The Uvalde, Texas school district, still dealing with the aftermath of the tragic elementary school shooting, has suspended the entire district police force for their unacceptable response to the massacre, and for hiring an officer who was under investigation for her actions at the scene of the shooting.
In August, the Uvalde police chief, Pete Arredondo, was fired after receiving major criticisms for his inexcusable mistakes on the day of the shooting.
Footage from inside the school was also released, showing Uvalde Police officers using their phones and getting hand sanitizer while the shooter was still at large within the school.
The officers stalled in the elementary school’s hallway for 77 minutes as Salvador Ramos fired over 100 rounds at children in two classrooms. The video shows that, when Ramos opened fire, the officers retreated to safety while the children’s lives were in danger.
On Friday, the suspension of the entire police force was announced, and hours later, the Uvalde school district superintendent Hal Harrell announced his retirement.
The school district has requested to have more Texas Department of Public Safety troopers on their schools’ campuses while the police force is suspended. “We are confident that staff and student safety will not be compromised during this transition,” the district assured its community.
Kimberly Rubio, whose daughter Lexi was a victim of the Robb Elementary shooting, commented on her dissatisfaction with the police force. “They don’t know how to hire people, they don’t know how to vet officers,” Rubio said. “They haven’t provided proper training.”
Rubio added that the news of the suspensions was “what we’ve been asking for – it’s more than we’ve been asking for.”
This suspension occurred after it was revealed that the district hired a former Texas Department of Public Safety trooper, Officer Crimson Elizondo, who was under internal investigation for her actions at the scene of the shooting. She reportedly showed up to the scene without her rifle or her vest, failing to follow standard procedures and standing outside for the majority of the incident.
In video footage recorded by officer body cameras during the shooting, Elizondo was captured saying some things that sparked outrage throughout the Uvalde community.
On the day of the shooting, Elizondo said, “If my son had been in there, I would not have been outside. I promise you that.”
This comment enraged parents, especially those who lost their children in the shooting, because it implied that she wasn’t acting with as much urgency as if her own child had been in the school and, therefore, not doing all she could to save the lives of those inside the school.
Elizondo had been under investigation by the DPS inspector general. However, since she resigned from DPS to work for the Uvalde district police force, she avoided internal discipline or penalties.
After news of her hiring was released, parents gathered in protest and issued a statement expressing their disapproval:
“We are disgusted and angry at Uvalde Consolidated Independent School District’s (UCISD) decision to hire Officer Crimson Elizondo. Her hiring puts into question the credibility and thoroughness of UCSID’s HR and vetting practices. And it confirms what we have been saying all along: UCISD has not and is not in the business of ensuring the safety of our children at school.”
After community outrage over her recent hiring, Elizondo was promptly fired on Thursday.