Uvalde School Board unanimously fires police chief for incompetence

The school board of Uvalde, Texas, voted Wednesday unanimously to fire district Police Chief Pete Arredondo, CNN reported.

The decision came one month after a report detailed “egregiously poor” decisions by authorities during the May 24 mass shooting at Robb Elementary School, where 19 children and two teachers were killed by 18-year-old Salvador Ramos.

Arredondo did not attend the meeting, with his lawyer issuing a statement claiming that the Uvalde Consolidated Independent School District failed to adhere to proper procedure.

Attorney George Hyde argued in a lengthy statement in defense of his client that laid out the board’s failure to provide a written complaint to Arredondo, to do so promptly and to conduct an internal investigation.

“Chief Arredondo will not participate in his own illegal and unconstitutional public lynching and respectfully requests the Board immediately reinstate him, with all back pay and benefits and close the complaint as unfounded,” Hyde wrote.

Arredondo had come under intense public scrutiny for his department’s response to the Uvalde school shooting, with the Uvalde schools’ superintendent recommending his termination shortly after reports of repeated misjudgment by officers at the scene.

The 80-page report, which was written by an investigative committee from the Texas House of Representatives and released in July, criticized state and federal law enforcement responses to the tragedy. According to the report, 376 officers were amassed at the school and lingered for 73 minutes before entering.

“At Robb Elementary, law enforcement responders failed to adhere to their active shooter training, and they failed to prioritize saving innocent lives over their own safety,” the report read.

“There is no one to whom we can attribute malice or ill motives. Instead, we found systemic failures and egregiously poor decision making,” it added.