Attorney General Merrick Garland appointed nine people to review the cops’ response (or lack thereof) to the elementary school massacre.
Attorney General Merrick Garland on Wednesday announced the formation of a nine-member “critical incident review” team tasked with exploring the various law enforcement failures that contributed to bloodshed during last month’s mass shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas.
Speaking at a Department of Justice meeting, Garland explained that the review is not a criminal investigation, and is being launched “at the request of the Uvalde mayor” — who, just one day earlier, had complained about the lack of transparency in the current law enforcement investigation of the shooting, in which 19 grade schoolers and two teachers were killed.
“We’ve asked for a briefing or something but we’re not getting it. I’ve been told they’re law enforcement and we’re not going to be entitled to it at this time," Uvalde Mayor Don McLaughlin (R) vented during a city council meeting Tuesday. “I’ve asked everybody involved for a briefing at one point or another. It’s frustrating, but again I’ve been told I’m not law enforcement, but it makes me feel real frustrated.”
According to the Justice Department, the forthcoming review will be led by a group comprised of former FBI officials, retired police officers, and a mental health professional who have been tasked with examining the “policies, training, communications, deployment and incident command, tactics, and practices as they relate to preparing for and responding to active shooter events, as well as the post-incident response.” The Uvalde police response to the school shooting — both in terms of their on-site behavior (or lack thereof) and their conspicuous post-incident wagon-circling — has prompted mass condemnation from across the political spectrum, even as some Republicans initially rushed to laud the law enforcement actions.
“Nothing can undo the pain that has been inflicted on the loved ones of the victims, the survivors, and the entire community of Uvalde,” Garland said in a statement accompanying the announcement. “But the Justice Department can and will use its expertise and independence to assess what happened and to provide guidance moving forward.”
The review will be conducted through the DOJ’s “Community Oriented Policing Services” office, and will conclude with a full report and recommendations.