The Morning Briefing: Disturbing Questions but Very Few Answers Regarding Uvalde Tragedy

Top O’ the Briefing

Happy Friday, dear Kruiser Morning Briefing friends. Even though she’s proud of them, Jasmine rarely talks about her days with “Captain Kangaroo on Ice.”

I would like to remind everyone that I always begin with the “Happy” salutation even when none of the news is happy.

The news coming out of Uvalde, Texas about what law enforcement officers who were on the scene as the tragedy unfolded is both confusing and disturbing.

Mr. Green asks “What the Hell Were Cops Doing Outside While Kids Were Being Slaughtered in the School?” in this post that he wrote yesterday:

Video emerging online from Tuesday’s schoolchildren massacre in Uvalde, Texas shows local police more concerned with stopping parents than stopping the killer.

Parents were pleading, “Give me the vest, I’ll go in there!” but some ended up in handcuffs instead of vests.

Before you watch this video, please remember that these are Robb Elementary School parents who have been waiting fruitlessly outside of their own children’s school while a madman was allowed all the time in the world to complete his rampage.

There’s no violence, no blood, and it’s still one of the most difficult videos I’ve ever watched.

It is difficult but if you haven’t seen it yet check out Stephen’s post.

When the cops weren’t arresting terrified parents they were apparently trying to chat up the killer, rather than storm the school and stop him. Paula covered that:

At a press briefing on Thursday, an official from the Texas Department of Public Safety told reporters that officers tried to negotiate with the man who killed 14 children and two teachers at Robb Elementary School on Tuesday before he was shot and killed by a Border Patrol agent.

Eighteen-year-old Salvador Ramos barricaded himself in a classroom full of children and fired rounds at police whenever they tried to approach him, said Victor Escalon, South Texas regional director of the Department of Public Safety.

The first officers who entered the building were fired up, he said. “They don’t make entry initially because of the gunfire they’re receiving, but we have officers calling for additional resources, anybody that’s in the initial area: tactical teams, we need equipment, we need specialty equipment, we need body armor. We need precision riflemen [and] negotiators. So during this time that they’re making those calls to bring in help—to solve this problem and stop it immediately—they’re also evacuating personnel. When I say personnel, students, teachers. There’s a lot going on. A complex situation.”

From afar it seems like it was a fairly straightforward situation. The lives of children were in danger and the priorities of the officers in place seemed really off.

It’s not helpful that officials in Texas were loose with the particulars of the timeline of the shooting. On Thursday, Victor Escalon, South Texas regional director of the Department of Public Safety, contradicted some information that had been given the day before. Paula wrote about that too:

Steve McCraw, the Texas director of public safety, claimed on Wednesday that an armed school security officer “encountered” Ramos but did not exchange gunfire with him. He said at the time that the officer followed Ramos into the school and “rounds were exchanged.” According to Escalon, that information was “not accurate.” He said that, based on video obtained by officials, the shooter “walked in unobstructed, initially” and fired upward of 25 rounds when he first entered the building.

It’s well known that I am very pro-law enforcement (see yesterday’s Briefing) but this is really upsetting — especially the way the parents were treated. This flailing by law enforcement officials about what actually happened must be adding to the torture of the grieving parents.

There’s also the damage to the reputation of law enforcement in general. If those of us who have long been supportive of cops are upset by this, imagine what those who were on the fence about it are thinking now.

Let’s just hope for a peaceful weekend. The Briefing doesn’t get holidays off so I will be doing a Memorial Day post on Monday.

Be safe, everyone.

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