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Uvalde report: 376 officers but ‘egregiously poor’ decisions

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Uvalde Report: 376 Officers But ‘Egregiously Poor’ Decisions

By JAKE BLEIBERG and PAUL J. WEBER

UVALDE, Texas (AP) — Nearly 400 law enforcement officials rushed to a mass shooting at a Uvalde elementary school, but “egregiously poor decision-making” resulted in more than an hour of chaos before the gunman who took 21 lives was finally confronted and killed, according to a damning investigative report released Sunday.

The nearly 80-page report was the first to criticize both state and federal law enforcement, and not just local authorities in the South Texas town for the bewildering inaction by heavily armed officers as a gunman fired inside two fourth-grade classrooms at Robb Elementary School, killing 19 students and two teachers.

“At Robb Elementary, law enforcement responders failed to adhere to their active shooter training, and they failed to prioritize saving innocent lives over their own safety,” the report said.

The gunman fired approximately 142 rounds inside the building — and it is “almost certain” that at least 100 shots came before any officer entered, according to the report, which laid out in damning detail numerous failures. Among them:

— The commander of a Border Patrol tactical team waited for a bullet-proof shield and working master key for the classroom, which may have not even been needed, before entering the classroom.

— No one assumed command despite scores of officers being on the scene.

— A Uvalde Police Department officer said he heard about 911 calls that had come from inside the classroom, and that his understanding was the officers on one side of the building knew there were victims trapped inside. Still, no one tried to breach the classroom.

The report — the most complete account yet of the hesitant and haphazard response to the May 24 massacre — was written by an investigative committee from the Texas House of Representatives. Swiftly, the findings set in motion at least one fallout: Lt. Mariano Pargas, a Uvalde Police Department officer who was the city’s acting police chief during the massacre, was placed on administrative leave.

Uvalde Mayor Don McLaughlin said an investigation would be launched to determine whether Pargas should have taken command of the scene. McLaughlin also said the city would now release all body camera footage from Uvalde police that was taken during the shooting.

McLaughlin said “a couple, maybe three” officers have left the force since the shooting, and that suicides are “a big concern.”

Family members of the victims in Uvalde received copies of the report Sunday before it was released to the public.

“It’s a joke. They’re a joke. They’ve got no business wearing a badge. None of them do,” Vincent Salazar, grandfather of 11-year-old Layla Salazar, who was among those killed, said Sunday.

According to the report, 376 law enforcement officers massed at the school. The overwhelming majority of those who responded were federal and state law enforcement. That included nearly 150 U.S. Border Patrol agents and 91 state police officials.

“Other than the attacker, the Committee did not find any ‘villains’ in the course of its investigation,” the report said. “There is no one to whom we can attribute malice or ill motives. Instead, we found systemic failures and egregiously poor decision making.”

The report noted that many of the hundreds of law enforcement responders who rushed to the school were better trained and equipped than the school district police — which the head of the Texas Department of Public Safety, the state police force, previously faulted for not going into the room sooner.

Investigators said it was not their job to determine whether officers should be held accountable, saying that decisions rests with each law enforcement agency. Prior to Sunday, only one of the hundreds of officers on the scene — Pete Arredondo, the Uvalde school district police chief — was known to have been on leave.

“Everyone who came on the scene talked about this being chaotic,” said Texas state Rep. Burrows, a Republican who led the investigation.

Officials with the Texas Department of Public Safety and U.S. Border Patrol did not immediately return requests for comment Sunday.

The report followed weeks of closed-door interviews with more than 40 people, including witnesses and law enforcement who were on the scene of the shooting.

No single officer has received as much scrutiny since the shooting as Arredondo, who also resigned from his newly appointed seat on the City Council after the shooting. Arredondo told the committee he treated the shooter as “barricaded subject,” according to the report, and defended never treating the scene as an active-shooter situation because he did not have visual contact with the gunman.

Arredondo also tried to find a key for the classrooms, but no one ever bothered to see if the doors were locked, according to the report.

