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Uvalde school trying to dismiss police chief after shooting

Uvalde, Texas (AP)

Faced with massive public pressure, Uvalde’s top school officials were at the center of the failed law enforcement response to the shooting at an elementary school that killed two teachers and 19 students. I recommended the dismissal of the police chief.

The South Texas City Board of Education will consider dismissing Chief Pete Aledondo at a special meeting on Saturday to consider a director’s recommendation. Arredondo was accused by state officials of making some serious mistakes in a shooting at Rob Elementary School on May 24.

School officials had previously resisted calling for the dismissal of Aledondo. The announcement was blamed for more than three hours by members of the Board of Education who accused Rob of not implementing basic security, being invisible about what happened, and not asking Aledondo for clarification. It will take place two days after the meeting for his actions.

On Monday, police chief Hal Harrell said Uvalde’s parents were contract employees who couldn’t be dismissed at will, faced with a loud demand to dismiss Aledondo and a warning that his job would be his next job. rice field. The agenda for Saturday’s meeting includes a board of lawyers discussing possible dismissals.

Arredondo, who has been away from the district since June 22, has faced fierce criticism since the massacre that he did not order officers to immediately break the classroom where the 18-year-old shooter attacked.

Nearly 400 police officers from various agencies were involved in a police response that took more than an hour to confront and kill the shooter, but Arredondo was known to have faced disciplinary action. Is one of them. His lawyer did not immediately respond to the request for comment.

The move to dismiss the chief is horrifying by the Texas House Commission, which has accused law enforcement agencies of all levels of slow and chaotic response, despite nearly 400 police officers on the scene. This follows the release of the 80-page report. The report specifically accused Aledondo of wasting “precious time” during the slaughter while searching for classroom keys.

According to the committee, Aledondo told lawmakers that he did not consider himself a commander of the scene and his priority was to protect children in other classrooms. The Commission’s report called the decision a “terrible tragic mistake.”

Body camera footage released by Uvarde officials shows a police chief in the hallway trying multiple keys at the doors of other classrooms, but not where the slaughter took place. The classroom door could not be locked from the inside, but there are no signs that police officers tried to open the door while the gunman was inside.

“Our idea was:’If he comes out, you eliminate the threat’is it correct?” Aledondo told the committee, according to the report. “And just the idea that the other kids were in the other classroom, my idea was: When he comes back, we either take him out or eliminate the threat.”

Arredondo, 50, grew up in Uvalde and spent nearly 30 years in law enforcement in the city. He became police secretary in the school district in 2020 and swore as a member of the city council at a private ceremony on May 31st. He resigned from parliamentary seats on July 2.

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Paul J. Weber, Associated Press writer in Austin, Texas, contributed to this report.

Uvalde school trying to dismiss police chief after shooting

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