Uvalde, Texas – Police in Uvalde have still not committed to speak to a Texas House committee investigating the May 24 massacre at an elementary school and law enforcement’s response that day, the lawmaker, who led the inquiry, said on Friday.
Republican State Assemblyman Dustin Burrows said his committee is in talks with the Uvalde Police Department and hopes to announce soon whether members of the force will appear as witnesses.
It came a day after comments from Burrows raised uncertainty about whether Uvalde Police would cooperate. said Thursday there was a question whether local officials would “voluntarily visit us” over the May 24 shooting at Robb Elementary School that killed 19 children and two teachers.
He went even further on social media on Thursday night, tweet: “Most have fully cooperated and want to help establish the facts for the Uvalde community and all Texans. Burrows said he doesn’t understand why Uvalde Police “don’t want the same”.
The police department did not immediately respond to messages left Friday for comment.
Weeks after one of the deadliest school shootings in U.S. history, law enforcement officials have stopped providing updates on what they learned about the shooting and the police response. Their silence comes after authorities made conflicting and false statements in the days after the shooting, sometimes retracting statements hours after they were made.
Officials have also failed to release records sought by media outlets, including The Associated Press, under the public information laws, often citing broad exceptions and the ongoing investigation. It has raised concerns about whether such records will be made public, even to the families of the victims.
The State House Committee questioned more than a dozen witnesses behind closed doors as of Friday, including state police, school staff and school district police. The list of witnesses provided by the committee so far does not include Pete Arrendondo, the Uvalde School District Police Chief, who was criticized for his actions during the attack.
Burrows defended the committee, which interviewed witnesses privately and has not yet disclosed their findings, saying its members want an accurate account before issuing a report.
“One person’s truth may differ from another person’s truth,” Burrows said Friday.
Since the shooting, Republican leaders in Texas have called for more funding for mental health, but no new gun restrictions. According to authorities, the 18-year-old gunman used an AR-15-style semi-automatic rifle. The police did not confront the shooter for more than an hour, also as tormented parents outside of school asked the officers to go inside.
For more AP coverage of the Uvalde school shooting, visit https://apnews.com/hub/uvalde-school-shooting.
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https://www.local10.com/news/national/2022/06/17/texas-committee-still-trying-to-question-uvalde-police/ The Texas Committee is still trying to question the Uvalde Police Department