Hearings show Uvalde had a complete failure of political leadership.


We hear much about how the police failed in the Uvalde shooting, but after watching hours of hearings in the Texas State Legislature it becomes clear that the failures were largely political. 

The biggest failure was Police Chief Pete Arredondo.  Arredondo, according to the hearing, made every wrong decision possible with one Texas Senator describing him as “turning into protoplasm” when shots were fired.

Chief Arredondo, who has just successfully ran for local council, behaved as a politician, not a tactical law enforcement officer. Arredondo even went so far as to lie to arriving Texas DPS and federal officers who responded telling them that they had the shooter cornered and were in negotiations even as the shooter was still shooting students.

Eventually responding officers and even some parents started taking things into their own hands to get students to safety.  According to the hearing, one Texas DPS officer was with an Uvalde officer waiting as Chief Arredondo ordered and eventually wanted to start clearing rooms and get more students out. The Uvalde officer wanted to get approval from a supervisor to do so and the Texas DPS officer responded, “He’s not my supervisor” and started getting students out.

Unfortunately the law makes the highest ranking local official the site commander and in this case that was Chief Arredondo. 

The failures did not stop with Arredondo. The school board did not follow state guidelines on physical security. The fence around the school was easily bypassed and had gaps. Many of the locks could not be engaged from the inside. The classrooms 111 & 112 had misaligned door striker plates rendering the locks ineffective because the locks could not latch. Teachers had reported the problem but the doors had remained that way so late students could just push open the door instead of having to be let in even if the door was “locked.” The shooter knew this. There were too few armed school resource officers to cover the school buildings as early press reports show that the school board did not think it necessary.