Uvalde Mayor: Nobody lied to the Lt. Governor

Uvalde Mayor: Nobody lied to the Lt. Governor
(Ana Ramirez/Austin American-Statesman via AP)

In the first 24 hours after the horrific shooting at the elementary school in Uvalde, Texas, both Governor Greg Abbott and Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick were quick to praise the law enforcement response to the tragedy, citing the speed with which the police and the sheriff’s deputies responded. But as more and more details emerged, much of it found in videos posted on social media by parents and neighbors who were at the scene, the story rapidly changed. The criticism of the apparent misinformation being given to the media and the state government went national. This weekend, it appeared that the Mayor of Uvalde was trying to do some damage control when speaking to Fox News. He’s insisting that “nobody lied” to Abbott or Patrick and things are being distorted in the press. (NY Post)

As the criticism of the police response to last week’s Texas school shooting deepens, Uvalde Mayor Don McLaughlin now says that local law enforcement has not misled anyone and Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick’s claims that he was lied to are “not true.” …

Lt. Gov. Patrick told Fox News on Saturday that law enforcement’s choice not to immediately confront the shooter was a “bad decision, and that decision cost lives.” …

“I take this personally, and I know the governor takes it personally. And for me, it’s 140 or 150 people killed in Texas in the last six or seven years of collective anger when we’re not told the truth.”

Mayor McLaughlin flatly stated that “local law enforcement has not made any public comments about the specifics of the investigation into the incident or misled anyone.” He went on to say that all statements and comments about the response and the investigation “are being handled by DPS/Texas Rangers.”

So who was feeding all of the initial information to the reporters on the scene and to the Governor’s office? Placing the blame on the Department of Public Safety seems like a strange choice. Were there any DPS personnel on the scene when most of the law enforcement personnel arrived? If so, we haven’t been told about it as far as I can recall. And it would be a really weird coincidence if they had been. And what about the Texas Rangers? They didn’t arrive until well after the shooting started.

Who else could have fed them information about the initial response other than the USD Police or other officers who arrived on the scene first? If that’s true, then perhaps DPS didn’t “technically” lie to Abbott and Patrick if they were simply repeating what they had been told and believed to be true. But the information they were providing initially was definitely wrong and did not reflect what had actually been happening on the ground. Somebody made up the story about a school resource officer being in the parking lot and getting in a shootout with the killer. And everyone who repeated that story wound up with egg on their faces.

Uvalde School District police chief Pete Arredondo is taking most of the heat for the inaction, if not the flow of information to the press. The Mayor was citing his ongoing support of Arrendondo this weekend with others pointing out that the police chief was scheduled to be sworn in as a member of the City Council today. But as of 9:30 this morning, CNN was reporting that Arrendondo will not be sworn in today. It’s not being said that he has lost his seat, but it apparently will be delayed as a minimum.

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