They didn't even try the door
June 21, 2022 1:41 PM   Subscribe

Records show police in Uvalde were equipped to storm shooter
Two closed doors and a wall stood between them and an 18-year-old with an AR-15 who had opened fire on children and teachers inside the connected classrooms. A Halligan bar — an ax-like forcible-entry tool used by firefighters to get through locked doors — was available. Ballistic shields were arriving on the scene. So was plenty of firepower, including at least two rifles. Some officers were itching to move.
...during most of those 77 minutes, despite the urgent pleas from officers and parents amassed outside, officers stayed put outside rooms 111 and 112, stationed on either end of a wide hallway with sky blue and green walls and bulletin boards displaying children’s artwork. Ramos fired at least four sets of rounds — including the initial spray of fire that likely killed many of his victims instantaneously.
...
For this article, the [Texas] Tribune reviewed a timeline of events compiled by law enforcement, plus surveillance footage and transcripts of radio traffic and phone calls from the day of the shooting.
posted by kirkaracha (108 comments total) 22 users marked this as a favorite
 
I think you've all heard the Toyota aphorism (and official policy) of "ask why five times."

Sometimes we do this so that we can address the problems the we find in every level at which we ask the question. And sometimes we do it so that we can find the "why" that can be addressed with the least inconvenience.

We can condemn Pete Arredondo and get on with our lives.

But that guarantees that these shootings will continue.
posted by ocschwar at 1:51 PM on June 21 [19 favorites]


@MidTNDSA: just one more cop bro. i promise bro just one more cop and it'll fix everything bro. bro. just one more cop. please just one more. one more cop and we can fix this whole problem bro. bro cmon just give me one more cop i promise bro. bro bro please i just need one more cop thats i
posted by Going To Maine at 1:56 PM on June 21 [75 favorites]


Wow it's almost like cops aren't actually any use in protecting public safety and like throwing more money at them isn't helping any of our problems. Nah, that can't be it.
posted by bile and syntax at 2:27 PM on June 21 [35 favorites]


"Whoever's in charge." Jesus.

Everyone involved will now be devoting 90% of their energies to a PR effort designed to cover their own asses and - if we're lucky- 10% of those energies to learning the lessons of this debacle and reducing the chances of it happening again.
posted by Paul Slade at 2:40 PM on June 21 [16 favorites]


I read somewhere that cops are under no legal or professional obligation to actually attempt to save lives in these kinds of situations (in particular if they assess a risk to themselves). If this is true, I'm not sure what the answer is here aside from defund the police. I also don't think that people should really be required to die on the job, but it does seem to be baked into their image that it's part of their job when it actually isn't.
posted by erattacorrige at 2:50 PM on June 21 [17 favorites]


As horrifying as the implications are, Artw’s comment from the previous thread is worth quoting:

“The initial interpretation, that the police sacrificed a room of schoolchildren out of fear of an AR-15, continues to hold up.”
posted by a box and a stick and a string and a bear at 2:58 PM on June 21 [90 favorites]


The Supreme Court, in their infinite wisdom, decided that the police have no obligation to protect a child from abuse. This was upheld in a case in which the Supreme Court decided that police also have no obligation to enforce a restraining order (again, even to protect children from abuse). (This second case is also covered in the video at the first link, but it's probably worth going over twice just for the full horror of it to sink in.)

The question of why we have police--or, indeed, any government at all--if not to protect the most vulnerable is left as an exercise for the reader.
posted by johnofjack at 3:06 PM on June 21 [60 favorites]



I read somewhere that cops are under no legal or professional obligation to actually attempt to save lives in these kinds of situations (in particular if they assess a risk to themselves).


That's not exactly what this means. You can't sue the cops for not doing their jobs. My boss also can't sue me for not doing mine. She can just can my ass.
posted by ocschwar at 3:08 PM on June 21 [2 favorites]


My boss also can't sue me for not doing mine. She can just can my ass.

Unfortunately thanks to police unions it's not particularly easy to can a cop.
posted by Amplify at 3:11 PM on June 21 [40 favorites]


"Records show!?" Hell, doncha remember the video taken at the scene, during the 58 minutes, showing heavily-armed SWAT-cops just standing there, in the parking lot? Look at it!
posted by Rash at 3:15 PM on June 21 [2 favorites]


"Whoever's in charge." Jesus.


When a situation like this brings officers from multiple departments together, someone has to be the incident commander, and officers will generally not open fire without an order from him.

Usually, this is a good thing.
posted by ocschwar at 3:18 PM on June 21


As bad as the police response was, they were merely the last and most visible failure in the chain of events that led to this massacre.

Focusing on the actions (and inaction) of the cops feels like rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic.

If we want to make real improvements to public safety, we need to prevent those with murderous intentions from being able to carry them out in the first place.
posted by cheshyre at 3:30 PM on June 21 [6 favorites]


without an order from him.

I'm pretty sure that "immediate, decisive action" doesn't require that, and we can review some of the criteria in the active-shooter training (slides) they had in March. (in the other thread I said the training was at the school with the shooting, but it was actually at the high school)
posted by rhizome at 3:35 PM on June 21 [4 favorites]


If we want to make real improvements to public safety, we need to prevent those with murderous intentions from being able to carry them out in the first place.

Right. Repeal the 2nd Amendment and ban semiautomatics.
posted by rhizome at 3:37 PM on June 21 [18 favorites]


Focus on the fact that they FLAT OUT LIED. They are so used to just telling the story they want people to believe that when kids were massacred the first thing they did was concoct a story that they though made them look like they weren't totally craven and incompetent. Even despite the fact that they had to know that this was going to get looked into.

