Uvalde schools suspend entire police force after outrage
By PAUL J. WEBER
AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — The Uvalde school district on Friday pulled its embattled campus police force off the job following a wave of new outrage over the hiring of a former Texas state trooper who was part of the hesitant law enforcement response during the May shooting at Robb Elementary School.
School leaders also put two members of the district police department on administrative leave, one of whom chose to retire instead, according to a statement released by the Uvalde Consolidated Independent School District.
The extraordinary move by Uvalde school leaders to suspend campus police operations — one month into a new school year in the South Texas community — underscored the sustained pressure that families of some of the 19 children killed in the May 24 attack have kept on the district.
Brett Cross, whose 10-year-old son Uziyah Garcia was among the victims, had been protesting outside the Uvalde school administration building for the past two weeks, demanding accountability over officers allowing a gunman with an AR-15-style rifle to remain in a fourth-grade classroom for more than 70 minutes.
“We did it!” Cross tweeted.
The district said it would ask the Texas Department of Public Safety, which had already assigned dozens of troopers to the district for the school year, for additional help.
“We are confident that staff and student safety will not be compromised during this transition,” the district said in a statement.
The move comes a day after revelations that the district not only hired a former Department of Public Safety trooper who was one of the nearly 400 officers who rushed to the scene of Robb Elementary, but that she was among at least seven troopers later placed under internal investigation for her actions.
Officer Crimson Elizondo was fired Thursday, one day after CNN first reported her hiring. She has not responded to voicemails and messages left by The Associated Press.
For more AP coverage of the Uvalde school shooting: https://apnews.com/hub/uvalde-school-shooting