Natasha Lennard: Uvalde Police Didn’t Move to Save Lives Because That’s Not What Police Do

The Intercept | May 27, 2022

It should not take an event so devastating to break the spell of policing mythology about what cops do — and what they don’t.

THE MORE DETAILS that emerge about how police responded to the massacre in an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas, on Tuesday, the clearer it is that the already well-funded, heavily armed and amply trained law enforcement officers on the scene failed to save the lives of 19 children and two of their teachers.

Here’s what we know so far, based on haunting videos from the scene outside Robb Elementary School and statements from police officials themselves. Salvador Ramos murdered 21 people. Despite earlier, misleading claims from law enforcement officials, it appears that no police officers engaged with the shooter before he entered the school. Instead of rushing in to protect the children and staff when reports of a gunman approaching the school were made at 11:30 a.m., police instead waited outside and aggressively confronted parents who were begging them to enter. The parents were threatened with arrest — one cop brandished a Taser — as they attempted to access the school to save their kids themselves.

One mother who was urging the police to enter the building, Angeli Rose Gomez, was handcuffed. When she was released, she managed to run into the school, grab her kids, and bring them out to safety, which is the alleged job of the police. According to one Texas Department of Public Safety lieutenant interviewed by local news, some officers did run into the school — but only to grab their own children.

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