Former NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton says it’s “mind-boggling” how a lot Texas authorities mishandled final week’s college massacre.
“I’ve never seen anything like it in all my years of policing,” Bratton mentioned throughout an look on WABC 770’s “The Cats Roundtable” that aired Sunday. “I have so much anger at the moment at how mishandled this has been.”
Bratton — who has twice served because the Big Apple’s high cop — mentioned he was shocked that native Texas cops waited so lengthy to enter Robb Elementary School on Tuesday whereas 18-year-old Salvador Ramos was inside killing 19 fourth-graders and two academics.
“To be hearing that some of those lives might have been saved. But a wrong decision was made apparently by a police chief with a six-person police force that was put in charge of the response to this horrendous incident,” he advised radio host John Catsimatidis. “It’s mind-boggling and frustrating.”
Bratton, who additionally headed the Los Angeles and Boston police departments, mentioned Texas authorities failed to undertake active-shooter pointers that happened after the 1999 Columbine High School mass capturing in Colorado.
“We learned a lot … from the Columbine tragedy many years ago,” he mentioned.
“Apparently, unfortunately, with how it seems to be shaping up, the officer in charge, the incident commander in this incident in Texas effectively after all the things we learned about this type of incident, he basically didn’t implement them,” Bratton went on. “He opted to keep those 19 officers outside the classroom.”
Meanwhile, “the misinformation that’s been put out by government officials in Texas is mind-blowing,” too, Bratton mentioned.
Uvalde authorities have come beneath intense scrutiny for his or her dealing with of the massacre. Police didn’t enter Robb Elementary School for greater than 90 minutes after arriving on the campus, the place a deranged teenager fatally shot his harmless victims with an AR-15 assault rifle.
Bratton famous the hero off-duty Customs and Border Protection agent from an elite tactical unit who lastly fatally shot the gunman.
“We now understand that there may have been an off-duty border patrol agent who is sitting in a barber shop. And his wife calls from the school. She’s a teacher, and she’s there with her daughter in the classroom,” he mentioned. “He grabs a shotgun from the barber store, rushes to the varsity, goes into the again of the varsity … and rescues a classroom of kids and his spouse and his daughter, whilst in one other a part of the varsity there are 19 police officers … within the hallways exterior the classroom the place the shooter is holed up.
“The children] were … dying literally, while the [police] were standing outside the door,” Bratton mentioned. “How do you put your arms around this thing?”
His feedback got here as Texas state Sen. Roland Gutierrez revealed on CNN that the mom of one of many younger massacre victims recalled to him how a first-responder advised her the kid may need lived if cops hadn’t been sluggish to transfer in on the killer.
During Bratton’s radio interview, he mentioned his “pride” in his career had been “diminished” by the police response in Texas.
“I have great pride in my profession, my former profession, policing. But that pride was diminished somewhat this week with the mishandling by the Texas authorities,” the retired chief advised Catsmatidis.
“This has one of the most problematic weeks I’ve ever experienced in American policing in my 50 years.”
Bratton is just not alone in his frustration.
On Friday, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott fumed that he was “livid” that regulation enforcement “misled” him about their response to the rampage on the elementary college. Abbott — who earlier final week praised police for his or her “quick response” to the mass capturing — mentioned preliminary data police supplied to him about it was inaccurate, inflicting him to launch deceptive particulars to the general public Wednesday.
Ramos fired off not less than 100 rounds and marched in by way of an unlocked constructing door that had been propped open by a instructor, authorities have mentioned.
Police didn’t enter the school rooms till 78 minutes after the mass shooter with a historical past of violence towards girls had walked inside.
Days after the capturing, police revealed the existence of a collection of harrowing 911 calls from a number of college students whereas they had been barricaded inside with the gunman, with one child begging a dispatcher, “Please send police now!”
The calls had been going down till moments earlier than Ramos was killed, indicating that individuals had been nonetheless alive within the class regardless of authorities believing the massacre had come to a halt.
A high law-enforcement official has mentioned cops on the scene of the varsity capturing “made the wrong decision” after they waited to open the door of the category the place Ramos was with the youngsters.
That alternative was made as a result of the on-scene commander made the decision that the carnage had gone from an lively shooter scenario to a “barricaded suspect” scenario, Col. Steven McCraw, director of the Texas Department of Public Safety, mentioned throughout a information convention.