Acting Uvalde police chief placed on administrative leave following release of Texas House report
UVALDE, Texas - The acting City of Uvalde police chief has been placed on administrative leave following the release of a report investigating the May 24 mass shooting that left 19 children and two teachers dead at Robb Elementary School.
According to a statement from Uvalde Mayor Don McLaughlin, Lt. Mariano Pargas was the acting Chief of Police for the City of Uvalde the day of the shooting.
"This administrative leave is to investigate whether Lt. Pargas was responsible for taking command on May 24th, what specific actions Lt. Pargas took to establish that command, and whether it was even feasible given all the agencies involved and other possible policy violations," says Mayor McLaughlin.
In addition to the administrative leave, the mayor says the city will be conducting its own internal investigation regarding Uvalde PD's actions, policies and procedures.
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"We are currently waiting on DPS to release UPD officers’ official statements, taken immediately after the incident, as these are critical to our own internal investigation," says Mayor McLaughlin. "The City has selected Jesse Prado, an expert in the field, to conduct the internal investigation. As soon as DPS releases the reports we have requested, Mr. Prado will begin his review and assessment. That will also include a specific review of Lt. Pargas’ actions as Acting Chief of Police that Day."
The city will also be releasing all body cameras from Uvalde police officers taken during the incident.
"We held off on releasing these videos at the District Attorney, Christina Mitchell’s, direction. However, with the release of the school district’s hallway video, we believe these body camera videos provide further, necessary context," McLaughlin said.
This follows the release of a 77-page report— the most complete account yet of the hesitant and haphazard response to the May 24 massacre at Robb Elementary School — which was written by an investigative committee from the Texas House of Representatives. The report outlines "systemic failures and egregious poor decision-making" by nearly everyone involved who was in a position of power, according to the Texas Tribune.