Three months after a gunman killed 21 at its elementary school in Uvalde, Texas, board of education members fired school Police Chief Pete Arredondo.
Families of children who died while police waited in the corridor for more than one hour have clamored for the embattled officer’s firing since shooting details emerged.
Community members attending Wednesday’s board meeting reportedly cheered Uvalde Consolidated Independent School District trustee Laura Perez’s motion: “I move that good cause exists to terminate the noncertified contract of Pete Arredondo, effective immediately.
The Daily Wire further reported:
The disgraced police chief refused to attend the meeting because he was scared for his safety.
The Uvalde Consolidated Independent School District had already recommended that Arredondo be fired.
“Chief Arredondo will not participate in his own illegal and unconstitutional public lynching and respectfully requests the Board immediately reinstate him, with all backpay and benefits and close the complaint as unfounded,” Arredondo’s attorney George Hyde, said in a statement.
The board deliberated for over an hour Wednesday evening before making its decision. Community members reportedly reacted with applause when the board announced its decision to fire Arredondo.
Arredondo was placed on leave last month as criticism against him mounted when more details came out on the police response to the shooting in which a lone gunman killed 19 children and two teachers. Nearly 400 law enforcement officers responded to the scene of the shooting, but the shooter remained in the classroom for 77 minutes before officers breached the door and killed him.
Recently released footage of the school’s hallway showed officers standing outside the classroom for over an hour while the shooter was still in the classroom with the victims, some of whom were still alive and calling 911 for help.
The UCISD police chief also told [The Texas] Tribune that when he arrived on scene, he did not consider himself the commanding officer, even though his department was the first to arrive. Arredondo further claimed that no one told him that students in the classroom were calling 911 as the shooter continued his killing.
Board of education members met in executive session for about 90 minutes before returning to the public meeting to vote on the motion, according to the Times report. The vote to fire Arredondo was unanimous.
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