Pete Arredondo, the head of the Uvalde schools police department, was let go by the city’s school board on Wednesday. After the superintendent of the local school system made the recommendation, the board voted unanimously to fire the troubled chief.
The resignation of Arredondo brings to an end three months of protest over the inept police reaction to the massacre at Robb Elementary School, which resulted in the deaths of 19 students and two teachers.
Texas Department of Public Safety Director Steve McCraw has stated that the duration between the moment police entered the facility on May 24 and the gunman’s death was one hour, 14 minutes, and eight seconds.
At a special school board meeting on Wednesday, a speaker who appeared to be a youngster said: “I have messages for Pete Arredondo and all the law enforcement there that day. Turn in your badge and step down. You don’t deserve to wear one.”
The meeting was called to discuss Arredondo’s job, but he did not show up. Arredondo’s attorney claimed in a statement that his client had received death threats and didn’t feel the meeting was secure.
The lawyer, George Hyde, said it was “beyond any doubt that discharge from public employment under circumstances that put the employee’s reputation, honor or integrity at stake gives rise to a liberty interest” under the Constitution’s equal protection clause.
Hyde said people in those circumstances are entitled to procedural opportunities to clear their names.
Hyde also portrayed Arredondo as a victim of those affected by the massacre. Instead of being able to lash out at the gunman, who was fatally shot by police, they sought “more retribution by identifying a new target to focus their grief on, with the belief that it will help them stop hurting,” he said.
“Unfortunately, it won’t,” Hyde said. “Retribution will not bring anyone back; it is a hollow reward, and it will only spread more hurt and pain in an unjust and biased manner.”