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Top O’ the Briefing

Happy Tuesday, dear Kruiser Morning Briefing friends. The cockatiel spoke no prophecy that day, and the village dutifully returned to the celebrations of the Rutabaga Festival.

I would like to thank Megan for pinch-hitting for me yesterday and knocking it out of the park. If more women in America were like her, we could invade Canada tomorrow and use it for storage.

The unspeakable tragedy of the mass murder at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, has been greatly compounded by the disturbing news about the police response — or lack thereof — that we’ve been hearing about for the past four weeks. Each new bit of information makes the Uvalde Police Department officers who were on the scene look even worse.

There was more news on Monday and, once again, it didn’t help the reputation of the Uvalde PD.

Paula has the story:

That said, the latest news from the investigation into the shooting looks very bad for the law-enforcement officials responding to the scene. Tony Plohetski, an investigative reporter for the Austin-American Statesman, tweeted a picture showing police stationed outside the classroom where more than a dozen children were murdered. The officers, armed with rifles and at least one ballistic shield, were in the hallway near the classroom at 11:52 a.m.—58 minutes before they breached the locked classroom, and 19 minutes after the gunman entered the school. At 12:03 p.m. a second officer with a ballistic shield arrived, followed by a third a few minutes later.

“Investigators believe this is significant because it indicates they had more than enough firepower and protection to enter the classroom before they did,” wrote Plohetski. “Officers were growing impatient far sooner: ‘If there’s kids in there we need to go in there,’ one said on body camera video.”

It’s not yet known who made the decision to stand down for nearly an hour while the assailant systematically executed the young children and their teachers, but Pete Arredondo, chief of the Uvalde school district police force, called the Uvalde Police Department—on a landline because he didn’t have a radio—at 11:40 a.m. requesting backup.

Paula begins this article by rightfully noting that police have a difficult, dangerous, high-pressure job to do. Those of you who have been reading me for a while know that I am an overwhelming supporter of law enforcement and am deeply sympathetic to the perils of the job.

However, given the fact that they are tasked with public safety in life-or-death situations, I also hold them to higher standards. As Paula notes, we are still not clear on who made the decision to turn the officers on the scene that horrible day into mere spectators to a slaughter.

But somebody did, and who that somebody is needs to be made known to the public soon. Whoever it was froze up at the precise moment when quick thinking and rapid action were needed. If something goes wrong on the operating table, no one wants a surgeon who needs to take some time to think. The same applies to anyone who professionally deals with life-or-death scenarios.

Excuses are unacceptable and that’s all we’ve had from the Uvalde PD thus far.

If it turns out that the inaction was the result of some sort of bureaucratic decision-by-committee process, it’s even worse.

Whichever the case may be, the person or people responsible for freezing the cops on the scene needs to be shown the door and kept as far away as possible from any job where the fate of another is on the line.

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