This is policing in America. Zero accountability.
posted by aspo at 3:37 PM on June 21 [69 favorites]


Whatever would we do without the police?
posted by MrJM at 3:41 PM on June 21 [2 favorites]


Whatever would we do without the police?

Might be worth exploring, I think.
posted by SPrintF at 3:47 PM on June 21 [37 favorites]


I can't imagine what this must feel like, for absolutely the worst thing you can imagine rolling out right in front of you and just knowing that it didn't officially break any particular rules and nobody will ever be made to account for it.
posted by bleep at 3:48 PM on June 21 [11 favorites]


What gets me is the total lack of shame. Those guys stood outside a door in all their fancy gear while children bled to death, and made no effort to save them. And not a single one has resigned, all they have done is whine about how mean people are being to them.
posted by tavella at 4:13 PM on June 21 [57 favorites]


I'm pretty sure that "immediate, decisive action" doesn't require that, and we can review some of the criteria in the active-shooter training (slides) they had in March. (in the other thread I said the training was at the school with the shooting, but it was actually at the high school)


The commander's job is to make sure that immediate decisive action puts the officers in the right spot and their firearms pointed in the right direction to avoid crossfires with other officers and innocents dying from cop gunfire. Arredondo's orders cost innocent lives, and yes, this is on him. But the officers who hesitated before finally sidelining him are far less culpable for this reason.
posted by ocschwar at 4:18 PM on June 21 [1 favorite]


Either a good guys with guns aren't the way to stop bad guys with guns, the cops aren't good guys, or (my opinion) both.
posted by aubilenon at 4:20 PM on June 21 [18 favorites]


I can't feel angry at a human being who is afraid to risk death. The police problem is not a problem of cops being too fearful. The mass shooting problem is not a problem of cops lacking bravery. What this points to is the reality that police do not solve violence. There were many police from multiple agencies who arrived quickly in Uvalde. Cops don't stop violence. We need effective solutions to violence (restrict gun manufacturers, give people hopeful lives). That's the takeaway.
posted by latkes at 4:23 PM on June 21 [16 favorites]


I’d be more inclined to sympathy if they didn’t do the brave hero troop savior routine all the time and demand considerable leeway because of it.
posted by Artw at 4:51 PM on June 21 [58 favorites]


And demand funding for body armor and such...what use is it?

They were "just not following non existent orders."

Rotten at the core.
posted by tiny frying pan at 4:54 PM on June 21 [2 favorites]


Those guys stood outside a door in all their fancy gear while children bled to death, and made no effort to save them.

Most of the kids probably died before they hit the ground because of what assault rifles do to human bodies. One kid was only identifiable by their shoes. I read a Twitter thread of a pediatrician from Uvalde who went to the scene, and she saw two kids that had their heads shot off.
posted by kirkaracha at 4:55 PM on June 21 [2 favorites]


The police problem is not a problem of cops being too fearful.

Except...when it's an unarmed black person, they're so afraid that they shoot until their clips are empty.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 4:56 PM on June 21 [56 favorites]


According to ny times they had at least 2 chances to get him before he even got into the school but it was the worlds first case of cops not wanting to shoot.
posted by bleep at 5:01 PM on June 21 [12 favorites]


There's a Texas Senate hearing being livestreamed right now, and local chiefs are all about more money, training, equipment, and surveillance.

The problems at the shooting were, well, the sheriff says he was trained to respect jurisdiction and command, and that the School Police and superintendent were lead on that day. He also thinks hardening schools is the best first step.

So, from what I've heard, a fairly unified front on the same old same old, with a cast of scapegoats that is still in flux.
posted by rhizome at 5:09 PM on June 21 [10 favorites]


> I can't feel angry at a human being who is afraid to risk death.

I'm angry at the institutions that permit armed response teams to prioritize their own life over those they're intended to protect with those arms.

Firefighters will die trying to fight fires.

Explosives technicians will die trying to stop explosives.

Armed response units will die trying to stop terrorists.

An officer's duty is to "protect and serve" citizens first, not officers first. We here generally in the US pay all of these armed officers a considerable salary and a pension upon their death to compensate their loved ones when they die protecting us. If one officer isn't willing to risk their life protecting us, then I'm not angry at that officer — simply reassign them to unarmed duty and find someone else.

Whether this is the fault of training, or leadership, or unions, or racism, or all of the preceding, is interesting and matters and earns a lot of discussion. I think the only effective route will be, as we've seen here, exposing that officers no longer prioritize the lives of citizens over the lives of officers. The civilian bystanders demonstrated more selflessness than armed officers, and that needs to remain the core of this conversation — in interviews with officers, leadership, politicians, and unions. Not humiliating individual officers, but instead asking one simple question:

"Should officers act selflessly to protect the lives of citizens, even if it costs them their lives?"
posted by Callisto Prime at 5:10 PM on June 21 [40 favorites]


the first thing they did was concoct a story that they though made them look like they weren't totally craven and incompetent

No, they concocted a story in which they were brave, under-equipped heroes who "...engage[d] immediately, they did contain him in the classroom".
posted by The Tensor at 5:10 PM on June 21 [10 favorites]


(My views above focus exclusively on the duty owed us when we allow law enforcement to equip weaponry, as we'll still have to teach law enforcement to stop shooting first and killing unarmed suspects even if citizen disarmament and so on.)
posted by Callisto Prime at 5:16 PM on June 21 [1 favorite]


If this is true, I'm not sure what the answer is here aside from defund the police.