“Arredondo’s search for a key consumed his attention and wasted precious time, delaying the breach of the classrooms,” the report read.

The report criticized as “lackadaisical” the approach of the hundreds of officers who surrounded the school and said that they should have recognized that Arredondo remaining in the school without reliable communication was “inconsistent” with him being the scene commander. The report concluded that some officers waited because they relied on bad information while others “had enough information to know better.”

A nearly 80-minute hallway surveillance video published by the Austin American-Statesman in the past week publicly showed for the first time a hesitant and haphazard tactical response, which the head of Texas’ state police has condemned as a failure and some Uvalde residents have blasted as cowardly.

Calls for police accountability have grown in Uvalde since the shooting. So far, only one officer from the scene of the deadliest school shooting in Texas history is known to be on leave.

The report is the result of one of several investigations into the shooting, including another led by the Justice Department. A report earlier this month by tactical experts at Texas State University alleged that a Uvalde police officer had a chance to stop the gunman before he went inside the school armed with an AR-15.

But in an example of the conflicting statements and disputed accounts since the shooting, McLaughlin has said that never happened. That report had been done at the request of the Texas Department of Public Safety, which McLaughlin has increasingly criticized and accused of trying to minimize the role of its troopers during the massacre.

Steve McCraw, the head of Texas DPS, has called the police response an abject failure.

The committee didn’t “receive medical evidence” to show that police breaching the classroom sooner would have saved lives, but it concluded that “it is plausible that some victims could have survived if they had not had to wait 73 additional minutes for rescue.”

Michael Brown, whose 9-year-old son was in the cafeteria at Robb Elementary on the day of the shooting and survived, came to the committee’s news conference Sunday carrying signs saying “ We Want Accountability” and “Prosecute Pete Arredondo.”

Brown said he has not yet read the report but already knows enough to say that police “have blood on their hands.”

“It’s disgusting. Disgusting,” he said. “They’re cowards.”

____

Weber reported from Austin, Texas.

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Twins cap 1-4 road trip with loss to Angels

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Twins Cap 1-4 Road Trip With Loss To Angels

ANAHEIM, Calif. — The Twins departed for their week in Southern California with a razor thin one-game lead in their division.

After a disappointing week in which they went 1-4 against the Los Angeles Dodgers and Los Angeles Angels, the Twins have been surpassed by the Cleveland Guardians in the division and caught by the Chicago White Sox.

The Twins will head home after a 4-2 loss to the Angels Sunday, the second straight game in which they did not record a hit with runners in scoring position. With 49 games left in the season, the Twins now trail the Guardians by 2 ½ games in the division and are tied with the White Sox.

Sunday’s loss didn’t feature the dramatics of the night before. Instead, it was more of the sleepy loss, in which the Twins did not score a run after the first inning when Byron Buxton hit his 28th home run of the year out to right-center field, a two-run blast.

They followed up a day in which they went 0-for-14 with runners in scoring position with one in which they went just 0-for-4, finishing with just five hits on the day.

The Angels tagged starter Chris Archer for three runs in his four-inning outing, knotting the game up in the third inning with a Luis Rengifo double that plated two and taking the lead for good an inning later on a Kurt Suzuki sacrifice fly.

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Mike Preston’s Ravens observations on secondary surplus, Lamar Jackson’s red-zone improvement and more

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Mike Preston'S Ravens Observations On Secondary Surplus, Lamar Jackson'S Red-Zone Improvement And More

The Ravens already had a surplus of talent in the secondary at the start of training camp, but it increased significantly with the emergence of rookie cornerbacks Jalyn Armour-Davis and Damarion Williams.

They have eight cornerbacks on the current roster, including Pro Bowl entertainers Marlon Humphrey and Marcus Peters, proven veterans like Daryl Worley, Kyle Fuller, David Vereen and Robert Jackson, and sophomore Brandon Stephens, who can play at both safe and corner.

The Ravens will most likely keep six, which means Armour-Davis and Williams will likely force defensive coordinator Mike Macdonald to make tough decisions for the initial 53-man roster.

