Members of the Uvalde, Texas community are calling for the resignation of the police chief after it was revealed that the police department and Texas officials are resisting the release of information about the shooting at Robb Elementary School on May 24, 2022, ABC News reported.
While the school board doesn't have any governing power over Police Chief Pete Arredondo, what findings there are about the attack showed the police were armed with large rifles and shields but still didn't go into the classroom to take down the mass shooter.
"Having Pete still employed, knowing he is incapable of decision-making that saves lives is terrifying," said an angry Brett Cross, the uncle of slain student Uziyah Garcia. "Innocence doesn't hide, innocence doesn't change its story, but innocence did die on May 24."
There were 19 police officers who stood outside of the classroom where children were calling 911 begging for help before they were killed. At no point did the officers even check to see if the door was unlocked. It took 77 minutes before someone went inside.
"At one point or another you're going to have to draw a line in the sand to decide if you hold one of your own accountable," said Jesus Rizo Jr. "Pete, Mr. Arredondo, is also my friend. I'm sure we all got along with him. At one point or another, we're going to have to decide if we hold them accountable. And I pray that you make the right decision."
Some of those who attended held up signs saying "Fire Pete Arredondo."
The hashtag #UvaldeCoverUp has been popular in Texas, but gained national traction on Monday after the photos were published of the officers having the necessary equipment to protect themselves if they went into the classroom. Americans who don't even live in Texas are demanding to see the body camera videos of the 19 officers who refused to act.
\u201cBREAKING: Multiple officers were inside Robb Elementary School with rifles and at least one ballistic shield at 11:52 a.m. the day of the shooting, new video and other evidence shows. They didn\u2019t enter the classroom for another 58 minutes. More soon via @statesman and @KVUE. 1/2\u201d— Tony Plohetski (@Tony Plohetski) 1655762452
The Texas Tribune and ProPublica have been pursuing Freedom of Information Act requests from local agencies to document what happened around the shooting that left 21 people dead, including 19 children. The Tribune noted that they don't expect to get it for months, "if at all."
"In the past week, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott has joined the growing list of state and local officials fighting the release of records that could help bring clarity to how the emergency response unfolded during last month’s deadly shooting in Uvalde," the Tribune reported.
UPDATE: Uvalde City Council meetings are on the 2nd and 4th Tuesdays of each month, their website says. There was an emergency meeting on Tuesday, June 21 in which the mayor and council refused to allow the chief to take a leave of absence. The mayor read a statement saying he is term-limited so he has no allegiance to any party and doesn't care what Republicans are saying about information he intends to deliver it as he gets it.
Theoretically, June 28th will be the next meeting for the community members demanding action.