Take away pensions so their #1 priority in a situation like this is not "go home at the end of my shift.", so they can be around to collect the pension.
posted by mikelieman at 5:24 PM on June 21 [3 favorites]


This timeline has lots of (non-disturbing) photos, maps, and graphics, including a floorplan of the part of the school where Ramos murdered the kids.

I'm not sure why they didn't try to shoot through the windows on the outside. Maybe it was too hot and they didn't want to get sunburned.
posted by kirkaracha at 5:25 PM on June 21 [6 favorites]


Cops don't stop violence. We need effective solutions to violence (restrict gun manufacturers, give people hopeful lives).

I think more people are agreeing that cops don't stop violence, but their solution isn't to restrict gun manufacturing or anything like that. The takeaway I'm seeing online is to arm yourself, because you can't rely on anyone else to protect you. It's a regression to the law of the jungle.
posted by FJT at 5:32 PM on June 21 [3 favorites]


The second amendment maximalists have always argued that the state should be afraid of armed citizens, and lo, they have got exactly that.
posted by i_am_joe's_spleen at 5:53 PM on June 21 [16 favorites]


the cops won't defend me, criminals don't obey gun laws, and the firearm cannot be uninvented or wished away, thus the only "viable" option many see is for those who want to arm themselves be able to do so

as i tell people myself: i'd rather live in a world where no one wants or needs a gun, but that is not the world i live in

clumsy analogy i've been workshopping: personal gun ownership in America is like nuclear weapons in global geopolitics. it is seen as a tool of power and deterrence, it is unlikely and rare for those who have that power to willingly relinquish it, and those who are in a position to take that power away are themselves scared of that power being used against them, and further, if that power can be taken away from someone else, it can also be taken away from them and are thus firmly against disarmament.
posted by glonous keming at 5:59 PM on June 21 [7 favorites]




Take away pensions

No, no, 100 times, no.

I am absolutely for defunding the police, but pensions need to be sacrosanct. Once it's established that pensions can be taken away, they'll do it to other lines of work.

Pensions are deferred pay. That means that it's a promise of money in the future in exchange for being paid less now. Taking away a pension is the same as clawing back salary that was earned.

Yes, I'm being self-interested, because I'm a government employee working toward my pension, but that was one of the offered benefits of the job. Less pay now, pension later. I bristle any time someone suggests using a favored tool of Republicans against even the cops.
posted by explosion at 6:13 PM on June 21 [56 favorites]


the cops won't defend me, criminals don't obey gun laws, and the firearm cannot be uninvented or wished away, thus the only "viable" option many see is for those who want to arm themselves be able to do so

Eh, you do you, but I think most people are just fooling themselves when they think they can successfully defend themselves from a shooter by going out and buying a gun.

Most don't have the time and resources to practice and train for years. Even fewer people can maintain a constant state of readiness, both to be shot at and to shoot someone.

And even with the training and the readiness, sometimes it just comes down to plain luck.

And that's not even before getting into the fact that this was a school shooting, so we're talking about children. Is there an expectation for children to be able to do the same?
posted by FJT at 6:22 PM on June 21 [9 favorites]


I am absolutely for defunding the police, but pensions need to be sacrosanct.

Sure, for existing pensions. I can’t think of a good argument for not eliminating pensions for new police hires.
posted by a box and a stick and a string and a bear at 6:25 PM on June 21 [4 favorites]


Also isn’t the whole fucking point here that a whole bunch of armed people whose actual job was to do something, utterly failed?
posted by aspersioncast at 6:30 PM on June 21 [11 favorites]


I've had cops or ex-cops tell me a number of times that the rest of us have no business criticizing them unless we've personally been exactly in their situation. You know, because they're making life and death decisions we'll never experience. Bullshit.

And, if I recall correctly, there was a manual for trainees from the Uvalde department that very specifically said that if they weren't willing to risk their lives for others, they should find another profession.
posted by etaoin at 6:40 PM on June 21 [10 favorites]


You can't sue the cops for not doing their jobs

people who can be sued for not doing their jobs well:

doctors
nurses

people who can be thrown in jail for doing their jobs poorly, leading to someone dying:

nurses

it's cool that cops get a free pass tho, that'll definitely help them stay accountable for killing Black children on regular basis
posted by paimapi at 6:47 PM on June 21 [42 favorites]


> the cops won't defend me, criminals don't obey gun laws, and the firearm cannot be uninvented or wished away, thus the only "viable" option many see is for those who want to arm themselves be able to do so

So give up on all pretense of civil society and let the terrorists win?

I've pondered whether, as a citizen, I have standing to try to have a number of the Supreme Court justices declared mentally incapable and put into custodianship.
posted by madhadron at 10:16 PM on June 21 [4 favorites]


I am absolutely for defunding the police, but pensions need to be sacrosanct. Once it's established that pensions can be taken away, they'll do it to other lines of work.

They...already did, though? I am 48 years old and what the fuck is a pension. Outside of government jobs? Not unless you started with a company before the turn of the century.

(As for deferred income, well, I have worked for mostly mid-sized nonprofits for the last 20some years , so I'll just laughcry into my branded thermal mug of whiskey-spiked coffee.)
posted by desuetude at 10:17 PM on June 21 [11 favorites]


the only "viable" option many see is for those who want to arm themselves be able to do so

Gorilla Sales Skyrocket After Latest Gorilla Attack
posted by Paul Slade at 10:58 PM on June 21 [8 favorites]


I'm hazy on the details here, especially since I'm not American, but could a band-aid solution be to create armed response teams within police departments that have signed a contract to say "I will absolutely step in harm's way to protect citizens"? Issue the tacticool gear to them only, let them have their bragging rights, but actually enforce the contracts if they fail on the job.

