No One is Above the Law

A recent letter asserts the inaction by authorities present during the horrific Robb Elementary School mass shooting in Uvalde, Texas was due to fear of litigation and lack of public support.


The letter writer asks: "In this environment of “defund the police,” and the talk about stripping the police of protection from liability while doing their job, it’s no wonder they are scared to death to take any action whatsoever for fear they will either be sued or charged criminally. Can you blame them?"


My response is yes, we can blame them.


The latest investigation into the shooting by the Investigative Committee on the Robb Elementary School Shooting concluded that "systemic failures and egregious poor decision making" were to blame. Nowhere in the report was the delay due to concern of litigation. This concern was neither expressed nor implied by any law enforcement officer on the scene; it is simply an unsupported assumption by the letter writer.


For those who are unaware, all officers receive “active shooter training” in Texas. The active shooter plan directs the chief of police to assume command and control of the response. The chief was one of the first responders on the scene. As determined by the report, the chief "failed to perform or to transfer to another person the role of incident commander." This "void of leadership could have contributed to the loss of life as injured victims waited over an hour for help, and the attacker continued to sporadically fire his weapon."


Now that we understand the root cause of the delay, a failure of command by the chief and by the leadership of other responding agencies, the true intent, of the letter was to question the legitimacy and efficacy of holding law enforcement officers responsible for their actions.


The simple answer to that is: no one is above the law. Not law enforcement officers; not even the President of the United States.


Ronald Berg

Hernando

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