Is Finally Surfacing And This Was A True Disaster  — 

(CNN) Texas and the rest of the country are reeling at the horrible details from the Uvalde school shooting. These things are difficult to read:

  • Children calling 911 in whispers while the gunman roamed the school.
  • An 11-year-old surviving by smearing herself in her friend's blood and playing dead.
  • Police failing to storm the school, a clear mistake, as they waited for room keys and a tactical unit to arrive.
  • Missed warnings in messages from the shooter on social media.
  • Gunman emerged from classroom closet and began shooting when Border Patrol agents entered room, source says.  The 18-year-old man who killed 21 people in Uvalde, Texas, earlier this week came out of a classroom closet and began firing when US Border Patrol agents entered the room, a source familiar with the situation told CNN.
  • Members of a specialized Border Patrol unit had entered the classroom, with one holding a shield followed by at least two others who engaged the shooter, according to a US Customs and Border Protection official.
  • The gunman is believed to have waited for the agents to enter the room, then kicked open the closet door and began shooting, the source said.
  • The agents had used a key to get into the classroom, opening the door while standing off to the side since the gunman had been shooting through the door, the source said.  The Washington Post first reported the detail on the gunman emerging from the classroom closet.
  • A Texas official said Friday that while the 18-year-old gunman was inside adjoining classrooms, officers stood outside and didn't take action as they waited for a tactical team.  More than an hour passed between when officers were first called to the school to when the tactical team entered locked classrooms and killed the gunman. 
  • The state official said the school district's police chief made the "wrong decision" not to have officers immediately try to breach the classroom and confront the shooter.
  • Texas Gov. Greg Abbott said Friday he was "misled" by inaccurate accounts from authorities about the massacre and is demanding a full account of what happened.
  • A Texas official said Friday that while the 18-year-old gunman was inside adjoining classrooms, officers stood outside and didn't take action as they waited for a tactical team. More than an hour passed between when officers were first called to the school to when the tactical team entered locked classrooms and killed the gunman. 
  • The state official said the school district's police chief made the "wrong decision" not to have officers immediately try to breach the classroom and confront the shooter.
  • Texas Gov. Greg Abbott said Friday he was "misled" by inaccurate accounts from authorities about the massacre and is demanding a full account of what happened. How can you mislead a frikken moron —  Simple Governor Abbott is a moron and listens to morons — they kind of connect — It’s a Texas thing!


👺  TRUTH —  LIES, AND CONSEQUENCES — 

FALSE CLAIM — The man who killed the gunman at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas, was an off-duty Border Patrol agent who had a child and spouse inside the school. Not True— 

AP’S ASSESSMENT — False — A US Border Patrol tactical team shot and killed the gunman, according to the Texas Department of Public Safety. While an off-duty agent said he rushed to the scene with a borrowed shotgun, he clarified in televised interviews that he didn’t kill the gunman or go inside the classroom where the shooting took place.

THE FACTS  —  Numerous false claims have spread online since an 18-year-old gunman killed 19 children and two teachers inside Robb Elementary School last week, including some social media posts in recent days that misidentified who ultimately stopped the shooter.

  • “In case anyone missed it the man that killed the school shooter in Texas wasn’t even an on duty officer,” one widely shared Facebook post read. “It was a parent and spouse of a 4th grade teacher, he just happened to be a border patrol agent.”  Not True
  • The post went on to describe that the off-duty officer was getting a haircut when he heard about the shooting, borrowed his barber’s shotgun, rushed to the scene, “evacuated his wife and daughter and went back in and shot the suspect.”  Not True
  • Much of that story matches the real account of Jacob Albarado, a Border Patrol agent in Uvalde who has said he rushed to the school with a shotgun borrowed from his barber and helped evacuate kids. 
  • It’s true that Albarado’s wife was a fourth-grade teacher at the school and his daughter was a second-grader at the school. But Albarado did not say he went inside the classroom where the shooting took place, nor did he say he killed the gunman.  In fact, Albarado contradicted these false claims in televised interviews.
  • “I didn’t have any of my gear, I was off duty, so, I didn’t go in,” Albarado told NBC’s “Today Show” in a Tuesday interview where he also described how police broke windows to help children evacuate the school.
  • In a Wednesday interview with CBS, Albarado further confirmed he didn’t kill the gunman, saying, “I didn’t shoot the guy.  
  • I wasn’t in the room with him shooting the guy. 
  • I never said I shot him. So I would like to clarify that as well.” 
  • State police have consistently said a Border Patrol tactical team breached the classroom and killed the gunman.They have not named the officer who shot him.