I know a certain kind of person would absolutely love to be one of the "sheepdogs".
posted by Harald74 at 11:13 PM on June 21 [2 favorites]


A quick googling of the term "sheepdog mentality" should clue you in if the term "sheepdog" in my comment threw you off.
posted by Harald74 at 11:16 PM on June 21


could a band-aid solution be to create armed response teams within police departments that have signed a contract to say "I will absolutely step in harm's way to protect citizens"?

What has occurred to me is that they could restrict guns to the top X% of cops, where all officers would call them as backup only if needed, the idea being to keep guns away from as many interactions as possible. There would be standards by which a gun-cop would lose their privilege, which would introduce an element of competition in being a good guy with a gun (and a good cop in general). Or so the idea goes.

Law enforcement is probably second only to politics in professions that have institutionalized corruption, but it would also introduce a new vector of oversight. Which reminds me that law enforcement resisting citizen oversight should be defined as insubordination and have professional consequences.
posted by rhizome at 11:45 PM on June 21 [2 favorites]


What this points to is the reality that police do not solve violence

And yet they create an increasingly militarized society and terrorize communities of color under the premise that only they will stop violence, only they will, so long as they are paid their protection money, keep people safe. Police do not solve violence, this is true, but we need to go further than that and dismantle the false expectation that they are anything but a state-sponsored racket.
posted by corb at 11:46 PM on June 21 [14 favorites]


I bailed out of the original thread because it seemed like every news report contradicted an earlier one, but this is even more of a shitshow than I could have imagined. Some cops prevented other cops (family of one of the victims) from actually doing the right thing? The shooter was "contained" in the classroom with the victims? SWAT teams listening to kids get shot because they were waiting for the "incident commander" to give the word, a guy who didn't carry his radios because they would "slow him down"?
posted by meowzilla at 12:14 AM on June 22 [12 favorites]


I am absolutely for defunding the police, but pensions need to be sacrosanct. Once it's established that pensions can be taken away, they'll do it to other lines of work.

Like when Bank of America did away with them in favor of Fidelity 401k's (They own Fidelity)?
posted by mikelieman at 1:16 AM on June 22 [3 favorites]


I feel bad for Americans when I read that the “solution” to getting cops to do their jobs better is to take away their pensions. Like, for sure in a situation where a group of incompetent people are too scared to save little kids’ lives as well as the wife of one of their colleagues, they will consider their lack of pension as a reason to…get shot? (Not that Canadian pensions aren’t gutted as well but ??? Like - that’s your idea?) isn’t this the argument that you can’t give people healthcare or they might stop working for minimum wage?

My opinion is American police are schooled in invulnerability. They buy tanks (??!!) and everything I’ve read suggests their training focuses on seeing everything as a threat and outgunning everything. The thing about that is you can’t make real decisions when you’re trained in fake/bad ones. I do think they (as up here) need defunding — narrower scope of work, more guardrails. Especially deescalation and other training that helps you not make decisions out of your lizard-brain, which is going to suboptimally choose between fight, flight, or freeze. They froze.

This whole thing is a tragedy. My focus isn’t on the cops but I can’t imagine what it is to be the guy whose family was dying.
posted by warriorqueen at 5:18 AM on June 22 [5 favorites]


I am absolutely for defunding the police, but pensions need to be sacrosanct. Once it's established that pensions can be taken away, they'll do it to other lines of work.

I think there is a vast difference between "tra la la we're taking everyone's pensions away to save money" and "this dude right here majorly fucked up so we will be taking HIS pension away".
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 6:21 AM on June 22 [2 favorites]


No, I think pensions for cops sends the wrong message when we're also paying them to -- if needed -- make the ultimate sacrifice. They're not going to "save those children -- or die trying!" if their PRIMARY goal is to "make it home at the end of the shift".
posted by mikelieman at 6:27 AM on June 22


It would be better ethically and when considering implications and transparency to just fine him an equivalent amount.
posted by Mitheral at 6:28 AM on June 22


> I can't feel angry at a human being who is afraid to risk death.

My brother used to be a firefighter. He was very clear that the brave thing you do is take the oath, and after that you just go to work. If you're not up for upholding that oath anymore, you quit.

I'm in a field where I have to carry malpractice insurance, and where I can be sued personally for malpractice. I think as a first step we need for cops to be individually liable, to have to carry personal malpractice insurance, and for suits against cops for brutality need to actually hit the individuals responsible rather than the city.

I'd be happier if we just defunded the police and addressed the very real problems we have - I work with people who are incarcerated or have DOC involvement, and they are overwhelmingly marginalized people who grew up in poverty, who didn't have positive interactions with the adults in their lives, who didn't get the supports they needed in school or anywhere else, and who typically have significant disabilities. It's past time to start funding housing and services instead of more and more violence.
posted by bile and syntax at 6:47 AM on June 22 [34 favorites]


From a labor rights perspective, pension contributions are earnings that a worker has already earned, thus taking away a pension is taking away past earnings, not future earnings.

Also from a labor rights perspective, cops are management/bosses, however.
posted by eviemath at 7:00 AM on June 22 [6 favorites]


No, I think pensions for cops sends the wrong message when we're also paying them to -- if needed -- make the ultimate sacrifice. They're not going to "save those children -- or die trying!" if their PRIMARY goal is to "make it home at the end of the shift".

