Assclown Alert: Calling the Uvalde police response a failure doesn't let DPS's Steven McCraw off the hook

It's telling that State Sen. Roland Gutierrez sued DPS to demand it release information about the law-enforcement response to the shooting.

DPS Director Steven McCraw speaks at a press conference. - Facebook / Texas Department of Public Safety
Facebook / Texas Department of Public Safety
DPS Director Steven McCraw speaks at a press conference.

Assclown Alert is a column of opinion, analysis and snark.

It would be hard to find anyone willing to disagree with Texas Department of Public Safety Director Steven McCraw's description of the police response to last month's Uvalde school shooting as an "abject failure." Phrases like "shit show," "profound tragedy" and "national embarrassment" also come to mind.

But McCraw's willingness to state the obvious in testimony last week before a Texas Senate committee doesn't clear him from responsibility. Nor does the growing evidence suggesting Uvalde CISD Police Chief Pete Arredondo, the on-site commander, botched the response so badly it would be laughable had 19 children and two teachers not died.

No, there's plenty of blame to go around. While it's a safe bet at least some will fall on McCraw before the dust clears, it's hard to know precisely how much. He and his department have shown little interest in transparency around their handling of the shooting.

In the massacre's aftermath, McCraw was a full-fledged participant in the bumbling game of "he said, she said" that prevented the public from fully understanding what transpired. Within a week, DPS stopped holding public briefings after details shared by both McCraw and Gov. Greg Abbott turned out to be wrong.

Indeed, McCraw's Senate committee appearance didn't take place until nearly a month after the shooting. Further, his explanation in testimony why the 91 DPS troopers at the scene didn't take command from Arredondo sounded like a trite cop-out. In essence, McCraw's excuse boiled down to this: violating procedure at a crime scene is a bad idea.

Even if means saving the lives of kids trapped in a classroom with a homicidal gunman? Give us a fucking break.

It's telling that a day after McCraw's testimony, State Sen. Roland Gutierrez sued DPS, demanding the release of information the lawmaker sought in a May 31 open records request about the police presence and ballistics at the crime scene.

McCraw's department had 10 business days to respond or make a case to the AG's office. Gutierrez's suit argues it did neither.

A word of advice to McCraw: just because you called someone else as an assclown in public testimony doesn't mean there's not greasepaint under the collar of your DPS uniform and a red rubber nose in your pocket.

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Sanford Nowlin

Sanford Nowlin is editor-in-chief of the San Antonio Current.

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