Uvalde School Board Fires Police Chief Arredondo
Pete Arredondo’s attorney says the proceedings against the former Uvalde school police chief are an “illegal and unconstitutional public lynching.”
Uvalde, Texas – The Uvalde Consolidated Independent School District’s board of trustees fired Police Chief Pete Arredondo Wednesday over allegations he mishandled the May 24 mass shooting at Robb Elementary School that killed 19 students and two teachers.
The board’s unanimous decision comes after three months of calls for his firing. Arredondo had been on unpaid leave from his position since June 22. His termination is effective immediately.
He’s been heavily scrutinized because nearly 400 law enforcement officers arrived at the scene of the active shooter attack but took 77 minutes before some officers breached the classroom door and actually confronted the gunman.
Arredondo did not attend the board meeting where he was fired. However, his attorney released a scathing 17-page letter defending the police chief, reports PBS News Hour.
The letter claims the chief’s actions saved the lives of other students. It also says that Arredondo warned the district about a variety of security issues in the schools a year before the shooting, reports CBSNews.com. It also alleges he wasn’t the incident commander at the scene and that the proceedings are an “illegal and unconstitutional public lynching.”
Additionally, the letter says the board endangered his life by not allowing him to carry a weapon to the school board meeting.
ABCNews reports that some of the school security issues Arredondo told the district about 15 months before the shooting included:
- Police officers had problems using their radios to communicate in school hallways
- Doors were left open so routinely that he and Uvalde city police had a standing arrangement for dealing with it.
Last year, Arredondo also called for more active shooter training, saying there is so much law enforcement in and around Uvalde that a serious incident would see a massive influx of officers. He feared that influx would cause confusion, ABCNews reports.
Although Arredondo has been fired, parent and community members said “they weren’t done” with the school district or other responding law enforcement agencies. On Monday, an attorney for nine families tied to the shooting served the Uvalde school board with a notice of claim of class/mass action, saying they might sue the district, city officials, and state and federal agencies for $27 billion, alleging negligence and failure to act, reports the Austin American-Statesman.