I'm confused by this pension sidetrack. Do people actually believe that cops don't want to die because they'll miss out on their pension? People don't want to die.
posted by rhymedirective at 7:02 AM on June 22 [15 favorites]


First let's try to table the pension discussion:

From a labor rights perspective, pension contributions are earnings that a worker has already earned, thus taking away a pension is taking away past earnings, not future earnings.

...

It would be better ethically and when considering implications and transparency to just fine him an equivalent amount.


There we go - don't cancel the pension, just garnishee a big chunk of every payout and use it for a victims' fund or something.

Now then - I am very, very tempted to order and send, as a protest, a box full of baby pacifiers to Uvalde chief Pete Arredondo with a note that they are for him to distribute to his officers so they don't feel as scared while on duty. They probably have someone screening all the mail by now - but honestly that is the only thing stopping me.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 7:08 AM on June 22 [14 favorites]


the cops won't defend me, criminals don't obey gun laws, and the firearm cannot be uninvented or wished away, thus the only "viable" option many see is for those who want to arm themselves be able to do so

Just about every other country in the world has this figured out. A couple of them after their own massacres. America is not special.
posted by They sucked his brains out! at 7:29 AM on June 22 [12 favorites]


Just about every other country in the world has this figured out. A couple of them after their own massacres. America is not special.

Well, it's not "special" in the sense you mean, perhaps....it does have a uniquely corrupt gun rights lobby compared to most other countries.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 7:46 AM on June 22 [8 favorites]


Also isn’t the whole fucking point here that a whole bunch of armed people whose actual job was to do something, utterly failed?

I think it's also that if these types of guns and events are something police are unwilling to deal with (I'm not a cop, but I wouldn't want to deal with them either), maybe some type of gun regulation is something they'd endorse as part of a crime prevention/policing initiative.
posted by mazola at 8:25 AM on June 22 [1 favorite]


They actually did, once. Then Republicans used it as a wedge issue and they became hard against. Things Republicans use as wedge issues probably counts as a major category of mass death in the US with that and COVID, etc.
posted by Artw at 8:35 AM on June 22 [9 favorites]


So, for people scanning the thread and not reading all the links:

1) the classroom door wasn't barred, it wasn't even locked. They waited 77 minutes for keys they didn't need to get in and stop the shooter. This is per DPS testimony yesterday.

2) Eva Mireles' husband, Ruben Ruiz (who died a couple days later of a broken heart), wasn't just stopped by the cops from going in. He was an armed Uvalde school district officer who was forcibly stopped, disarmed and escorted by local law enforcement from the scene after she told him she'd been shot and was bleeding out but still trying to protect the kids. What would y'all do in this situation? MADDENING.

I'm so scared nothing will happen because of all this and I don't really want to live in Texas anymore. It feels like it's just a matter of time before I or someone I love gets shot and it amounts to nothing but another shrug and fake "prayers" Tweet from someone wiping their ass with NRA-provided $100 bills.
posted by Unicorn on the cob at 8:36 AM on June 22 [23 favorites]




we get fed basically MCU and other hero crap, but if we got the hero movie we seem to deserve the plot summary could well be: He was an armed Uvalde school district officer who was forcibly stopped, disarmed and escorted by local law enforcement from the scene after she told him she'd been shot and was bleeding out but still trying to protect the kids.

there are no words, but all we have is words
posted by elkevelvet at 9:36 AM on June 22 [2 favorites]


There are some tough jobs in the world and if people aren't up to them they need to GTFO.

There is a science and art to training for situations like these. Response should be ingrained and second nature to LE folks...especially special teams like SWAT. There is no excuse for this. They failed and should be fired. They proved to be incapable of fulfilling their "special teams" duties.
posted by snsranch at 10:30 AM on June 22 [5 favorites]


It dies throw the gap between the supposed job of the police and the actual job of the police into stark relief. Most of the things you’d actually want them doing are the former not the later.
posted by Artw at 10:48 AM on June 22 [2 favorites]


(The other thing to note is the inaccuracy of the police account of their own actions is by no means an outlier and you should treat any statement from any police force, either direct or relayed by media, with similar skepticism.)
posted by Artw at 11:03 AM on June 22 [23 favorites]




There are some tough jobs in the world and if people aren't up to them they need to GTFO.

The January 6 hearings are happening in the same news cycle as the Robb Elementary shooting, and it's been a bit of a head trip to learn about the police response in each situation.
posted by FJT at 12:31 PM on June 22 [3 favorites]


Pensions are deferred pay. That means that it's a promise of money in the future in exchange for being paid less now. Taking away a pension is the same as clawing back salary that was earned.

Federal pensions are taken away for certain extreme crimes (Treason and national security offenses). Uniformed services can also lose their pensions for dishonorable discharges (which can even be determined retroactively if new information comes to light).

Most public servants, including police, can lose their pension if they commit a crime related to their work.

I'm not sure if police failing to perform a fundamental requirement of their job is sufficient to count as a crime though.
posted by srboisvert at 1:19 PM on June 22 [1 favorite]


2) Eva Mireles' husband, Ruben Ruiz (who died a couple days later of a broken heart)

No, he did not. Joe Garcia did. Joe Garcia was Irma Garcia's husband. Irma Garcia is dead. Joe Garcia is dead. Eva Mireles is dead. Her husband, Ruben Ruiz, is alive.

