US Department of Justice considers response to Texas school shooting

The U.S. Department of Justice said Sunday it would review law enforcement’s response to the Texas school shooting, an unusual federal flashback prompted by questions about the postponements and sometimes conflicting information from agencies that left a community in shock and grief infuriated.

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 US President Joe Biden visited Uvalde, where he and first lady Jill Biden paid their respects at a memorial for the 19 students and two teachers who were 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 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, that killed 14 people and the mass shooting at Pulse Nightclub in Orlando, Florida, in the deadliest attack on the LGBTQ community in US history 49 people were killed and 53 injured.

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.


Balsamo reported from Washington.

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