Acting Police Chief During Uvalde School Shooting Placed On Leave After Report Details ‘Systemic’ Failures
Authored by Katabella Roberts via The Epoch Times (emphasis ours),
The lieutenant who was acting police chief on duty the day of the mass shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, has been placed on administrative leave following a report that found systemic failures by law enforcement.
Uvalde Mayor Don McLaughlin confirmed that Lt. Mariano Pargas had been placed on administrative leave in a statement published on July 17.
McLaughlin noted that the city has a responsibility to evaluate how the Uvalde Police Department responded to the shooting incident, including Pargas’s role as acting chief.
“This administrative leave is to investigate whether Lt. Pargas was responsible for taking command on May 24th, what specific actions Lt. Pargas took to establish that command, and whether it was even feasible given all the agencies involved and other possible policy violations,” McLaughlin wrote in the statement.
The statement did not provide details as to whether Pargas was placed on paid or unpaid administrative leave.
The announcement regarding his administrative leave came just hours after the Texas state House of Representatives earlier on July 17 published a 77-page report noting that there were failures across the board by some of the roughly 400 law enforcement officers who responded to the May 24 mass shooting, including Pargas.
“There is no one to whom we can attribute malice or ill motives. Instead, we found systemic failures and egregious poor decision making,” the report said.
It also pointed to “shortcomings and failures of the Uvalde Consolidated Independent School District [CISD] and of various agencies and officers of law enforcement” and “an overall lackadaisical approach.”
‘Void of Leadership’
Pargas told the committee that “he figured” police Chief Pete Arredondo had jurisdiction over the incident and that he “must have been coordinating the law enforcement response—and that the Uvalde Police were there to assist,” the report states.
The committee, in its report, also determined Arredondo, who was one of the first responders on the scene, “failed to perform or to transfer to another person the role of incident commander” on the day of the shooting, which left 19 students and two teachers dead.
“This was an essential duty he had assigned to himself in the plan mentioned above, yet it was not effectively performed by anyone,” the report states. “The void of leadership could have contributed to the loss of life as injured victims waited over an hour for help, and the attacker continued to sporadically fire his weapon,” the committee said.
Arredondo was placed on leave in June following growing criticism over his failure not to immediately breach the classroom where gunman Salvador Ramos was fatally shooting students at the Texas school.
The committee wrote in its report that law enforcement failed to quickly confront Ramos on the day of the shooting, which saw law enforcement officers take more than 75 minutes to neutralize the shooter after he entered the building.
Earlier in June, Arredondo told The Texas Tribune that a missing key to a locked classroom door was the reason law enforcement officers took over 70 minutes to take down Ramos.
Read more here…
Mon, 07/18/2022 – 14:10