More than a year and a half after the massacre at a Texas elementary school that left 21 dead, the US Department of Justice is issuing a damning report to the relevant law enforcement authorities. In a more than 600-page final report, the ministry laid out widespread failures “in leadership, decision-making, tactics, policy and training.”
From the archive:
- Shocking new videos of school massacre in Texas released
- School massacre in Texas: Serious police mistakes revealed
- US Supreme Court: Carrying weapons in public is a fundamental right
- Texas: Four-year-old went to school with a loaded gun
Some officers were not trained at all to respond to an active shooter, US Attorney General Merrick Garland explained on Thursday at a press conference in the small town of Uvalde. An 18-year-old opened fire there on May 24, 2022, killing 19 children and two teachers. After around 75 minutes, police officers approached the shooter and shot him.
“Lives could have been saved had generally accepted practices been followed,” Garland said. Victims and survivors deserved better. For example, people with gunshot wounds were put on buses without initial medical care. “Some families were told that their family members had survived when this was not the case.”
Shortly after the massacre, US President Joe Biden campaigned to stand up to the gun lobby. Conservative voices in Texas, on the other hand, once again brought up arming teachers to increase security in schools.
In the USA, rampages and fatal shootings are sadly part of everyday life. Firearms are readily available and widely circulated. According to CNN, there have already been five cases in the USA since the beginning of the year in which more than four people were injured or killed. Many schools and universities have been conducting so-called active shooter drills for years to prepare for situations like the one in Uvalde.
The final report contains 273 recommendations for law enforcement agencies across the country, the US Department of Justice said on Thursday. “Our children should not grow up in a country where an 18-year-old has access to a weapon that belongs on the battlefield and not in the classroom,” Garland said. “But this is a terrible reality that we’re facing. And so it’s a reality that every law enforcement agency in every community has to be prepared for this.”
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