“It’s a big problem to have,” said Macdonald, in his first season as team coordinator. “We always say, ‘you can’t have enough corners.’ The short answer is that it’s going to be very difficult.

So far, Armour-Davis and Williams, both fourth-round picks in the April draft, have played well enough to earn spots in the roster. They’re fast, attack well, have good recovery speed and, most importantly, they have the versatility – an ability to play inside or outside, as well as special teams – which the Ravens have. need in secondary school.

“Special teams ability will definitely play a big role,” Macdonald said.

Red zone consistency

Quarterback Lamar Jackson has become more consistent throwing in the red zone, putting the ball in a position where only his receiver can catch.

That doesn’t sound like much, but it’s essential. Few NFL quarterbacks have done it as well as Tampa Bay quarterback Tom Brady.

But in practice Sunday, Jackson placed three balls perfectly, including one to sliding tight end Mark Andrews and another to wide receiver Rashod Bateman on a quick tilt.

Cleveland is progressing

It looks like second-year guard Ben Cleveland is finally in shape after repeatedly failing his fitness tests, which barred him from participating in the early days of training camp.

Cleveland, a 2021 third-round pick, did a good job blocking a run against the Titans on Thursday night, and he certainly has more explosion and better feet than he did a year ago.

But he faces an uphill battle to start as starter Ben Powers and substitute Tire Phillips have also improved. It’s a good problem to have.

False start frustration

It’s obvious coach John Harbaugh was irritated after the Ravens had multiple false start penalties on Thursday night, and now he’s forcing players to run a short lap if they jump before the ball is snapped.

Rookie right offensive tackle Daniel Faalele, who has improved dramatically since off-season minicamp, still struggles with conditioning and often tires towards the end of practice, which is why he tends to get beaten or jump offside. It’s a lack of focus.

There was a tongue-in-cheek moment from Faalele on Sunday. Immediately after being penalized, he was seen jogging on the sidelines as the AC/DC song “Highway to Hell” rumbled through the speakers.

He means well

There’s no certainty that eighth-year outside linebacker Steven Means will make the roster, but few play that hard. He’ll run, chase and stalk a quarterback all over the field until he’s struggling to breathe.

He has a good first step and a strong explosion on first contact, but that could be a numbers game for Means. Either way, a team will give him an opportunity if the Ravens let him go.

Before every practice, Means, 31, is always one of the first players on the pitch to work on his technique.

Andrews in the clutch

When you watch Andrews train, it just gives you confidence that he’s going to make a big play in critical time. He snatched almost every pass thrown his way during training camp.

Confidence isn’t as strong when it comes to Bateman. He’ll make some amazing plays, like taking a quick takedown from Jackson, evading a tackle from defensive back Kevin Seymour and turning it into a 40-yard touchdown.

But earlier in practice, he had a one-on-one with rookie safety Kyle Hamilton, whom he had beaten by two steps, then dropped a long Jackson touchdown pass.

It just leaves you shaking your head.

Veteran leadership

It’s always fun to watch a veteran player like defensive end Calais Campbell or outside linebacker Justin Houston run 30 yards down the field to catch a ball carrier or try to knock the ball out of their arms.

Young players love it, which is a big part of why Campbell, Houston, guard Kevin Zeitler, linebacker Josh Bynes and Peters are on the roster.

The Ravens have a key veteran in almost every position group, and it’s fading.

injury report

Tight end Nick Boyle returned to practice after missing Saturday’s practice. Running back JK Dobbins missed his second straight day in what Harbaugh called scheduled knee evaluations.

Wide receivers James Near II (soft tissue), Tylan Wallace (knee) and rookie Bailey Gaither were also absent; offensive tackle David Sharpe and rookie center Tyler Linderbaum (foot); and defensive lineman Justin Madubuike (migraine).

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Google celebrates India’s Independence Day with eye-catching kites

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Google Celebrates India'S Independence Day With Eye-Catching Kites

India celebrates Independence Day: India will mark its 75th year of independence.

