Uvalde Cops: Policing as Usual?

Pete Luna/Uvalde Leader-News

I wonder if the Uvalde cops just saw themselves as doing their “normal jobs” when they started harassing parents rather than going inside the school. Between the time that a heavily armed Salvador Ramos entered Robb Elementary school around 11:40 and when he was finally killed, the police focused on crowd control rather than mass murder control. The New York Times reports:

During that terrifying time — well over an hour — parents of students who were trapped in the school gathered outside the building as word spread of the shooting. Some were physically restrained by the police in a scene that witnesses described as disorder bordering on mayhem. The crowd grew to hundreds. “Parents were crying and some were fighting verbally with the police and screaming that they wanted their children,” Marcela Cabralez, a pastor, said. Miguel Palacios, a small-business owner, said frantic parents were so upset that at one point they tried to take down the school’s chain-link fence. “The parents were on one side of the fence, the Border Patrol and police were on the other side of the fence, and they were trying to tear it open,” he said.

As Salvador Ramos began shooting kids, the Uvalde police devoted their energy to preventing parents from entering the school to save their children. They were also preventing a Border Patrol special team from entering the school but I want to reflect on the connection between Uvalde police treatment of parents and everyday policing. The connection is suggested by Uvalde resident and twitter user @deenoonandraws who writes: “We are helpless. The cops do nothing but harass citizens they are suppose to be serving and protecting.” What would be “normal” police work would be bullying teenagers, rousting people from bars, hunting down people smoking pot, and other things that are safe for cops. No doubt justified by a rich vein of racial, ethnic, class, and gender stereotypes and enjoyed as an exercise in power..

Part of that power is lying. According to former local prosecutor @Miriam2626–“based on my past interactions with Uvalde PD, you will never know the truth about what went down in that school until every inch of video tape is released to the press.”

It’s like telling the truth is a disease the Uvalde Police don’t want to catch.

Controlling crowds, stifling the locals, handcuffing a guy worried about his kids, lying like hell–that all looks like a fairly normal day’s cop work in Uvalde.

Running into (potential) gunfire to save the kids of people you don’t respect–that’s for training exercises not real life.

On an extraordinary day, Uvalde police may have chosen to be their normal selves.