Former NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton says it is “staggering” how mishandled the Texas authorities have been in last week’s school shooting.
“I’ve never seen anything like it in all my years as a police officer,” Bratton said during an appearance on WABC 770’s “The Cats Roundtable,” which aired Sunday. “I have so much anger right now about how this was mishandled.”
Bratton – who has twice served as the Big Apple’s top police officer – said he was stunned that Texas police officers waited so long to enter Robb Elementary School on Tuesday while 18-year-old Salvador Ramos was inside and 19 Fourth graders and two teachers killed.
“To hear that some of those lives may have been saved. But obviously a wrong decision was made by a police chief with a police force of six tasked with responding to this horrific incident,” he told radio host John Catsimatidis. “It’s amazing and frustrating.”
Bratton, who also ran the Los Angeles and Boston police departments, said Texas authorities had failed to adopt the active shooter policy that was instituted after the 1999 Columbine High School mass shooting in Colorado.
“We learned a lot … from the Columbine tragedy many years ago,” he said.
“Apparently, unfortunately, as it unfolds, after all the things we’ve learned about this type of incident, the officer in charge, the chief of operations in this Texas incident, basically didn’t implement it,” Bratton continued. “He chose to keep those 19 officers out of the classroom.”
Meanwhile, “the misinformation being propagated by Texas government officials is overwhelming,” Bratton said.
The authorities of Uvalde came under intense scrutiny over their handling of the massacre. Police entered Robb Elementary School no more than 90 minutes after arriving on campus, where a deranged teenager fatally shot his innocent victims with an AR-15 assault rifle.
Bratton noticed the hero, an off-duty Customs and Border Protection agent from an elite tactical unit, who eventually fatally shot the gunman.
“We now know that there may have been an off-duty border guard sitting in a hair salon. And his wife is calling from school. She’s a teacher and she’s in the classroom with her daughter,” he said. “He grabs a shotgun from the barber shop, rushes to the school, goes to the back of the school… and saves a classroom of kids and his wife and daughter, despite the fact that there are 19 cops in another part of the school… in the hallways ahead.” the classroom where the shooter is hiding.
“The children]literally died during the [police] were at the door,” Bratton said. “How do you wrap your arms around that thing?”
His comments came as Texas State Senator Roland Gutierrez revealed on CNN that the mother of one of the young victims of the massacre remembered him as a first responder told her the child might have survived if police weren’t so slow would have penetrated murderer.
During Bratton’s radio interview, he said his “pride” in his profession was “diminished” by the Texas police response.
“I am very proud of my job, my previous job, the police. But that pride has been somewhat tempered this week by the mistreatment by Texas authorities,” the retired boss told Catsimatidis.
“This is one of the most troubled weeks I’ve experienced in my 50 years of American policing.”
Bratton isn’t alone in his frustration.
On Friday, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott fumed that he was “angry” that law enforcement had “misled him” about their response to the elementary school shooting. Abbott – who earlier last week praised police for their “quick response” to the mass shooting – said the initial information police gave him about it was inaccurate, leading him to release misleading details to the public on Wednesday .
Ramos fired at least 100 rounds and entered through an unlocked building door held open by a teacher, authorities said.
Police did not enter the classrooms until 78 minutes after the mass shooter, who had a history of violence against women, went in.
Days after the shooting, police revealed the existence of a series of harrowing 911 calls from multiple students while barricaded inside with the gunman, with one child imploring a dispatcher, “Please send the police now!”
The calls continued until shortly before Ramos’ death, suggesting people were still alive in the class, although authorities believed the massacre had halted.
A senior law enforcement official said police at the scene of the school shooting “made the wrong decision” as they waited to answer the door of the class where Ramos was with the children.
That decision was made because the commander at the scene called that the slaughter had moved from an active gunners situation to one with “barricaded suspects barricaded,” Col. Steven McCraw, director of the Texas Department of Public Safety, said during a news conference.
https://nypost.com/2022/05/29/ex-nypd-commish-bratton-slams-police-response-to-texas-massacre/ Ex-NYPD Commish Bratton slams police response to Texas massacre