New Delhi:

Google today commemorated the independence day of the world’s largest democracy with an illustrated doodle by Kerala-based guest artist Neethi.

The Doodle shows India celebrating 75 years of independence with kites that symbolize that the country has reached great heights.

In 1947, India broke free from British colonial rulers after a long struggle. Independence Day is a national holiday to commemorate and remember the sacrifice of the freedom fighters who fought for the independence of our country.

Independence Day 2022 Doodle” represents the culture around kites – from the art of creating beautiful, glowing kites, to the joyous experience of a community coming together. The vast expanse of brilliantly dappled skies of soaring kites are a colorful symbol of the great heights we have reached. The GIF animation adds dynamism and brings the doodle to life.”

On the doodle, artist Neethi said one of our fondest memories, the centuries-old tradition of kite flying was an integral part of Indian Independence Day festivities.

“Kites are also an outlet for artistic expression – many of them carry fashionable designs or even social messages. I have designed kites representing our national colors, a message of love and commemorating 75 years of India’s independence. They fly as high as skyscrapers, birds and I’d like to believe the sun,” he said.

Several events were organized this year under the banner “Azadi ka Amrit Mohatsav”, to celebrate India’s Independence Day with the theme “Nation First, Always First”.

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Padma Lakshmi ‘hopes for quick recovery’ for ex Salman Rushdie

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Padma Lakshmi 'Hopes For Quick Recovery' For Ex Salman Rushdie

On August 12, Salman was preparing to speak at an event at the Chautauqua facility in Chautauqua, NY, when an assailant rushed onto the stage and stabbed him approximately 12 times in areas such as his face, neck, abdomen and chest, a district attorney’s office spokesperson told NBC News. The perpetrator was airlifted to hospital and the suspect was arrested and charged with attempted murder and assault.

Zafar continued: “We are very grateful to all members of the public who bravely stood up for him and administered first aid along with the police and doctors who cared for him and for the outpouring of love and support from the world. We ask for continued patience and privacy as the family gathers at his bedside to support him and help him through this time.”

Padma was Salman’s fourth wife. He was previously married to Zafar’s mother, Clarisse Luard, Elizabeth West—with whom he shares a 23-year-old son, Milan Rushdieand Marianne Wiggins.

The stabbed suspect, a New Jersey man Hadi Matarpleaded not guilty to charges of attempted second degree murder and second degree assault.

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Mike Preston’s Ravens observations on the secondary surplus, Lamar Jackson’s red zone improvement and more | COMMENTARY

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Mike Preston’s Ravens Observations On The Secondary Surplus, Lamar Jackson’s Red Zone Improvement And More | Commentary

The Ravens already had a surplus of talent in the secondary at the start of training camp, but it has grown significantly with the emergence of rookie cornerbacks Jalyn Armour-Davis and Damarion Williams.

They have eight cornerbacks on the current roster, including Pro Bowl performers Marlon Humphrey and Marcus Peters, proven veterans like Daryl Worley, Kyle Fuller, David Vereen and Robert Jackson, and second-year player Brandon Stephens, who can play both safety and corner.

The Ravens most likely will keep six, meaning Armour-Davis and Williams will likely force defensive coordinator Mike Macdonald to make some difficult decisions for the initial 53-man roster.

“It’s a great problem to have,” said Macdonald, in his first season as the team’s coordinator. “We always say, ‘you can’t have enough corners.’ The short answer is, it’s going to be very tough.”

So far, Armour-Davis and Williams, both fourth-round picks in April’s draft, have played well enough to earn roster spots. They are fast, tackle well, have good recovery speed and most importantly, they have the versatility — an ability to play inside or outside, as well as special teams — that the Ravens crave in the secondary.

“Special teams ability will definitely play a big part of it,” Macdonald said.

Red zone consistency

Quarterback Lamar Jackson has become more consistent throwing in the red zone, putting the ball in a position where only his receiver can make the catch.

That doesn’t sound like much, but it’s critical. Few quarterbacks in the NFL have done it as well as Tampa Bay quarterback Tom Brady.