So, for people scanning the thread and not reading all the links:


Those people should read the links.
posted by queenofbithynia at 1:31 PM on June 22 [8 favorites]


It always strikes me how easy it would be to use the tools of capitalism against these situations. We already have all the tools in place. License and insure guns the way we do drivers and cars, with age limits, a national database, national rules about DUI, periodic safety inspections and so on. No insurance? No gun. Shooting without a license? No gun ever again. SUI? No more gun for you. It's really simple. If every additional gun costs you thousands in liability insurance, you probably won't buy more and more. If you have to be over 21, if you never get to own a gun after one domestic violence conviction (good luck with that one; even in Oregon we can't get it passed) if, if, if - then the shootings would go away. The same goes for cops. Treat them like nurses. Make them go through two full years of intense and difficult education and at the end of it take a national exam. Then, make them buy liability insurance. If they shoot someone? They're automatically prosecuted like any murderer and they can no longer be insured, therefore, they are no longer cops. Watch the death rate fall.

I hate the insurance industry and I do not like capitalism, but that's because I'm a godless commie agitator. As such I totally fail to understand why this country won't even use the tools they say they love, that already exist, to address mass shootings and police malfeasance. But nobody ever, ever does. It lays clear that this is what they want. This death cult is the end result. This is not a mistake. This is a plan. I'm tired of acting like oh, this event was so terrible; these police were so wrong; it can all be fixed and improved. It can't. It can't be fixed or improved or it already would have been done. School shootings and a giant, militarized, incompetent police force are the goal here.
posted by mygothlaundry at 1:45 PM on June 22 [27 favorites]


Tweet from someone wiping their ass with NRA-provided $100 bills.

and some of them converted from Rubles.
posted by srboisvert at 1:51 PM on June 22 [2 favorites]


Solution: stop calling the cops' deferred pay a "pension" and start calling it a "bond". Pay them well, but require them to set some of it aside in case they're found to have violated their oaths to protect and serve (yes, yes, I know...), in which case the bond is forfeit. Otherwise, if they make it all the way to retirement while still doing the job, hooray! They get to keep the money.
posted by The Tensor at 3:00 PM on June 22


Folks, please stop quoting me out of context. Include the part where I note that police are management, not workers if you’re going to quote me.
posted by eviemath at 3:34 PM on June 22 [3 favorites]


Since it seems to be unclear: the point of my comment was that police pensions are not like worker pensions.
posted by eviemath at 3:38 PM on June 22 [1 favorite]




Arredondo also has police protection which could not be more ironic.
posted by meowzilla at 4:21 PM on June 22 [4 favorites]


So, remember the story of Angeli Gomez, the woman who drove 40 miles to the school, got handcuffed by the cops at the scene, managed to talk herself out of the cuffs, then immediately sprinted into the school and grabbed up her two kids? Just last night, I had a small revelation about this part of the story that's obvious in hindsight but I guess it didn't click for me until now. While there's been a lot made about how the cops didn't try to capture, contain, or otherwise neutralize the shooter for so long, Gomez's actions show that even if they didn't go after the shooter directly because it was so dangerous, they could have been doing lots of other things. Like, for example, evacuating Gomez's kids (and, of course, any other kids around). And, unlike how any argument for attempting to neutralize the killer can be countered by things like "it might have been too dangerous to attempt and get either cops or kids killed" or "it might not even have worked", in this case we know for sure the cops could have saved Gomez's kids because, well, she did. With no training, no gun, no armor, no shield. She just ran in. At any time -- when they first arrived, while Gomez was driving the 40 miles to the school, while they were handcuffing her, or when they were un-handcuffing her -- the cops could have done exactly what she did but they just.... didn't. I think the cops claim that they were working on getting kids out of the school but given everything they've said so far plus what Gomez had to do to get her kids out, I'm gonna need a lot more corroboration that they did anything at all.
posted by mhum at 5:08 PM on June 22 [27 favorites]


Why cops don't have to do their jobs : Castle Rock v Gonzalez
posted by j_curiouser at 5:42 PM on June 22 [1 favorite]


On a related note, The New York Times just posted an analysis of how 433 active shooting attacks ended.

The majority of attacks ended before the police arrived.
The most common outcome was the attacker leaving the scene (113 times) before the police arrived.
110 times, the attacker died by suicide.
Police shot the attacker 98 times, and otherwise subdued the attacker 33 times.
posted by cheshyre at 7:05 PM on June 22 [8 favorites]


I think it's important to remember that even if the police had rushed in and killed the shooter, they would still need to be defunded. I
posted by twirlypen at 10:55 PM on June 22 [14 favorites]


This is an emperor has no clothes moment. Good
guys with guns are useless; because the guns available to civilians are so overpowered that you’d have to be crazy to get in there and stop the shooter. Better to wait until they are out of bullets. Abbot and his NRA pals can’t let this story come out so they’ve tried to invent some lie to cover it up. Anything to avoid the simple answer that these guns are just too powerful to be available to civilians.
posted by interogative mood at 11:18 PM on June 22 [2 favorites]


Does it make sense that the pro-gun argument is both saying that gun control is ineffective because "bad guys" will just use knives or baseball bats, while also insisting that to defend against mass shooters we need teachers and other good guys to be armed with guns? And it has to be guns, because for some reason that dangerous knife or baseball bat suddenly becomes useless in the hands of a good guy.
posted by FJT at 1:30 AM on June 23 [8 favorites]


They're really just saying whatever at this point. There doesn't have to be logic present.
posted by bleep at 9:26 AM on June 23 [4 favorites]


So is this correct -- less than a month after the Uvalde shooting, and as new legislation that would tighten access to firearms finally takes a step forward in the US Senate, the US Supreme Court has struck one of the few laws that effectively restrict gun access so that more people will be allowed to own and open-carry firearms?

