Feels like we have a full-blown scandal in the making here.
Bad enough for the cops not to intervene while frantic parents begged them to go in. But to actually punish them, however briefly, for pleading for their children’s lives?
I’m trying to picture the scene outside the building at the next school shooting. (And the one after that, and the one after that, and the one after that….) How many parents will bring guns with them and race for the school’s entrance before the cops can stop them? If you have reason to fear that your local PD won’t put their lives on the line to save your child, you have only one option.
You know the old saying among gun-rights advocates: “When seconds count, the police are only minutes away. Or seconds away, but chilling outside the building.”
“The police were doing nothing,” said Angeli Rose Gomez, who after learning about the shooting drove 40 miles to Robb Elementary School, where her children are in second and third grade. “They were just standing outside the fence. They weren’t going in there or running anywhere.”…
Ms. Gomez, a farm supervisor, said that she was one of numerous parents who began encouraging—first politely, and then with more urgency—police and other law enforcement to enter the school. After a few minutes, she said, federal marshals approached her and put her in handcuffs, telling her she was being arrested for intervening in an active investigation.
Ms. Gomez convinced local Uvalde police officers whom she knew to persuade the marshals to set her free. Around her, the scene was frantic. She said she saw a father tackled and thrown to the ground by police and a third pepper-sprayed. Once freed from her cuffs, Ms. Gomez made her distance from the crowd, jumped the school fence, and ran inside to grab her two children. She sprinted out of the school with them.
Imagine arriving at the scene to find a phalanx of cops standing by, feet away, while your children’s lives are in dire peril and being forced to rescue them yourself. Note the timeline too — 40 miles of driving after news of the shooting broke, then some pleading, then being cuffed, then sneaking into the school to free her kids. That’s a good hour at least of police inaction.
Gomez said that after the shooting stopped the cops brought buses to take the kids away, presumably to the hospital to be checked out. When one dad approached the bus to get his child, the cops … tased him.
I don’t know what to believe anymore. Gomez has no reason to lie but the police response simply can’t have been that bad and tone-deaf. Can it?
Maybe it can. Local law enforcement held a press conference in Uvalde today to update reporters and … it did not inspire confidence. Remember when the head of Texas’s Department of Public Safety claimed that the shooter had encountered a security officer upon entering the building and that “rounds were exchanged”? Rounds were not exchanged, it turns out. He wasn’t confronted.
Texas official: Shooter “walked in unobstructed initially.”
“He was not confronted by anybody.” pic.twitter.com/sojKJPk3bc
— Townhall.com (@townhallcom) May 26, 2022
That answers the question I posed this morning of what happened to the security officer in the 90+ minutes after the shooter made his way in. There was no officer. In which case, why were reporters led to believe initially that there was one?
The spokesman was then asked why the police didn’t enter the building when parents urged them to. He dodged:
Reporter: “Is it accurate that eye witnesses and potentially parents of the students were urging the police to go in while you were waiting for a tactical SWAT team?”
Regional Director for DPS South Texas Victor Escalon: “We have not verified if that is a true statement or not.” pic.twitter.com/JsiqwNOIqr
— The Recount (@therecount) May 26, 2022
Here’s a detail I didn’t know. Apparently there was a 12-minute span between the time the shooter crashed his car in front of the school and cops responding. Is that a normal response time in Uvalde? If it is, why couldn’t the spokesman have said so here?
“There’s a 12 minute gap from when he crashes his truck to when he enters the school. 12 minutes. What happened in that 12 minutes?” pic.twitter.com/zUAdESSH10
— Acyn (@Acyn) May 26, 2022
What was the point of this press conference? They don’t have answers to even the most predictable questions about their response. They’re lucky that the Wall Street Journal piece about the mom being handcuffed wasn’t published until this afternoon or else they would have been asked to explain that too.
There’ll be no legal consequences for any of this either, in all probability. The police have no duty to assist you when you’re in danger as far as I’m aware, which makes the fact that parents were held back that much more outrageous. It’s one thing not to risk your own life to save another, it’s another to prevent a willing volunteer from risking theirs.
Heads should roll, starting with the DPS chief who fed bad information to the media about the security officer presumably to make it seem like the school was better predicted than it was.
— Saagar Enjeti (@esaagar) May 26, 2022