POLICE ARE SUPPOSED TO PUT THEIR LIVES

ON THE LINE —  UVALDE WAS A FAILURE

CNN — Opinion by Updated 7:17 AM EDT, Fri June 3, 2022

My colleagues in our profession — retired and active police chiefs and officers — have spent a lot of time talking about the terrible shooting in Uvalde.   The last thing that law enforcement needs right now is another black eye, and it got one with the police response at that elementary school. Just about every cop I’ve talked to is pretty sick about the police response. Tragically, 19 children and two teachers were killed in the May 24 shooting at Robb Elementary School.

Collectively, we in law enforcement hurt because in Uvalde, we failed. We failed the children. We failed the teachers. We failed the families.  In policing, we have what’s called the “ fatal funnel” — the physical area where the bullets are going to come flying when an officer responds to an active shooting scene. 

In Uvalde, the fatal funnel was the entryway to that classroom where the gunman was shooting those little kids. The police knew that when they popped that door to enter that classroom they would have to enter that fatal funnel. Someone was going to have to put their life on the line. 


👺  Criticism Of Uvalde Police Grows As Families Start To Bury Their Kids  —  

I hate to say it, but losing officers is sometimes part of the job. We take an oath to protect and serve, even if it means risking our own lives, rather than swerve from the path of duty. 

After the shooting in Uvalde, police had to assume that there were a lot of wounded, innocent children inside those classrooms. Their duty was to gain access to those classrooms at all costs, neutralize the threat and take those children out of that classroom. Their task was to get those shooting victims to trauma centers and to try to save them.

In a mass shooting situation, you never operate under the assumption that everybody’s dead unless you know that for a fact. You have to assume that people are wounded and require medical attention. The only way that shooting victims are going to get help is for police to confront the threat and neutralize it.


👺  By Not Going In, The Police In Uvalde Absolutely Made The Wrong Call —  

You cannot fail to do whatever it takes to enter those classrooms. If you can’t go in through one door, find another one.  If you can’t go in through the door, go through a window. And if you can’t go through the window, crash through the drywall.

In dealing with trauma, we have what’s been called a “ golden hour” to help a shooting victim – a limited window of time to stop the bleeding, maintain an open airway and get victims to a hospital. So, the decision by the police in Uvalde not to enter that classroom for nearly an hour was absolutely the wrong decision. 

But even as we quite appropriately put a lot of focus on the police response, we also need to look at the failures of leadership by our elected officials — failures that created the circumstances that required a police response in the first place.

How was it that a troubled kid with homicidal thoughts was able to walk into a gun store right after his 18th birthday to buy assault rifles and high-capacity magazines with hundreds of rounds?


👺  Put THe Blame On the Politicians and Votes —   In this country, we’ve raised the smoking age to 21. We’ve raised the drinking age to 21. And yet, we still have a lot of states where 18-year-olds can buy weapons of war — weapons that use ammunition designed to inflict the greatest amount of damage to the human body. 

We need a comprehensive approach to dealing with the scourge of mass shootings in our country. If the law had prohibited the shooter from purchasing the firearms until he was 21, he would have never been able to wreak the carnage that he did.

There’s also been a lot of chatter about those 19 police officers — who were in the hallway of the school awaiting orders to enter the classroom — being cowards. But as far as I understand, some of those officers felt frustrated. They didn’t agree with the decision.


