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Uvalde Police Chief Abruptly Resigns After Controversial Report Clearing Cops

City of Uvalde
City of Uvalde

Uvalde Police Chief Daniel Rodriguez, who was skewered for his department’s response to the mass shooting that killed 19 at Robb Elementary School in 2022, announced Tuesday he’s resigning from the department after 26 years.

It’s a shock resignation, coming days after an independent probe determined his department’s response did not run afoul of any policies—a finding that stoked new outrage among the loved ones of those killed and city officials.

Rodriguez’s announcement came just hours before that report was slated to be discussed by city commissioners and the public in a much-anticipated council meeting on Tuesday in the southwest Texas town. His final day will be April 6.

Uvalde Cops Cleared of Wrongdoing in Independent Report Acknowledging ‘Many Failures’

Uvalde police have been grilled by victims’ loved ones, federal investigators, and local media for their inaction on May 24, 2022. That’s when officers held back parents but never stormed a Robb Elementary classroom to confront an 18-year-old gunman, who was unchallenged for 77 minutes while he massacred young children and teachers. That killer, Salvador Ramos, was only stopped after border patrol agents stormed the classroom and killed him, with Uvalde cops not entering until Ramos was killed.

While still at the center of the scandal, Rodriguez had been given some leeway by critics because he was vacationing in Arizona on the day of the shooting.

In announcing his resignation, Rodriguez made no mention of the independent report or Robb Elementary. He said he was looking forward to a “new chapter.”

“After much contemplation and consideration, I believe it is time for me to embark on a new chapter in my career,” he said. “I have had the privilege of serving the City of Uvalde and its residents for the past 26 years, and it has been an honor to lead the dedicated men and women of our police department.”

City officials offered a similar statement, thanking Rodriguez for his service but making no mention of the mass shooting. Rodriguez will be replaced in the interim by his assistant chief, Homer Delgado.

Uvalde Report Makes Clear That Top Texas Cop Must Step Down

It’s unclear if Rodriguez will be present at Tuesday’s council meeting, which is expected to focus largely on the independent report filed by the private investigator Jesse Prado.

That report contradicted the findings of federal investigators, who wrote in their own report in January that it was “cascading failures” by Uvalde officers that contributed to the tragedy’s death count.

The feds’ report harshly criticized Uvalde Police Lt. Mariano Pargas, the acting chief on the day of the shooting, pinning much of the blame for the officers’ inaction on him.

Victims’ loved ones had come out hard against Rodriguez in recent months, however, after he doled out no punishment to the officers who sat inactive on the day of the massacre—something many decried was egregious enough for them to be fired.

Rodriguez was also called a liar for trying to cover up his department’s failures that day, with him claiming after the shooting that “our officers responded within minutes.”

Read more at The Daily Beast.

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