NYT Reporter Exposes Uvalde Police Failure to Follow Basic Training: 'Innocent Lives Take Priority'
If you're like me, when you first heard police officers stood by for nearly an hour--twiddling their thumbs, detaining parents, and not doing their jobs--you were sick to your stomach. The idea that any adult would wait even a second to act to keep children safe in that situation is unbelievable, but it was the reality on the ground in Uvalde, and it has put their practices under the microscope of public scrutiny.
New York Times reporter Mike Baker did some digging and found that not only were the local officers acting like the worst kind of yellow-bellied cowards, but they also basically did everything wrong according to their own department training. He posted a pretty thorough and lengthy thread on Twitter outlining some of the more important points.
As it turns out, the police weren't supposed to sit and wait for backup or a tactical team or permission. They were trained to go in and confront the shooter, even if that meant it was only one or two officers. Furthermore, the lives of the officers aren't to be taken into account in that event.
The guidelines provide sobering clarity: The first officers may be risking their lives. But, it says, innocent lives take priority.
“A first responder unwilling to place the lives of the innocent above their own safety should consider another career field."
— Mike Baker (@ByMikeBaker) May 28, 2022
It's quite obvious this wasn't the way the officers approached the situation. If they would have, they probably could have prevented several innocent lives from being taken. There is undoubtedly blood on the hands of those who stood by, paralyzed by fear, unwilling to do what the job demanded of them.
Frankly--and I speak only for myself in saying this--I would like to see every officer who failed to act in accordance with their own training and regulations brought up on charges. I don't think it's a stretch to say their inaction is tantamount to negligence, as they knew exactly what could happen if they failed to act. And if we can't have them charged and thrown in jail, the least that can be done and should be done is they should all be fired, immediately, pensions lost, and barred from ever wearing a badge again.
I'll be the first to defend an officer if they're in the right. I have the utmost respect for law enforcement, but part of that respect is also holding the entire profession to the highest of standards, and those were not demonstrated by many of the officers in Uvalde.
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