Tuesday, June 21, 2022

I'd Not Only Hang My Head In Shame...

 ...but probably would also resign, or even do something more drastic to show my repentance if I had been one of the law enforcement officers in the hallway during the school shooting in Uvalde. They evidently never even tried to open the classroom door of the classroom in which children were being massacred. That is if the report I just read is true, that the damned door reportedly was unlocked all the time they stood there doing nothing - until they finally went in - which was of course way too late for so many young children and two teachers. More on the door and other related issues at the source.
What could cause them to stand there waiting for something for which they did not need to wait. Having been in law enforcement for 32 years I can think of several things that could cause them to do that but cannot think of one that will excuse them. Here are what I believe may have been the cause(s) of their inaction:
1. One of the first offices to reach the door tried it - turned the knob or handle and either pushed or pulled the wrong way and not the other way, then mistakenly told other officers the door was locked. Sure, it sounds lame but I suppose it could happen in the heat of a very heart pounding moment when adrenaline is flowing hard and fast. I would think though that one other or more of them also would have have tried to door while waiting, that they seemingly did not is mind boggling. 
2. That maybe no one at all tried to open the door, that they just stacked outside, waiting while all assuming it was locked is a possibility. It is a possibility though that I can not imagine being reality.
3. They were scared shitless and cowered in the hallway frozen in place. In other words all of them were sniveling cowards. That, I find almost impossible but yet not absolutely impossible to believe. I find it almost impossible to believe mostly because they did enter eventually. Yet fear is a great de-motivator, as great as it is a motivator, so they could have been too scared to go in for some time before actually working up the courage to do so. I would certainly hope that was not the case.

4. That they all thought too much of the words of their training officers who taught them that the most important thing was getting home at the end of a shift. Yes folks, that is actually taught to law enforcement officers, I remember hearing it myself and it turned my stomach when I heard it. Now, I'll admit, I only ever heard it from one training instructor - it was not rampant. I would hope that was not the case.
5. They were under orders not to go in and obeyed those orders. I, for one, cannot imagine obeying such orders if I had been there hearing the gun shots being fired and pretty much knowing children were dying as I stood there waiting for an order to advance. That is a situation under which you must take command of the situation and use your own discretion. At least one of those officers, after hearing the shots going off, should have realized it was no longer a barricade situation and should have manned up and taken command and ordered an entry as I see it. I cannot imagine most of those I worked with in law enforcement just waiting because that was the order. I find it sad to believe that no one was willing to take the reigns and lead the entry to prevent children being killed.

6. That the officers there had not been properly trained for such a situation seems most likely to me. This would have made them more likely to remain in place after having been ordered to do so. I am not saying it is the case but to me seems the most likely. Either that or numbers 1 or 2 above.
There probably are other possible causes. No matter what it was that kept them standing there, if I had been one of them I am pretty sure I'd be resigning if indeed the door was unlocked that whole time. I'd also hang my head lower in shame than it is already hanging. It is already hung low because of the shame I feel over the miserable failure, of all those fellow law enforcement officers, to protect those innocent young children.

If I was the chief who gave the order to stand fast - the guy who ordered them to wait for everything - even for the keys that the head of the Texas Department of Public Safety now reportedly has said were never needed in the first place - I'd probably not only hang my head, I'd probably hang myself (not suggesting that chief do so, just saying what I might do). My guess though is that the chief is a mouth-breathing lowlife pompous arrogant and incompetent commander and that he feels little to no remorse at all. If he did feel remorse - I think he at least would have resigned almost immediately.

All the best,
Glenn B


riverrider said...

i read he was a former dispatcher. never a sworn officer. picked by city council for his pliability after they had problems with the prior chief. yes, he ordered them to standby, first for the keys, then a swat team, then a hostage negotiator. no way in hell i would have followed that order. they said first officer arrived in 3 minutes. how many lives?

Glenn B said...

I actually can fully understand compliance to an order to hold in place in such a situation up to a point. If no shots are being fired, then for all those officers knew, there could have been ongoing hostage negotiations going on. The thing is once the shooting started again, they were not only duty bound but bound by the laws of God, nature and humanity to go in immediately to save those children and teachers.

I will admit, as for the chief, I am now wondering (only a passing thought now and again) if he is a mere scapegoat. It seems implausible to me - the more I have thought about it - that anyone would leave a school district chief of 'school police' in charge of such an operation. It seems like leaving the Chief Mall Cop (actually a security officer) in charge of a mass shooting response inside a busy shopping mall. I guess though that is the way it works here in TX - whoever runs the department in which jurisdiction it happens is the boss man -that guess also based on what I've read. If that is correct and he did not realize he was in charge (as he reportedly has claimed) - he really needs to get the steel tipped boot without delay. Then there are those others who were in command positions in other departments - who should have been in his face demanding to know why no one had yet attempted entry. My guess is no one wanted to be in charge. What a god awful terrible result was the one that came to be.