Uvalde Cancels School Board Meeting in Consideration of Firing Chief Pete Arredondo, Police Officer

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The Uvalde school board’s special meeting to discuss the firing the highly-criticized police chief was canceled following contact by the man’s lawyer.

Pete Arredondo, an embattled chief, was one of the first police officers to arrive at Robb Elementary School on May 24 when a gunman opened firing. He has been criticized for his inability to respond as the clock ticked past 77 minutes while the shooter massacred 19 children.

As Arredondo’s failure to control the chaos multiple times was revealed, his relatives became increasingly furious and demanded that he be fired.

After Arredondo’s lawyer challenged whether the hearing was valid, the board canceled Saturday’s termination hearing. “due process”His client’s employment was being reviewed.

“In conformity with due process requirements, and at the request of his attorney, the meeting to consider the termination of Chief Arredondo will be held at a later date which has yet to be determined,”A written statement was made by the Uvalde Consolidated Independent Schools District on Friday.

Board Superintendent Hal Harrell had recommended late last week that Arredondo, 50, be fired and that a special hearing be held Saturday to vote on that recommendation.

In its announcement that the meeting was cancelled, the board stated that Arredondo was now on an administrative leave without pay. Arredondo had been paid suspended in June.

Relatives of victims felt a renewed sense of outrage at the cancellation, and they considered terminating Arredondo’s employment as long overdue.

“They’re upset. They’re angry. They think it should have been done a long time ago,” Jesus Rizo, whose 9-year-old niece was shot and killed by a lone gunman with one rifle, told Inside Edition Digital on Monday. 

“I was disappointed,”Rizo spoke of his own reaction. “The emotions are hard. It’s a rollercoaster.”Jackie Cazares’ uncle stated that he is aware of the need to take proper action against the chief.

“It has to be done correctly, the termination,”He said. “To make sure he doesn’t have a way to file a lawsuit, that he doesn’t have a way to get his job back.”

The scathing report issued last week by a Texas House investigation committee determined “systemic failures and egregiously poor decision making”It was shot in the surrounding area.

The report contained some of the most severe criticisms directed at Arredondo. He was not able to command the scene at first responders “lost critical momentum”Treat the situation as a “barricaded subject”Instead of an, use scenario “active shooter,”The report stated. Arredondo “did not assume his pre-assigned responsibility of incident command,”It was added.

According to the report, the school police chief also threw out his radios while he ran into school. This left him without radio access between his officers, which was a problem. 

“He arrived with his radios, but as he exited his vehicle, he was fumbling with them and they bothered him, so he dropped them by the school fence knowing that Sgt. Coronado, the sergeant on patrol, was there and ‘fully uniformed’ with his radio,”The investigation was completed.

According to the report, 376 officers arrived at the school but no one managed to control the chaos. Of those responding, 149 were agents from the U.S. Border Patrol, 14 were from the Department of Homeland Security, and 91 were Texas Rangers from the state’s Department of Public Safety.

Also on the scene were 25 members of the Uvalde Police Department, 16 SWAT members of the San Antonio Police Department and 16 deputies from the Uvalde County Sheriff’s Office, the report said.

Arredondo has not spoken out publicly about his brutal review of his actions but he said to a local newspaper last year that he didn’t consider himself to be the commanding officer for law enforcement officers at the scene.

 

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