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Report: Uvalde schools nix review of UCISD police department's response to Robb shooting

KENS-TV San Antonio 2/9/2023 Matt Houston (KENS)

The Uvalde school district will not hire independent consultants to review UCISD police officers' response to the Robb Elementary shooting, according the Uvalde Leader-News. 

Parents and victims' relatives repeatedly called on school leaders to seek outside analysis of UCISD PD officers' actions on May 24. 

"Use that information to hold people accountable," Jesse Rizo said in an August school board meeting. Rizo's niece, Jackie Cazares, died in the shooting.  

In September, the district announced the Austin firm reviewing Uvalde city police officers' response to the tragedy would also analyze school police officers' actions. 

The district reminded parents of the move in October, when UCISD announced it'd suspended its entire police force. 

It's now unclear whether the firm actually began its analysis or if UCISD paid the firm any money. 

A spokesperson justified the decision to nix the review to the paper, saying UCISD already collected "completed documents" from four different agencies. Each analysis highlighted the school police department's failures on May 24.

"That was a slap to the parents' faces," Rizo told KENS 5 Wednesday. "People are insulted by that."

The Texas School Safety Center, a Texas House committee, the head of the Texas School District Police Chief's association, and the Department of Justice launched reviews into the tragedy. 

Lt. Mike Hernandez is the only officer who responded to the shooting who is still on staff at UCISD, though he's currently on paid leave. The district could choose to let Hernandez's contract expire. 

Adam Martinez, whose son was at Robb on May 24 but was not inside the classroom the gunman attacked, said he's angry the school board nixed the review without soliciting parents' input. 

"They're making decisions but they're not engaging with us," he said. "They're not reaching out to us. That's not going to make us feel safe and we're not really going to trust them." 

Since the shooting, Martinez has started an organization bent on holding school leaders and others accountable for the tragedy. 

Martinez and Rizo each promised Monday's school board meeting will be well-attended. 

"You may have just woken a monster," Rizo said. 

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