Pete Arredondo, the chief of Uvalde Consolidated Independent School District’s police department, was quietly sworn into his city council role despite controversy surrounding his response to the Robb Elementary School massacre in which he reportedly held back responding officers for a significant amount of time.
Further, ABC News reports that the Uvalde Police Department and the Uvalde Independent School District police are “no longer cooperating with the Texas Department of Public Safety’s investigation” into the events of the school shooting.
“Uvalde City Council members were sworn in today as per the City Charter. Out of respect for the families who buried their children today, and who are planning to bury their children in the next few days, no ceremony was held,” Mayor Don McLaughlin said Tuesday.
One day prior, McLaughlin stated that the ceremony would be postponed out of respect for the victims.
“Our focus on Tuesday is on our families who lost loved ones,” he said at the time. “We begin burying our children tomorrow, the innocent victims of last week’s murders at Robb Elementary School. The special City Council meeting will not take place as scheduled.”
The meeting itself did not take place as no swearing-in ceremony was held. But Arredondo is now a member of the city council nonetheless.
Pete Arredondo, the Uvalde school district police chief who officials identified as the incident commander during the Robb Elementary school shooting, was sworn in as a city council member on Tuesday. https://t.co/q4oXi8AXew
— CNN (@CNN) June 1, 2022
Uvalde School Police Chief Sworn Into City Council
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Arredondo reportedly made the call to hold back police officers arriving on the scene of the shooting because he believed the situation had shifted from an active shooter scenario to a barricaded subject scenario.
According to some reports, officers waited over an hour – by which time 19 children and two teachers had been killed – before border patrol agents finally ignored his orders and stormed the classroom.
Pete Arredondo, the Uvalde district school police chief who made the decision to not breach the classrooms, was sworn-in as a Uvalde city council member today.
Absolutely outrageous. pic.twitter.com/WFeo5LqEb1
— Yashar Ali 🐘 (@yashar) June 1, 2022
Videos surfaced online apparently showing police officers fighting with parents who were begging them to go in and stop the shooter. They never did, at the alleged behest of Arredondo.
A Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) lieutenant told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer that police officers responding to the shooting were held back because “they could have been shot.”
Wolf Blitzer: “Don’t current best practices, call for officers to disable a shooter as quickly as possible, regardless of how many officers are actually on site?”
DPS Lt. Chris Olivarez: “They could’ve been shot.”
— The Jewish Ginger Resister (@JewishResister) May 27, 2022
DPS Director Steven McCraw didn’t specifically name Arredondo but admitted the school police chief made the “wrong decision” not to engage with the gunman sooner.
Steven McCraw, who heads the Texas Department of Public Safety, said Friday that the school district’s police chief, Pete Arredondo, made the “wrong decision” to wait so long before sending officers into the locked classroomshttps://t.co/qljHKbkrCq
— Mid-Michigan NOW (@midmichigannow) May 29, 2022
Not Cooperating With the Investigation
Making the optics infinitely worse are reports that newly minted city council member Pete Arredondo is refusing to cooperate with Texas investigators looking into the school shooting.
Fox News reports that the Uvalde school police chief “has not responded to Texas Rangers in two days for a follow-up interview from his initial statements following the shooting.”
.@TxDPS: “Uvalde Police Department and Uvalde CISD Police have been cooperating with investigators. The chief of the Uvalde CISD Police provided an initial interview but has not responded to a request for a follow-up interview with the Texas Rangers that was made two days ago”
— Aaron Katersky (@AaronKatersky) May 31, 2022
McLaughlin indicated there is no investigation being conducted into Arredondo’s actions officially despite making the “wrong decision” that almost certainly cost some children their lives.
He also defended the swearing-in.
“There is nothing in the City Charter, Election Code, or Texas Constitution that prohibits him from taking the oath of office,” McLaughlin said.
Perhaps as the investigations proceed they’ll find Arredondo followed protocol and didn’t actually make the call to hold officers back despite an active shooter situation. Right now it doesn’t look very good.
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