Grand Jury Summoned To Look Into Police Mishandling of the Uvalde Shooting

( – On May 24, 2022, a shooter entered Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, and slaughtered 21 people, 19 of whom were children ages 9 to 11. In the aftermath, many people placed the blame for the sheer enormity of the tragedy on law enforcement’s delay in responding. The Department of Justice recently released its Critical Incident Review report on the shooting, and it found a lot of glaring errors in how authorities handled the situation and their failure to act. Now, a grand jury has been convened to determine whether they will face charges.

DOJ Report Findings

On Thursday, January 18, the DOJ released its 610-page report outlining the “cascade of failures” that took place that fateful day. It outlines more than 300 mistakes law enforcement agencies made that day, some of which, including inaction, can be directly linked to the fatalities. It took police officers more than an hour to breach the school and accost the shooter.

Assistant Attorney General Vanita Gupta called the response “an unimaginable failure,” and Attorney General Merrick Garland said had officers not taken so long to confront the gunman, “lives would have been saved, and people would have survived.” Instead, 19 children and two teachers died, and 17 others were injured before law enforcement acted.

Grand Jury Convened

The day after the report came out, the Uvalde Leader-News revealed that 300 people had been summoned to appear at the 38th Judicial District Court. Of the 67 who turned out, 12 were selected to serve on a special grand jury. They will spend the next six months, at least, studying the school investigation to determine whether or not law enforcement should face charges for the mistakes and inaction that cost nearly two dozen lives. The jury convening is not a result of the DOJ report but has been in the works for months. The timing is sheer coincidence.

Those selected will likely meet twice a month to hear witness testimony and go over the evidence in the case. At the end, they will issue a report of their findings and make a recommendation as to whether charges should be filed.

Even if the officers are charged, it could be a long legal battle that results in no consequences. A 2005 Supreme Court ruling in the case Town of Castle Rock vs. Gonzales said that police officers are not bound by their constitutional duty to protect others from harm. This was exhibited when a Broward County, Florida, school resource officer was found not guilty of child neglect when he failed to act during the February 14, 2018 shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.

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