It's as if the US is prepared to issue a decree to declare its failure as a nation, its failure as an American people, and ultimately seal its collapse with catastrophic finality. Killing others rather than admitting one was ever wrong has been the FWP doctrine of discovery ever since the rest of the species was forced to become aware of the inbred diasporas of European nations via imperial colonialism. At some point Republican leaders may declare that the American people deserve to be punished for "failing" to indefinitely uphold their narcoholic expectations of infinite attachment violence and incest tolerance, and then the ensuing bloodshed will cleanse whoever is still standing via the Christianized doctrine of "survival of the fittest". As a brown f**k-all living among the FWP of Canada, I often say FWP are not so different from the FBP of an Islamic terrorist state: their kids are not safe to go to school, and neither are yours, yet both groups insist on being worshipped as gods on earth by whomsoever they manage to corner with their attachment sh*t, i.e. ego-crap, and subsequently oppress via more attachment violence, including yes, the neverending WP burden of their cultural incest and sexual violence tolerance (for evidence of WP's cultural incest and sexual violence tolerance, take some actual time to read the reports of the mass graves of children confirmed in a North American country near you).
posted by human ecologist at 3:55 PM on June 23 [3 favorites]


I apologize for getting some details wrong, there are apparently MULTIPLE parents/wives/husbands (who the hell even knows how many!) that tried desperately to go in and help/rescue their spouses/children, some armed LEOs themselves, and were forcibly stopped.

It takes my breath away that we're in this awful place where children are literally being sacrificed on the altar of gun-worship.

A Texas state senator, Rep. Roland Gutierrez (D-San Antonio), is now suing DPS to release all available records: State senator sues Texas DPS to get information on Uvalde shooting

Zero confidence this will happen while Paxton still holds office. I desperately want those records made public, but I doubt it.

If any of y'all live in Texas, vote accordingly this November.
posted by Unicorn on the cob at 4:10 PM on June 23 [5 favorites]


I hope that the Supreme Court’s radical decisions will force a reckoning and there will be a serious push to reform the whole process and reign the court in or amend the constitution on a variety of issues.
posted by interogative mood at 6:49 PM on June 23 [1 favorite]


Heard on the internet: "Armed minorities are harder to oppress"

Isn't that kind of similar argument to how if we had more POC/women/LGBT cops there'd be less police brutality?
posted by FJT at 9:04 PM on June 26 [1 favorite]


"Armed minorities are harder to oppress"

In Dallas, there's been relentless harassment by Proud Boys & ilk of various Pride events. And then a few days ago, around 40 SRA / antifa / whatever showed up strapped. Open carrying. They marched with a message of “We are not afraid. We will not go back. We will bash back.” For some reason, Proud Boys & ilk didn't show up.

There were occasions in 2020 when groups of protesters would show up armed. They tended to have a pretty normal, even boring, protest day when both cops and counter-protesters left them alone.

And then I'm also thinking of the mass shooting averted in Portland because one person on the protesters' side came with a conceal carry and shot the gunman after he killed one of the protesters.

I personally hate guns and wish they weren't in this country at all. But, armed protesters put the fear in the fascists like nothing else. Both the cops and the nazis in the street are cowards. They want uneven fights. They want easy dominance. The Left being armed upends this calculation.
posted by Teegeeack AV Club Secretary at 10:12 PM on June 26 [4 favorites]


You examples seems to be more along the lines of basically militias though. For most people in America, they don't really belong to a militia and their weapon is for their own use.
posted by FJT at 10:59 PM on June 26


One of the cases I cited was of an individual working to protect a group. But in the idea of "armed minorities are harder to oppress", it implies some sort of collective action.
posted by Teegeeack AV Club Secretary at 11:26 PM on June 26 [1 favorite]


Also doesn't dissuade me from the idea that there should be way more gun control, even among the police.
posted by FJT at 11:26 PM on June 26


One of the cases I cited was of an individual working to protect a group

That's just dumb luck though.
posted by FJT at 11:27 PM on June 26 [1 favorite]


But in the idea of "armed minorities are harder to oppress", it implies some sort of collective action.

Nah, I don't see that it implies collective action. It assumes it, yes, but doesn't imply it.
posted by FJT at 11:33 PM on June 26


What I'm getting at is that there is a history where minorities have had their fears and prejudices stoked in order to mistrust and attack each other.
posted by FJT at 11:43 PM on June 26


I'm very much in favor of strong universal gun control including cops. Especially for the cops. But until that day comes, I don't want to see my side disarmed while the other side is waving guns and making threats. While the cops assault people with impunity because they know their victims can't fight back.

That's just dumb luck though.

That was a lucky break. But it also shows the usefulness of an individual protester showing up prepared in response to violent threats.

It assumes it, yes, but doesn't imply it

In practical terms, "assumes" and "implies" are doing the same work here. We already have armed minorities. Non-white people own guns too. "Armed minorities are harder to oppress" means people working together in mutual defense.
posted by Teegeeack AV Club Secretary at 1:59 AM on June 29 [1 favorite]


What I'm getting at is that there is a history where minorities have had their fears and prejudices stoked in order to mistrust and attack each other.

Turning the underclasses against each other to preserve the power of the elites is as old as...something really old. It's a common prison management technique in fact, where keeping the groups of prisoners in a state of drama is a way for guards to protect themselves, it that it prevents the crowd from finding common cause and turning against the real authorities.
posted by rhizome at 10:50 AM on June 29 [1 favorite]


Heard on the internet: "Armed minorities are harder to oppress"

Isn't that kind of similar argument to how if we had more POC/women/LGBT cops there'd be less police brutality?


