Texas DPS chief rejects claims of cover-up in Uvalde investigation and denies telling his captains 'no one is losing their jobs'

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Brownsville, Texas CNN  — 

Texas’ apical bull Col. Steven McCraw vowed Thursday to occurrence immoderate subordinate of his Department of Public Safety who did not bash their occupation the time a gunman massacred 19 children and 2 teachers astatine Robb Elementary successful Uvalde.

His pledge came aft CNN tracked him down and confronted him with minutes of an interior gathering wherever helium is recorded arsenic telling road patrol captains the other – that “no 1 is losing their jobs” implicit the inept instrumentality enforcement response.

Col. Steven McCraw, photographed extracurricular  Robb Elementary School successful  May, pledged to conscionable   with victims' families erstwhile   helium  had capable   answers for them.

He told CNN Thursday that “no 1 gets a pass,” reiterating a nationalist committedness from August 4 that determination would beryllium an interior review of the actions taken by each 91 DPS officers who responded to the schoolhouse shooting.

But astatine the Texas Highway Patrol captains’ gathering little than 2 weeks aboriginal connected August 15 and 16, the minutes obtained by CNN papers him saying: “And ohio by the way, nary 1 is losing their jobs. Quite the contrary, each leaders successful Region 3 did what they were expected to bash and person stepped up to conscionable the moment.”

While confirming overmuch of the accusation attributed to him successful the memorandum, McCraw said helium was misquoted connected the anticipation of firings and his comments lone referenced Victor Escalon, a DPS determination director.

“I reviewed his actions, and there’s thing helium could’ve done different than what helium did,” McCraw said. “I did a bid decision, and Victor Escalon is not going to beryllium fired, period.”

Some enactment has been taken already this week. Two DPS officers who were connected country astatine Robb Elementary were suspended with pay and referred for ceremonial probe by the inspector general, and 3 much were besides to beryllium investigated, the section said.

It’s not known what actions by the officers prompted the escalation; nary has been identified publicly.

And McCraw repeated that helium could not springiness retired much accusation – contempt the clamor of bereaved families, residents and their representatives – due to the fact that the section territory lawyer had requested him not to. He has acknowledged that the transgression probe could instrumentality years.

A conjugation of quality organizations including CNN is suing the DPS for records relating to the investigation that person been withheld from the media and public.

In the exclusive interrogation McCraw said helium would himself resign if his unit was shown to person culpability for the botched effect that near the shooter with dormant and dying victims for 74 minutes portion hundreds of officers from aggregate forces arrived connected country and did not situation him.

“First of all, there’s nary cover-up. And the bottommost enactment is arsenic soon arsenic we can, we’ll merchandise everything,” helium said, speaking to CNN earlier a gathering successful Brownsville.

“When we get the quality to travel speech to you, I’ll spell enactment by enactment successful presumption of what trooper did what … what DPS officer. We’ll beryllium wholly transparent,” McCraw said. “The nationalist volition person it – they’ll person excruciating details successful presumption of what we did, erstwhile we did it and those gaps.”

He pledged: “I’ll beryllium the archetypal to resign, I’ll gladly resign, I’ll tender my resignation to the politician if I deliberation determination is immoderate culpability successful the Department of Public Safety. Period.”

When asked if helium would conscionable with the families who inactive person galore questions, much than 3 months aft the killings, McCraw said helium would. But helium added, “What I privation is to person answers, right. I don’t person answers until the inspector general’s probe is completed.”

He continued: “We’re not going to springiness anybody an accidental to undermine the transgression investigation.”

In effect to the connection that “no 1 is losing their jobs,” the families of respective victims said successful a associated effect they were “disheartened and aggravated to hear” that McCraw believed his officers “stepped up to conscionable the moment.” The families said the information that determination has lone been enactment against 5 DPS officers is simply a “slap successful the face.”

The connection added the families person not met with the DPS to sermon the investigation, “primarily due to the fact that the invitation has ne'er been extended.”

“We person been calling for transparency and accountability since time 1 and the DPS Chief’s leaked connection does thing to instill successful america the spot that that volition happen,” the connection added.

McCraw has not fixed immoderate extended interviews since the May 24 atrocity, though helium became a nationalist look of the instrumentality enforcement effect successful the days aft – archetypal astatine a array with Texas Gov. Greg Abbott erstwhile the efforts of officers were praised and past astatine a aboriginal quality league and Texas Senate grounds erstwhile helium called the cognition an “abject failure” and placed blasted connected schoolhouse constabulary main Pedro “Pete” Arredondo.

Arredondo has since been fired by the schoolhouse district. Arredondo has said he did not see himself the incidental commander astatine the schoolhouse and a connection from his lawyer has called for him to beryllium reinstated.

McCraw’s comments enactment him successful the mediate of the vastly changing communicative that laid him and his section unfastened to disapproval by the Uvalde mayor, families and others crossed the nation.

He told CNN that, with the payment of hindsight, helium mightiness person done things otherwise but said helium felt that the grounds needed to beryllium corrected.

“I did a property league connected that Friday due to the fact that I felt it was important, due to the fact that radical are nether the content … determination was a brave, heroic instrumentality enforcement effect [and it] was thing but that. It was an abject failure, plain and simple,” helium said.

There shouldn’t person been immoderate solemnisation that officers evacuated children, arsenic that occupation could person been done by teachers, helium said.

And helium said that spot had been breached betwixt his DPS officers and the section departments and agencies, whom they often assistance successful large incidents.

“The paradigm is gone,” helium said, referring to however officers were told it was a substance of a barricaded taxable talking to negotiators and not an equipped antheral with victims.

“We can’t judge that until we’re perfectly sure,” helium told CNN.

McCraw said his ain officers were horrified erstwhile they realized what had happened successful Uvalde connected May 24.

“We’re retired determination doing perimeter work nether the content [it’s a barricaded suspect] – I can’t archer you however sick they are to seeing each of a abrupt children are being brought retired that are dead,” helium said.

“That is an interaction that these troops volition person to unrecorded with the remainder of their lives due to the fact that they were there. And I warrant you if they had known, they’d person been successful there.”

New procedures outlined to DPS by McCraw successful a missive successful July that was released publically this week accidental officers should present “overcome immoderate hold to neutralizing an attacker” astatine a school.

At the gathering with his captains successful August, helium said DPS should stay vigilant for wide attacks and asked them to stock immoderate ideas to amended top-down communication.

Earlier successful the session, helium discussed staffing issues and said DPS was requesting $466 cardinal to commencement a “state of the creation sprout location … resembling a school.” The full outgo of the installation that would beryllium utilized for grooming would beryllium $1.4 billion, the minutes show.

While helium has not spent clip successful Uvalde since the contiguous aftermath, McCraw said helium was affected too. “It was it was horrific, and anybody that’s been successful that gathering oregon been progressive successful this successful immoderate way, signifier oregon signifier volition ne'er beryllium the aforesaid again.”

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