But in practice Sunday, Jackson placed three balls perfectly, including one to a sliding tight end Mark Andrews and another to wide receiver Rashod Bateman on a quick slant in.

Cleveland making progress

It appears that second-year guard Ben Cleveland is finally getting into proper shape after failing his conditioning tests several times, which prohibited him from participating in the early days of training camp.

Cleveland, a 2021 third-round pick, did a nice job of run blocking against the Titans Thursday night, and he certainly has more explosion and better feet than he did a year ago.

But he faces an uphill battle to start because starter Ben Powers and backup Tyre Phillips have improved, too. It’s a good problem to have.

False start frustration

It’s apparent coach John Harbaugh was irritated after the Ravens had several false start penalties Thursday night, and now he’s making players jog a short lap if they jump before the ball is snapped.

Rookie right offensive tackle Daniel Faalele, who has improved significantly since offseason minicamp, still struggles with conditioning and often gets tired near the end of practice, which accounts for why he tends to get beat or jump offside. It’s a lack of focus.

There was an ironic Faalele moment Sunday. Immediately after he was penalized, he was seen jogging on the sideline as the AC/DC song “Highway to Hell” blared over the speakers.

He Means well

There is no certainty that outside linebacker Steven Means, in his eighth season, will make the roster, but few play as hard. He will run, chase and stalk a quarterback all over the field until he has trouble breathing.

He has a good first step and strong explosion upon first contact, but it might be a numbers game for Means. Regardless, some team will give him an opportunity if the Ravens let him go.

Before each practice, Means, 31, is always one of the first players on the field working on his technique.

Andrews in the clutch

When you watch Andrews practice, it just gives you confidence that he is going to make a big play in crunch time. He’s snatched almost every pass thrown his way during training camp.

The confidence isn’t as strong when it comes to Bateman. He’ll make some amazing plays, like taking a quick out from Jackson, escaping a tackle from defensive back Kevin Seymour and turning it into a 40-yard touchdown.

But earlier in the practice he had a one-on-one with rookie safety Kyle Hamilton, whom he had beaten by two steps, and then he dropped a long touchdown pass from Jackson.

It just leaves you shaking your head.

Veteran leadership

It’s always fun to watch a veteran player like defensive end Calais Campbell or outside linebacker Justin Houston run 30 yards down the field to catch a ball carrier or attempt to strip the ball from his arms.

The younger players like that, which is a huge part of the reason Campbell, Houston, guard Kevin Zeitler, linebacker Josh Bynes and Peters are on the roster.

The Ravens have a key veteran in almost every position group, and that stuff rubs off.

Injury report

Tight end Nick Boyle returned to practice after missing Saturday’s session. Running back J.K. Dobbins missed his second straight day as part of what Harbaugh called scheduled knee evaluations.

Also missing were wide receivers James Proche II (soft tissue), Tylan Wallace (knee) and rookie Bailey Gaither; offensive tackle David Sharpe and rookie center Tyler Linderbaum (foot); and defensive lineman Justin Madubuike (migraine).

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Worcester man killed in I-290 hit-and-run

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Truck Driver Acquitted In 2019 Nh Biker Deaths

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State police said the man was likely struck by multiple vehicles.

A Worcester man was killed Saturday night in a hit-and-run accident on I-290 in Worcester.

Massachusetts State Police said in a news release Sunday that around 11:30 p.m. Saturday they responded to a report that a pedestrian was struck on I-290 westbound west of the exit. 20, in Worcester.

At the scene, troopers determined the victim, a 27-year-old man from Worcester, had been struck by multiple vehicles and died, state police said.

State police said their preliminary investigation indicated the man was struck by an unknown vehicle, possibly a tractor-trailer. They said he was then likely hit by other vehicles.

State police said evidence indicates none of the vehicles involved in the man’s impact stopped, but it’s unclear whether the drivers knew they had hit a nobody.

The accident is still under investigation by state and local police. Anyone with information about the accident is asked to call 508-829-8410.

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