The Justice Department has put collectively a workforce to probe the legislation enforcement response to final month’s Texas college bloodbath — however the investigators aren’t in search of prison wrongdoing by cops, Attorney General Merrick Garland mentioned Wednesday.
“This is not a criminal investigation,” Garland informed reporters when requested if prices may probably be introduced towards officers who waited for many of an hour to lastly take out shooter Salvador Ramos.
“This is an after-action critical incident review, which we have done in the past, which we did in San Bernardino, which was done in the Pulse nightclub (shooting),” he added. “This is not a criminal review.”
The review — which has already began — will embody web site visits at Robb Elementary School and interviews with witnesses, households, legislation enforcement and authorities officers.
“The Justice Department is taking a critical incident review of the law enforcement response that day at the request of the Uvalde mayor. The review will be comprehensive, it will be transparent and it will be independent,” mentioned Garland.
The findings will probably be launched in a public last report, together with DOJ suggestions.
Merrick was requested whether or not the DOJ would have cooperation from everybody concerned within the legislation enforcement response to the shooting, after studies mentioned Uvalde School Police Chief Pete Arredondo was not cooperating with state investigators.
“We have been promised, assured and welcomed with respect to cooperation at every level of law enforcement: state, federal and local,” mentioned Garland.
While Garland mentioned he didn’t count on any issues, he stopped in need of saying whether or not the DOJ may power anybody to cooperate.
The Texas DPS mentioned Arredondo, who was accountable for the response through the May 24 assault, made the “wrong decision” to carry again officers from killing the 18-year-old suspect, who left 19 college students and two academics lifeless. The shooter was ultimately taken out by a workforce made up largely of Border Patrol officers, who reportedly ignored orders to face again.
Arredondo, who can be a newly elected member of the Uvalde City Council, has been holding a low profile and was a no-show on the first public meeting because the shooting two weeks in the past.
Uvalde Mayor Don McLaughlin declined to say Tuesday when requested if he had confidence in Arredondo.
“I’m not going to speak for Pete Arredondo. He’ll have to speak for himself. I’m not going to go there,” mentioned McLaughlin on the meeting.
McLaughlin mentioned he did have faith in his native police division and Texas DPS.
“Our hearts are broken by what happened in Uvalde,” mentioned Garland. “There is nothing that we can do that can undo the pain borne both by the survivors, the families of the victims and the community and the country, but the independence, the transparency and expertise of the Justice Department can go a long way towards assessing what happened in Uvalde with respect to law enforcement response and for giving guidance for the future.”