top of page

Welcome to Crime and Justice News

Texas DPS Chief Steve McCraw Says His Agency 'Did Not Fail' Uvalde

Texas Department of Public Safety Director Steve McCraw said he would resign if his troopers had “any culpability” in the botched police response to the Uvalde school shooting. McCraw told families calling for his resignation Thursday that the agency has not failed as an institution, according to the Texas Tribune. “If DPS as an institution — as an institution — failed the families, failed the school, or failed the community of Uvalde, then absolutely I need to go,” McCraw said during a heated Public Safety Commission meeting. “But I can tell you this right now: DPS as an institution, right now, did not fail the community — plain and simple.” The remark was made at a hearing where several families of the 19 children who were killed spoke. At least three sets of relatives and state Sen. Roland Gutierrez addressed McCraw, sharing the pain they endure and castigating government officials who failed to release accurate and complete information about the shooting. “Typically when situations like this come up, you expect people to tell you the truth, to be transparent, to own up to their mistakes — nothing much to it,” said an uncle of Jackie Cazares, one of the children killed. “But every single time, it seemed like a lie after lie, misinformation, roadblock after roadblock. You can’t begin the healing process.”

McCraw pointed to an early mischaracterization of the incident as a barricaded suspect situation instead of an active-shooter situation, which a Texas House investigative committee later called “a terrible, tragic mistake.” McCraw said the incident should have always been treated as an active-shooter situation, “plain and simple," and said officers at the scene shouldn’t have waited for equipment to rescue children. Stopping the killing should have been the priority, he said. McCraw emphasized that the actions of the troopers who responded to the shooting remain under scrutiny and the investigation results are expected to be sent to prosecutors by the end of the year. McCraw agreed that his agency is not “without fault.” “This is an absolute tragedy and we’ll do what we can to support the community,” McCraw said. “I don’t expect ever — ever — forgiveness.” Relatives of the victims appeared infuriated. LivesRobbed, an organization formed by some of the families affected by the tragedy, issued a statement asking for DPS to provide an update on its investigation. “Instead, in a bait and switch, [DPS] hosted a glorified press conference and once again refused to accept responsibility for their failures,” the group said. “To be clear, the Department’s failures on that day are not up for debate. Our children are dead.”


Recent Posts

See All

A daily report co-sponsored by Arizona State University, Criminal Justice Journalists, and the National Criminal Justice Association

bottom of page