I Think The True Cowards Are The Politicians Who Are Afraid 

To Put Their Political Careers At Risk To Do The Right Thing 

They could do something as simple as supporting universal background checks, or supporting robust red flag laws across the entire nation. Or they could support raising the age that someone should be able to buy weapons of war like the one used in Uvalde, from 18 to 21. 

Instead, they’ve been talking about putting more police in the schools. But if 19 “ good guys with a gun” standing out in the hall of that school couldn’t get the job done stopping a heavily armed shooter, then clearly arming police in the schools is not the solution. 

What we need is a comprehensive approach to deal with the scourge not just of mass shooters, but everyday gun violence.

👺  Acts Of Kindness Lift Up Uvalde Community After Mass Shooting  —  

Our elected officials have not just the authority, but the moral obligation to do something about the epidemic of gun violence. And yet, mass shooting after mass shooting, they’ve done nothing. These politicians focus more on winning the next primary than passing effective policy. They’re afraid to lose their power, and they place keeping that power and their own interests ahead of actually saving lives.

The epic failure by police in Uvalde to meet the requirements of dealing with that horrific event calls attention to another problem: At some point, we have to rethink our policing model. 

Across our country, we have 18,000 separate police departments, a number that is simply way too big. Do you really need a six-officer police force in the Uvalde school district? I think the ineffectiveness of the response to the shooting gives you your answer. This model is truly the most inefficient policing model in the free world. 

In the end, a team of tactical officers from the Border Patrol and local police agencies breached the door and killed the shooter.   But think about all of the police agencies that responded — some news reports said there were dozens of law enforcement agencies at that chaotic scene, each with their individual leadership cadre. Think of how all that commotion would have led to confusion and hesitation. 

It would be wise to consider consolidating police services, instead of having 18,000 decentralized police departments with 18,000 separate chains of command and sets of policies. Consolidating police agencies committed to a regional approach to law enforcement would greatly improve efficiency, effectiveness and consistency — and we would achieve budgetary savings as well.

That said, with all those police, and the school district chief making the wrong call, I would have hoped that other leaders on that scene would have pulled rank and taken command. Sadly, that appears not to have happened. A mass shooting event exceeds the capability of a six-man department. You can worry about jurisdiction later, but when lives are on the line, you just have to take action.

The school district police chief who was in charge of leading the response, Pedro “Pete” Arredondo, hasn’t had much to say publicly about the shooting. He declined efforts on Wednesday by a CNN reporter to elicit more details about his decision-making during the incident.

Policing is more challenging than ever. Police in the United States face weaponry that officers don’t encounter in most civilized Western nations. But ultimately, whether they’re able to effectively do the job is determined by whether they have the proper training and supervision, so that right decisions get made — including decisions about using the right equipment in the right circumstances and in the appropriate manner. 

We also need to take a good hard look at our gun laws such as “open carry” in my home state of Texas where people frequently walk around publicly displaying long guns. Some people talk about openly carrying these weapons being their “ God-given right.” I’m still looking for that part of the Bible where it says, “On the eighth day, the Good Lord said, “  Let them have guns.’” It’s not there.

It hurts me to say it, but in this country, we’re heading in the wrong direction: If you add up all the fatalities from mass shootings and those who sustained life-altering injuries -— not to mention those who die as a result of accidental death and suicide — the numbers are staggering.

More people are dying every day, but we’re so numb to gun violence, that we just accept it. We must take action to enact common sense gun safety legislation and we must hold those who use guns to commit violent crimes accountable. 

And the public also has a responsibility: Addressing gun violence needs to become the single most important legislative issue for voters.   Americans need to make it a litmus test issue when they go to the polls. They need to hold politicians’ feet to the fire on the issue of solving our gun crisis, because ultimately it’s about our elected officials’ common sense, good judgment and moral decency — or lack thereof.

Until our society addresses these issues, we’re going to be having heartbreaking conversations like the ones emerging from Uvalde for many years to come.


6/06/2022