Uvalde Police Chief Steps Down Amid Continued Criticism

(NewsSpace.com) – On May 24, 2022, the United States experienced one of its worst school shootings. An 18-year-old former student entered Robb Elementary School, fatally shooting 19 kids and two teachers, and injuring 17 others. In the aftermath, the Uvalde Police Department was called out for its failure to act, which could have saved some lives, and its police chief recently stepped down.

On March 12, Chief Daniel Rodriguez, who worked with the police department for 26 years, announced via a Facebook post that he was resigning from the role. He said “after deep contemplation and consideration,” he believes “it is time for [him] to embrace a new chapter in [his] career.” His announcement comes on the heels of a Uvalde City Council report that absolves the responding officers of any wrongdoing. It placed the blame on crowds outside the school and communication issues.

While the City Council report failed to note any violation of policy or wrongdoing, the same can’t be said for the US Department of Justice. In January, the DOJ pointed out in its 600-page review of the tragedy many “failure[s]” in the police response. Of particular note, there were “a series of major failures—failures in leadership, in tactics, in communication, in training, and in preparedness,” according to a statement by Attorney General Merrick Garland. He pointed out that the officers withdrew after facing gunfire and took more than an hour to breach the school.

While some issued their best wishes to Rodriguez, like Uvalde Mayor Cody Smith, others continued criticizing him. Veronica Mata, who lost her 10-year-old daughter, Tess, in the shooting, said Rodriguez took the “easy way out,” of resigning rather “than fire his friends.”

Rodriguez said he would remember all of “the memories and experiences” he shared with the city. His resignation will take place effective April 6. It’s unclear what he plans to do moving forward.

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