Updated Oct 7, 2022 - Politics & Policy

Uvalde, Texas, school district suspends police force in shooting fallout

A view of the faculty parking lot of Flores elementary surrounded by the 8 foot tall fencing the school district as students go back to school months after deadly US shooting in Uvalde, Texas.

A view of the faculty parking lot of Flores elementary in Uvalde, Texas. Photo: Pedro Salazar/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

The Uvalde, Texas, school district said Friday it has suspended its entire police force in the latest fallout from the Robb Elementary School shooting earlier this year.

The big picture: The decision comes after 19 students and two teachers died in the mass shooting. The aftermath of the incident was marred by controversy due to the decisions and statements made by local officials and law enforcement.

Details: The Uvalde school district said it "has made the decision to suspend all activities of the Uvalde CISD Police Department for a period of time," according to a press release on Friday.

  • Officers who are currently employed will take on other roles within the district.
  • The school district said it will continue to conduct a review with the Texas Police Chiefs Association over the police department's management and organizational policies in order to rebuild the department and hire a new chief of police.
  • The district said that "recent developments have uncovered additional concerns with department operations."

State of play: Parents have been protesting outside the school district calling for the district to suspend officers, per the Texas Tribune.

  • “I am asking … get these officers off of these campuses until it is proved whether or not they were justified in sitting outside of the classroom for 77 minutes,” said Brett Cross, whose nephew died in the shooting, according to the Tribune.

Zoom out: The aftermath of the Uvalde shooting was packed with confusion and claims of a "cover-up" scheme, leading to distrust of local officials.

  • Steven McCraw, director of the Texas Department of Public Safety, said in the immediate aftermath that the on-scene commander made "the wrong decision" by not entering the school sooner to confront the shooter.
  • In late September, the families of three children who survived the shooting filed a lawsuit against the school district, law enforcement officials and gun makers.
  • In the complaint, the families allege that these entities showed negligence, recklessness and failure over the shooting.

What's next: The Uvalde school district said it has requested the Texas Department of Public Safety to provide additional officers for campus and extra-curricular activities.

  • "We are confident that staff and student safety will not be compromised during this transition," the district said.

Editor's note: This story was updated with additional details.

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