The Uvalde Police Scandal

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Students inside were calling 911 and begging for help. The officers stayed outside for almost an hour during the mass shooting.

The great sin in what happened in Texas is that an 18-year-old with murder in his heart walked into a public school and shot to death 19 kids and two teachers. The great shock is what the police did—their incompetence on the scene and apparent lies afterward. This aspect has rocked the American people.

Uvalde wasn’t an “apparent law-enforcement failure.” It is the biggest law-enforcement scandal since George Floyd, and therefore one of the biggest in U.S. history. Children, some already shot, some not, were trapped in adjoining classrooms. As many as 19 cops were gathered in the hall just outside. The Washington Post timeline has the killer roaming the classrooms: “The attack went for so long, witnesses said, that the gunman had time to taunt his victims before killing them, even putting on songs that one student described to CNN as ‘I-want-people-to-die music.’ ”

Students inside were calling 911 and begging for help. The officers failed to move for almost an hour.


The commander on scene, school district police chief Pete Arredondo, hasn’t given a public statement on what went wrong. Why is he allowed not to tell the public what happened? He didn’t take reporters’ questions until cornered Wednesday by CNN’s Shimon Prokupecz. Mr. Arredondo was evasive. Reports he’s stiff-arming investigators are wrong, he said; he’s in touch with them and he’ll have more to say but not now. Then, in fatherly tones: “We’re not going to release anything. We have people in our community being buried. So we’re going to be respectful.”

A better form of respect would have been stopping the guy who left them grieving their dead children.

What I fear is a final report issued in six months or a year that will hit all the smarmy rhetorical notes—

By Peggy Noonan

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