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The Uvalde School District Has Suspended Its Entire Police Force As Anger Over The Mass Shooting Response Continues

The Uvalde Consolidated Independent School District on Friday announced it was suspending its entire police force, which has faced unrelenting criticism for its response to the mass elementary campus shooting that killed 19 students and two teachers on May 24.

Soon after the announcement, school district Superintendent Hal Harrell said he would be retiring, although no timeframe for his departure was given.

The action came after it was revealed that school district officials had hired Crimson Elizondo to the district police force despite an investigation into her conduct on May 24, CNN reported. Elizondo was one of the state troopers who arrived at Robb Elementary within two minutes of the shooter entering the school.

CNN reported that Elizondo can be heard on body camera footage talking to other officers after the shooting.

“If my son had been in there, I would not have been outside,” Elizondo said. “I promise you that.”

Despite arriving minutes after the shooting started, law enforcement officers waited 77 minutes before confronting the shooter.

Elizondo was hired by the school district over the summer to protect some of the students who survived the shooting. She was terminated Thursday.

Lt. Miguel Hernandez of the Uvalde Consolidated Independent School District police knew Elizondo was under investigation for “actions inconsistent with training and Department requirements,” KSAT reported.

Lt. Hernandez and Ken Mueller, director of student services, were placed on administrative leave, the school district said. Mueller has since opted to retire.

In a statement, the Uvalde Consolidated Independent School District said decisions concerning its police department had been pending the results of an investigation, but “recent developments” uncovered additional concerns. Currently employed officers will fill other roles within the district. The school district asked the Texas Department of Public Safety to provide additional troopers for campus and extracurricular activities in the meantime.

“We are confident that staff and student safety will not be compromised during this transition,” the district said in a statement.

Sen. Roland Gutierrez said in a statement that since the shooting, Uvalde families have been lied to as they sought answers and accountability.

“A step towards accountability has been made today,” Gutierrez said. “This cannot be the end; we still need full transparency and justice from every agency and every level of government that failed us in Uvalde.”

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