Arredondo fired

Took awhile, but there it is.

The Uvalde school board agreed Wednesday to fire Pete Arredondo, the school district police chief broadly criticized for his response to the deadliest school shooting in Texas history, in a vote that came shortly after he asked to be taken off of suspension and receive backpay.

Arredondo, widely blamed for law enforcement’s delayed response in confronting the gunman who killed 21 people at Robb Elementary, made the request for reinstatement through his attorney, George E. Hyde. The meeting came exactly three months after a gunman killed 19 students and two teachers at the school.

“Chief Arredondo will not participate in his own illegal and unconstitutional public lynching and respectfully requests the Board immediately reinstate him, with all backpay and benefits and close the complaint as unfounded,” Hyde said in a statement.

Arredondo didn’t attend the meeting, citing death threats made against him.

But about 100 people, including relatives of the shooting victims, showed up for the vote. Many chanted “coward” and “no justice, no peace.” Four people spoke during a public comment period before the seven-member board went into closed session to deliberate Arredondo’s employment, criticizing the decision to not discuss the matter in front of the public.


In his statement Wednesday, Arredondo’s lawyer said that the school district violated his constitutional due process rights by failing to provide him notice of the complaints against him and conduct an investigation of his response to the mass shooting ahead of the termination hearing.

Arredondo’s lawyer said that he received an email from the district on July 19, recommending his termination based on his failure to establish himself as the incident commander during the shooting, but argued the letter should have been sent earlier and in a physical format.

Arredondo was listed in the district’s active-shooter plan as the commanding officer, but the consensus of those interviewed by the House committee was that Arredondo did not assume that role and no one else took over for him, which resulted in a chaotic law enforcement response.

See here and here for some background. I wasn’t particularly inclined to be sympathetic to Pete Arredondo, though I do agree that not all of the blame for the law enforcement response at Robb Elementary is his and I will push back against DPS’ self-serving efforts to scapegoat him, but that’s about as far as I’ll go. Seeing him refer to this as a “lynching” and whining about his “constitutional rights” in an employment matter confirms to me that I’m in the right place. Go away and find another line of work, dude. We’ll all be better off that way.

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5 Responses to Arredondo fired

  1. Flypusher says:

    “Chief Arredondo will not participate in his own illegal and unconstitutional public lynching and respectfully requests the Board immediately reinstate him, with all backpay and benefits and close the complaint as unfounded,”

    It’s absolutely gobsmacking how shameless some people are. If this guy seriously expects to actually go back to doing that job, he’s also clueless. A critical mass of the people in that town hate his guts. No way he can function in that role. I suspect it’s more that he wants to be bought out, which is still clueless. It’s true that he’s the fall guy here, but I can’t see that as unfair (although it would be good for others who failed to also face consequences). If you are the CHIEF of police, you are the designated take charge person in this sort of crisis. He can have his day in court to protest this, but dereliction of duty is a valid reason for termination, and he really ought to quit while he’s behind. And move. And find another line of work. And possibly change his name.

  2. Jeff N. says:

    He should have resigned and shown some dignity and remorse for the tragedy.

    I’ve been struck by the repercussions this horrible shooting has caused the Uvalde community. My only sympathy for Arredondo comes from my belief that no one should have access to a killing machine. It’s a weapon of mass destruction that immediately ended the lives of 21 innocent humans. There are children healing from wounds that will never go away. Students who will carry the trauma for their lifetimes. Family members who lost beloved children and spouses. Police officers who failed to meet the challenge and will live with the consequences of their failure.

    Arredondo wasn’t up to the task and should resign. But there’s nothing he could have done to prevent some level of horrible violence from happening. Who is to blame? Arredondo is not guilty of causing this tragedy. The blame falls on the shooter and the leaders of our state for taking no action after Odessa. El Paso, and Santa Fe for permitting a suicidal teenager to buy semi-automatic weapons on his 18th birthday do that others would feel his pain.

  3. C.L. says:

    Arredondo has to be a narcissist of biblical proportions to think someone/anyone is going to rule in his favor. His lawyer should be hangding his head in shame for advancing this. Please tell me who would ever hire the man after Uvalde.

  4. Flypusher says:

    “ But there’s nothing he could have done to prevent some level of horrible violence from happening.”

    There are questions about whether some of the wounded could have been saved if the police had been more prompt and assertive in their response. When you have all these LEOs just standing around, that’s a very bad look. You magnify that bad look when you 1) arrest parents trying to save their kids, 2) Some of the parents actually go where you are not willing to go and get their kids out safely, and 3) you threaten a parent who showed you up by daring to rescue their kids. If the cops had tried something much sooner, public opinion likely would have been far less harsh, even if it hadn’t changed the casualty count.

    I 100% agree with you that the root of all this misery is that TX is far too lax in who gets access to guns, and that there ought to be stricter limits on what is appropriate for civilians to have.

  5. Bill Daniels says:

    Arredondo is simply trying to collect all he can as he makes his way out the door, knowing his future earning prospects are not that good, especially in Texas. Since Columbine, it has been common knowledge, even among lay people, that the first (and subsequent arriving) cops, by the way, are The first responders and are supposed to stop the threat, period. Period. The chief and all his officers surely must have known that, and they all failed, bigly. I am sure civil service protections keep the officers from being fired, but the chief is fair game, and the firing is for cause, so he should not be able to collect unemployment insurance or anything else. As to the other officers, their careers in law enforcement should all be stalled out. No promotions, no raises, etc. how are the people of Uvalde supposed to trust any of those guys again, especially the ones that kept parents from going in to try and save kids? They can’t. They really should just resign, but I get it, they have families to feed. They need to hang on to those jobs.

    I feel bad the chief’s career is over for one mistake, but it was a whopper, and there really are no take backs when it comes to dead kids. Having said that, the guy is rubbing salt in the wound by not just leaving quietly. I get it, he wants whatever payout he can get, so he is willing to embarrass himself more if it means some kind of going away money.

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