UVALDE, Texas (AP) – The Justice Department said Sunday it would review it Law Enforcement Response on the Texas school shootings, an unusual federal retrospective prompted by questions about it the changing and sometimes conflicting information of authorities enraging a community in shock and grief.
Department spokesman Anthony Coley said the review would be conducted in a fair, impartial and independent manner and the results would be made public. The announcement came as President Joe Biden was visiting Uvaldewhere he and First Lady Jill Biden paid their respects at a memorial to the 19 students and two teachers killed at Robb Elementary School on Tuesday.
The goal of the review requested by the mayor is to “provide an independent report on law enforcement’s actions and responses on the day and to identify lessons learned and best practices to help first responders prepare for and respond to active shooter events.” , Coley said in a statement.
The review is processed by the department’s Office of Community Oriented Policing Services. It was not immediately clear how the review would be conducted, whether law enforcement officials could be coerced into cooperating with the review, and when it might be completed.
Such review is somewhat rare, and most follow-up reports that come after a mass shooting are generally compiled by local law enforcement or outside groups. The Justice Department conducted similar reviews after a 2015 terrorist attack in San Bernardino, California, killed 14 people and the mass shooting at Pulse Nightclub in Orlando, Florida, the deadliest attack on the LGBTQ community in US history. which left 49 dead and 53 wounded.
Frustration, anger and questions about the police response mounted Friday after authorities revealed that the school district police chief had ordered more than a dozen officers to wait in a school hallway, despite repeated calls from students and teachers. Officials said he believes the suspect has been barricaded in adjacent classrooms and there is no longer an active attack.
The revelation caused more grief and raised new questions about whether more lives were lost because officers didn’t act faster to stop the gunman, who was eventually killed by Border Patrol tactical officers.
Biden has not spoken publicly about the police response to the shooting.
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