kunc-header-1440x90.png
NPR for Northern Colorado
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00
0:00
Available On Air Stations

Justice Department launches review of law enforcement's response in Uvalde

Attorney General Merrick Garland, third from left, speaks to announce a team to conduct a critical incident review of the shooting in Uvalde, Texas, during a media availability at the Department of Justice , Wednesday, June 8, 2022, in Washington.
Alex Brandon
/
AP
Attorney General Merrick Garland, third from left, speaks to announce a team to conduct a critical incident review of the shooting in Uvalde, Texas, during a media availability at the Department of Justice , Wednesday, June 8, 2022, in Washington.

Top Justice Department officials, including Attorney General Merrick Garland, announced on Wednesday they had launched an incident review of the mass shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas.

The goal of the review is to provide an independent account of law enforcement actions and responses during the shooting that killed 19 students and two teachers. It is not a criminal probe and will not result in any penalties for police in Uvalde.

"Nothing can undo the pain that has been inflicted on the loved ones of the victims, the survivors and the entire community of Uvalde," Garland said. "But the Justice Department can and will use its expertise and independence to assess what happened and provide guidance moving forward."

Since the May 24 shooting, locals in Uvalde and people around the country have criticized law enforcement's response, which many cast as too slow.

Law enforcement experts are already on the ground in Texas. They plan to review documents, interview law enforcement officers, and consult with families of victims and survivors. Along with looking into policies, training, communications, deployment and incident command issues, the reviewers will also go over survivor and victim family support and resources.

The Justice Department said the review will be used to identify lessons learned, help develop best practices for first responders, and lay out measures for community safety and engagement before, during and after shootings.

There's no set timetable for the process but the department said it will move "as expeditiously as possible" in the development of a report that will be published at the completion.

The experts tapped to conduct the review include retired public safety officials from places that experienced mass shootings, such as Virginia Tech and Orange County, Fla., as well as an FBI unit chief.

Copyright 2022 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.