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Uvalde Police Criticized For Tone-Deaf Press Release Celebrating Officers’ Survival Of School Shooting

Uvalde Police Criticized For Tone-Deaf Press Release Celebrating Officers’ Survival Of School Shooting

In Uvalde, Texas, 19 schoolkids and two teachers are dead after a gunman entered the school building and was able to carry out a killing spree before being stopped. Across America, people are questioning the police response, which reportedly included delays in entering the building. Seeing this, Uvalde’s Chief of Police somehow concluded that it would be a good look to release a statement celebrating that the officers, at least, survived the attack.

[Photo by Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images]

On the Uvalde Police Department’s Facebook page, a press release went out. It expressed sorrow at the loss of lives of local children, and empathy for their grieving families. Then, it leapt to an announcement that the department is “thankful” that none of its officers are among the dead.

A screenshot of the post is below.

[Screenshot via Uvalde Police/Facebook]

You can also see the post for yourself here.

Full text of the statement, with some added bolding:

My department and will never be able to express in words the deepest sympathy and condolences to the individual families and the entire community of Uvalde. We extend our most sincere gratitude for the enormous outpour of support from all Law Enforcement Agencies, our community members and the nation. I want to thank all the personnel of my department for their dedicated and tireless efforts to continue to provide service to our community during this difficult time. Our personnel have displayed the utmost commitment to our community during this difficult time as we all are suffering as members of the community, that is the family of Uvalde.

It is important for our community to know that our Officers responded within minutes alongside Uvalde CISD Officers. Responding UPD Officers sustained gun-shot wounds from the suspect. Our entire department is thankful that the officers did not sustain any life threating[sic] injuries. This is an ongoing investigation that is led by the Texas Rangers. understand questions are surfacing regarding the details of what occurred. know answers will not come fast enough during this trying time, but rest assured that with the completion of the full investigation, I will be able to answer all the questions that we can. I know words will never ease the pain that we are all suffering, but I hope you will join me in taking some solace in knowing that the pain comes from the fact that we all have such deep love for all the victims who have been taken from us, those who are recovering, and those who only time and love will continue to heal. As the close-knit community that we are, know we will come together and help each other heal as the family that is #UvaldeStrong.

The signature at the bottom indicates this comes directly from Chief of Police, Daniel Rodriguez.

To say the least, people responding are making it clear they find this to be tone-deaf.

“Your department failed those children and teachers,” comments one person.

Other comments call for the chief and other officers to resign, and call them cowardly for allowing children to be slaughtered while they stood outside — for what some reports now say was as much as an hour.

Another says, “As a teacher’s aide I was prepared to die to protect the kids in my care. “Sustaining injuries” is no excuse for you to not do your jobs and preventing parents from saving their children. Absolutely pathetic.”

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Mostly, many comments call out the chief for celebrating that his officers are all alive — while 19 children and their teachers are not.

In clips below, a Texas Department of Public Safety official explains that the shooter was able to get off more than 100 rounds before police entered, and that they delayed because they thought the situation had “transitioned” from an active shooter to a barricaded suspect.

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