Uvalde: The new face of policing
Anyone shocked by the behavior of the Uvalde P.D. during last week's mass shooting — in which dozens of officers milled around doing nothing (if not worse) while helpless victims were murdered — has to come to terms with the simple fact that this is the face of the new policing in the 21st century.
The story grows worse with each new detail. Cops took nearly twenty minutes to get to the school in a ten-minute-wide town. Once there, they entered the school, took some fire resulting in minor injuries, and fled — no Fallujah vets here. Outside, they harassed, attacked, and arrested fearful parents begging them to do their jobs. At some point, a number of off-duty Border Patrolmen arrived but were denied permission to engage. As many as eighteen locals finally entered the school, but their tac chief decided it had transformed into a "barricade situation," which, according to the book, evidently means that no action is necessary, so instead, they moped about in the hallway. At last, after an hour and a quarter — not forty-five minutes, not an hour — the Border cops took matters into their own hands (one of them armed with a shotgun he borrowed from his barber), burst into the room, and finished the shooter off.
During that entire tract of time, the gunman was executing children, which we know from the phone records of calls from within the classroom.
The DoJ has pledged to look into it — yes, that DoJ, which means we're unlikely to get any useful answers. But the answer to the major question — why? — is perfectly evident: it happened now because it happened before.
Some of us recall the summer of 2020, when Seattle, Portland, Minneapolis, and several other cities were ravaged by anarchists and related trash while the cops, under orders from the various city halls, stood by and watched. It can't be said that they were defending nothing, because all the time they were defending something very important: their pensions.
Some of us can even recall the Parkland School shooting in Florida, when a misfit shot up a school while school resource officer Scot Peterson cowered under an outside stairwell and refused to go in. Chief Scott Israel spent the next several weeks blustering, accusing everybody under the sun except Peterson and himself. It didn't save his job — or, presumably his pension.
But it goes back even farther than that, and beyond school shootings. In Cheshire, Connecticut on July 23, 2007, two felons decided to take down a well-to-do family under the impression that they were hiding riches galore in their home (an old story that goes back to the Clutters of In Cold Blood fame). After beating William Petit half to death, the goons, finding no money in the home, forced Jennifer Hawke-Petit to accompany one of them to the bank, where she withdrew $15,000. At the same time, she succeeded in alerting the teller.
Local cops arrived in good time, only to be ordered to blockade the neighborhood and remain in place. There they sat for 45 minutes while their chief carefully assured that everything was being done exactly according to the book. (There's that number again — 45 minutes. Is that in the handbook, too, I wonder?)
During that period, Jennifer Hawke-Petit was raped and strangled. This proved a mercy, since it meant that she didn't have to witness her two young daughters being soaked in gasoline and burned alive.
The cops can't even be said to have captured the perps, who slammed into a patrol car while fleeing.
That was it. Nothing was done. Nobody was disciplined. No investigation was ever carried out. It just became, very quietly, the standard for current police operations, as we have seen in Seattle, Parkland, and Uvalde. No doubt the same has occurred elsewhere and has been slipped into the memory hole so that we peasants don't become confused and ask questions.
But the United States is not Europe. We don't sit and whimper when the elites let us down. Traditionally, the response to a collapse in public order has been Committees of Vigilance, long disparaged as "vigilantes." It's a curious fact that several of the most notable vigilance committees — in San Francisco, 1857; Bannock, Montana, 1863; and Athens, Tennessee, 1946 — targeted corrupt law enforcement.
It's too much to say, as an acquaintance did, that "we've got the Second Amendment to shoot cops who refuse to rescue kids." But Uvalde marks an inflection point. The next time will not be the same. Things will be very different — and God help the cop who fails to get out of the way.
Image: Public Domain.