Uvalde, TX – The Uvalde Consolidated Independent School District (UCISD) has backtracked on its promises to hire independent consultants to conduct an investigation into school police officers’ response to the Robb Elementary School massacre.
The school district announced in September of 2022 that an independent review would be conducted into the school police force’s response to the shooting, which left 19 children and two teachers dead and 17 more victims wounded, the Uvalde Leader-News reported.
The district reiterated the same intent on Oct. 7, 2022, when it suspended the entire Uvalde Consolidated Independent School District Police Department (UCISDPD).
But on Feb. 2, UCISD Marketing and Communications Executive Director Anne Marie Espinoza said the district changed its mind and nixed plans for an independent review altogether, according to the Uvalde Leader-News.
Espinoza said that decision was made after the district received investigative documents from four other investigations.
Those investigations include the Texas School Safety Center Report, a Department of Justice investigation, a systematic review of the UCISDPD conducted by Texas School of Police Chiefs’ Association Executive Director James McLaughlin, and the Texas House of Representatives Investigative Committee on the Robb Elementary shooting, the Uvalde Leader-News reported.
McLaughlin’s report and the Department of Justice investigation have not been released to the public, according to the paper.
All but one of the UCISDPD officers who worked for the department at the time of the May 24, 2022 attack have since resigned from the force, the Uvalde Leader-News reported.
Parents and family members of the victims have repeatedly called on the school district to hire an outside entity to analyze the officers’ actions on the day of the shooting, KENS reported.
Jesse Rizo, whose niece was among the victims, told the board in August of last year that they should use the findings of an independent investigation to “hold people accountable,” according to the news outlet.
Rizo said it “was a slap to the parents’ faces” to learn UCISD backpaddled on its promise.
“People are insulted by that,” Rizo told KENS on Wednesday. “You may have just woken a monster.”
According to the scathing 77-page report released by a Texas House of Representatives investigative committee in July, 376 law enforcement officers responded to the school as the 18-year-old gunman carried out his attack inside a fourth-grade classroom on May 24, 2022, the Associated Press reported.
It took police 77 minutes to storm the classroom and fatally shoot the gunman.
Nineteen children and two teachers were murdered in the massacre.
At least 17 other victims were wounded.
The delayed and chaotic law enforcement response to the mass shooting has been blamed on a lack of leadership and communication failures, CNN reported.