....Not....really? The idea about POC/women/LGBT cops meaning "less police brutality" seems to be based in "oh, that will make the cops 'nicer'" or "that will make cops more accepted by the communities". By contrast, the idea behind "armed minorities are harder to oppress" is more like "if we have guns and they don't, we can push 'em around - but if THEY have guns too just like us, we can't push 'em around any more".

And there's precedent for this - back in the last 1960s, the Black Panthers were advocating African-Americans each get guns for their own personal protection. And that so freaked out the people in power that the NRA and Ronald Reagan actually advocated strict laws against concealed carry, beefed up licensing, and a host of other strict gun regulations; it was meant to curtail African-American gun ownership in the specific, but it spilled over onto everyone else.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 12:06 PM on June 29 [1 favorite]


We already have armed minorities. Non-white people own guns too. "Armed minorities are harder to oppress" means people working together in mutual defense.

That's where I disagree with you. About five million more Americans became gun owners during the pandemic. I think you'd agree it's absurd to say we now have five million more Americans working together in mutual defense. I wouldn't even say that every minority in that group that purchased a gun is working together in mutual defense. Just because two people, even if they are minorities, are armed doesn't mean they automatically enter some kind of mutual defense pact.

I think that guns are so embedded into American culture and thought that they're seen as some kind of go to solution for a wide variety of problems and across the political spectrum. Basically, if all you have is a hammer, then everything looks like a nail.

but if THEY have guns too just like us, we can't push 'em around any more"

My point is minorities are not a monolith. Minority communities can just as easily oppress their own and other minority communities with guns, as minority police prove. The Robb Elementary shooter attacked his own community, while the church shooter at Laguna Woods was a Taiwanese-born person who specifically targeted other Taiwanese.

And there's precedent for this - back in the last 1960s, the Black Panthers were advocating African-Americans each get guns for their own personal protection.

Yes, I'm familiar with that talking point and that still doesn't dissuade me from supporting more gun control across the board. Luckily for us, Ronald Reagan is not the only politician in the world that has implemented gun control and it's done in a number of countries in Europe and the Asia-Pacific too. Maybe we can look at those countries and see what works and what doesn't?
posted by FJT at 2:48 PM on June 29 [2 favorites]


So, remember Angeli Gomez whose story that I linked above? It turns out while the Uvalde cops couldn't do shit to the shooter, they sure as heck know how to harass and intimidate unarmed citizens, "Police Are Harassing Mom Who Pulled Kids From Uvalde School Shooting, Lawyer Says" (Huffpost, 2022/09/29):
A Texas mother who said she ran into the Uvalde elementary school mass shooting to rescue her two young sons as law enforcement officers stood outside has been harassed by police and plans to take legal action, her attorney said.

“As far as we know there’s two definite instances,” Angeli Rose Gomez’s attorney, Mark Di Carlo, told HuffPost of the hostility he said she’s experienced after defying officers’ orders and running into Robb Elementary School during the May 24 massacre to save her children.

[...]

Di Carlo said Gomez believes she has since been targeted by police. She was pulled over for a traffic stop and falsely accused of having illegal immigrants in her vehicle, he said. About a week ago, a police vehicle parked outside of her home for about 45 minutes and flashed its lights at her and her mother while they were going for a walk.

[...]

In another incident, he said a family member of Gomez said police instructed them to tell Gomez to stop speaking to the media about the massacre. That incident may be harder to prove, he said, but a Philadelphia nonprofit civil rights group has offered to file a freedom of speech lawsuit on Gomez’s behalf.
Completely shameless. And also utterly unsurprising.
posted by mhum at 4:18 PM on June 29 [6 favorites]


My apologies, FJT - I should have been more clear that I wasn't necessarily advocating unfettered access to guns, nor was I advocating any kind of a mindset that suggests POC and minorities are a monolith. I was more advocating a sort of "use their bigotry against them" approach - "we know that they think [this way], so if we start calling for [that] it'll spook enough people into backtracking and turning things in our favor".

It was not anything I meant seriously, and I should have been more clear about that.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 5:06 PM on June 29 [1 favorite]


I think you'd agree it's absurd to say we now have five million more Americans working together in mutual defense.

It is absurd. And it's not the situation we have now. I interpret "Armed minorities are harder to oppress" as an aspirational goal with the implied (or assumed) idea of working together. Not as the current reality. Obviously not the current reality because millions of non-white people already have guns and yet the cops et al are still able to keep them down without much trouble.

That was the point I was trying to make earlier. And like I said, I'm in favor of strong gun control that's universal and will hit the fascists as hard as it will hit my side. But until then, there's no reason for unilateral disarmament. And there's a chance history will repeat itself where armed minority and leftist groups will scare the establishment to create such strong gun control rules.
posted by Teegeeack AV Club Secretary at 3:40 AM on June 30 [1 favorite]


Grandmother of shooter released from hospital.
posted by a non mouse, a cow herd at 10:44 AM on June 30


That was the point I was trying to make earlier. And like I said, I'm in favor of strong gun control that's universal and will hit the fascists as hard as it will hit my side. But until then, there's no reason for unilateral disarmament.

I have not mentioned unilateral disarmament at all and have gone out of my way to mention I'm for universal disarmament (including law enforcement), yet that's something that you keep bringing up and steering the conversation towards repeatedly. You throw a line or two about being pro-gun control, and then the rest of your comments are about how the Left and minorities can't disarm now (if ever). Let me be explicit now and say I'm not telling anyone to unilaterally disarm.

Anyways, even though polling says a slight majority of Americans are in favor of some kind of gun control, I don't get that feeling online. I think the pull and influence of American gun culture is just going to get stronger and more normalized.
posted by FJT at 11:39 AM on June 30 [1 favorite]


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