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Uvalde school board to consider firing district police chief

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UVALDE, Texas – Uvalde’s embattled school police chief on Wednesday faced becoming the first officer to lose his job over the hesitant response by hundreds of heavily armed law enforcement personnel during the May massacre at Robb Elementary School.

The Uvalde Consolidated Independent School District was set to make a decision on Pete Arredondo’s future, three months to the day after a gunman killed 19 children and two teachers in one of the deadliest classroom attacks in U.S. history.

The meeting comes less than two weeks before the new school year begins in Uvalde.

Arredondo, who has been on administrative leave since June, has come under the most scrutiny for his actions during the May 24 tragedy. State police and a damning investigative report in July have criticized the police chief of the roughly 4,000-student school district for failing to take charge of the scene, not breaching the classroom sooner and wasting time by looking for a key to a likely unlocked door.

Ninety days after the massacre, the absence of any firings have frustrated many Uvalde residents and amplified demands for accountability. Investigations and body camera footage have laid bare how police rushed to the scene with bulletproof shields and high-powered rifles within minutes — but waited more than an hour before finally confronting the gunman in a classroom of fourth-graders.

An attorney for Arredondo did not respond to an email Tuesday.

Uvalde school officials have been under mounting pressure from victims’ families and members of the community, many of whom have called for Arredondo’s termination. Superintendent Hal Harrell had first moved to fire Arredondo in July but postponed the decision at the request of the police chief’s attorney.

Only one other police official at the scene, Uvalde police Lt. Mariano Pargas, is known to have been placed on leave since the shooting. Pargas was the city’s acting police chief during the massacre.

Only one other police official at the scene, Uvalde police Lt. Mariano Pargas, is known to have been placed on leave since the shooting. Pargas was the city’s acting police chief during the massacre.

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Sourabh Verma franklin
Sourabh Verma,From Franklin Tn - Sub-editor in Asian News International(ANI) I am a detailed-driven journalist with 3+ years of experience in news writing and copy-editing, I can file quick, compelling and error-free stories as they break. I have sound knowledge of national and international issues and have covered stories across beats, including politics, parliament, legal and crime like drugs and Human Trafficking at Asian News International (ANI), where I currently work. Some of these include extensive coverage of the 2019 Lok Sabha polls, several state Assembly elections, Parliament sessions, COVID-19 pandemic and other stories of national importance. A typical working day involves copy-editing dozens of drafts, managing junior sub-editors in shifts and keeping an eye on developing stories. This added responsibility followed a couple of years of filing stories based on press briefings, bytes and inputs from reporters on the ground.
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