Uvalde was an ‘abject failure,’ but there’s more to the story

The families of the victims and every Texan deserve better from law enforcement agencies and politicians whose prime responsibility is to serve the public interest, not their own.



June 28, 2022 - 3:23 PM

Family members who lost a sibling place flowers in May outside Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas. LOS ANGELES TIMES/WALLY SKALIJ/TNS

We wish that we had a clear explanation for law enforcement’s tragically slow response to a gunman threatening and then murdering 19 children and two teachers in their elementary school in Uvalde. That, however, requires a greater commitment to transparency.

For weeks now, we’ve heard the Texas Department of Public Safety, Uvalde city officials and Uvalde school district police Chief Pete Arredondo tell different versions of events, which doesn’t give us much faith that they’re on a common path toward the truth. Media requests have been slow-walked on grounds that public disclosure could interfere with investigations by the federal government, the Texas Rangers and a closed-door legislative committee.

With competing narratives abounding, more transparency, not less, is essential. Rightly frustrated, state Sen. Roland Gutierrez, a Democrat from San Antonio whose district includes Uvalde, last week filed a lawsuit accusing the Texas Department of Public Safety of ignoring his inquiries and covering up details about the police response.

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