She has an incentive to lie here, of course.
But so do the police. After all, if a teacher is at fault for propping open a door that’s supposed to stay locked then the school district and its police force are less at fault for failing to properly secure the building.
Here’s the key bit from last week’s media briefing, which Tim Miller called “the most enraging press conference in American history.” This is the same one at which Texas DPS chief Steve McCraw said, “If I thought it would help, I’d apologize.”
And now we learn today that THIS attempt to blame it on a teacher was also a COMPLETE LIE by the cops, as video shows the teacher slamming the door shut. pic.twitter.com/JsgQzNRuIU
— Ron Filipkowski 🇺🇦 (@RonFilipkowski) May 31, 2022
It was the teacher who made the fatal error, not the police. Right?
Not right, her lawyer said today:
“She saw the [car] wreck,” [Don] Flanary said. “She ran back inside to get her phone to report the accident. She came back out while on the phone with 911. The men at the funeral home yelled, ‘He has a gun!’ She saw him jump the fence, and he had a gun so she ran back inside.
“She kicked the rock away when she went back in. She remembers pulling the door closed while telling 911 that he was shooting. She thought the door would lock because that door is always supposed to be locked.”…
A law enforcement source familiar with the investigation said surveillance video and audio verifies the employee removed the rock holding the door open and closed it.
“She slammed it shut,” said the source, who requested anonymity because the source does not have authority to speak with the media.
The 911 audio should be able to corroborate most of that. If she was outside, saw him shooting, and re-entered through that door, it stands to reason she would have kicked the rock out of the way and pulled it shut behind her. Why the door didn’t lock automatically is a mystery for now, although a source told the San Antonio Express-News that “at least one other school employee has reported to federal agents and DPS that at least one other door in the building did not lock.” That would be a strange oversight for a school district that spent nearly $70,000 on security measures a few years ago and has trained for mass shootings. The first and most basic precaution should be to make sure that all doors lock so that a shooter needs to waste time figuring out a way in while police are en route.
Back to the teacher, though. How on earth did McCraw come to the conclusion that she propped the door open if video and audio show that she removed the rock and slammed the door?
This makes at least *six* major errors of fact by various police officers since the first hours of the shooting. Even allowing for the reality that shooting scenes are chaotic and bad information tends to circulate early (consider how common it is to hear reports of multiple shooters even though that almost never happens), that’s a *lot* of bad information in this case from state officials who should have felt a duty to get their facts right. McCraw didn’t even make the claim about the door being propped open off the cuff, in response to a question. It was part of the official timeline that he meticulously laid out for reporters.
After so many mistakes, we’re left to wonder how much of this is bad police work and how much of it is lying proactively to spread blame.
Remember, it’s not 100 percent certain yet that Uvalde School District chief Peter Arredondo gave the order for cops to stand down. McCraw said he did, but why trust anything he said at this point? At least one officer present at the scene told the New York Post that Arredondo isn’t to blame. We may yet have a seventh major error of fact by police before the dust settles, one that’s led to Arredondo becoming the most hated man in America.
Relatedly, audio is emerging today that proves some cops at the scene did know that children were still alive in the classroom where the shooter was holed up:
In addition, ABC News released footage Monday of a 911 call confirming officers knew children were alive after Salvador Ramos, 18, fired more than 100 shots into the classroom, contradicting the local police chief’s claims that they thought the scene was no longer active.
‘Room 12, are we able to .. is anybody inside of the building …’ the dispatcher asked. ‘2-1, child is advising he is in the room. Full of victims. Full of victims at this moment.’
The newly released video appears to contradict claims that Texas Department of Public Safety spokesman Col. Steven McCraw made during a news briefing on Friday.
He repeatedly alleged police waited to enter the building because the incident commander had considered Ramos ‘a barricaded subject, and that there was time, and there were no more children at risk.’
Never mind Arredondo. At this point, shouldn’t McCraw resign too?
Update: Well then.
The Uvalde Police Department and the Uvalde ISD police force are no longer cooperating with the @TxDPS investigation into the massacre at Robb Elementary and the state’s review of police response, multiple law enforcement sources told @ABC
— Aaron Katersky (@AaronKatersky) May 31, 2022
It’s anyone’s guess why local PD doesn’t want to work with DPS at this point. Are they mad that McCraw made them look bad? Or are they nervous that they’ve given bad facts to McCraw, made him look like a jackass, and now DPS is going to treat this like a real investigation?
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