News Briefs 7/18/22

REPORT: LAW ENFORCMENT HAD ‘EGREGIOUSLY POOR’ REPONSE TO UVALDE MASS SHOOTING: An investigative report released Sunday (July 17th) said that there was, quote, “egregiously poor decision-making” in the law enforcement response to the mass shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, on May 24th that left 19 students and two teachers dead, leading to more than an hour of chaos before the gunman was confronted and killed. The report from a Texas House of Representatives investigative committee criticized both state and federal law enforcement, not just the local Uvalde force. Despite 376 officers responding, including nearly 150 U.S. Border Patrol agents and 91 state police officials, the report said, “responders failed to adhere to their active shooter training, and they failed to prioritize saving innocent lives over their own safety.” It stated, “There is no one to whom we can attribute malice or ill motives. Instead, we found systemic failures and egregiously poor decision making.” Among the failutres: the commander of a Border Patrol tactical team waited for a bullet-proof shield and master key for the classroom, which may have not even been needed, before entering the classroom; no  one assumed command; and an Uvalde officer said it was his understanding that officers on one side of the building knew there were victims trapped inside, but no one tried to breach the classroom.

THREE KILLED IN INDIANA MALL SHOOTING: Three people were killed and two others injured yesterday evening (July 17th) in a shooting at a mall in Greenwood, Indiana, a suburb of Indianapolis. Police said an adult male entered the Greenwood Park Mall with a rifle and several magazines of ammunition and opened fire in the food court. He was shot and killed by a legally-armed civilian. Greenwood Police Chief Jim Ison said they’d confiscated a suspicious backpack that was in a bathroom near the food court. Authorities said more information would be released Monday. 

UKRAINE PREZ FIRES SECURITY CHIEF, PROSECUTOR GENERAL: Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy fired his state security chief and prosecutor general yesterday (July 17th), citing hundreds of criminal proceedings into treason and collaboration with the invading Russians by people in their departments and other law enforcement agencies. Zelenskyy said in his nightly address to the nation, “In particular, more than 60 employees of the prosecutor’s office and the [state security service] have remained in the occupied territory and work against our state,” saying it raises “very serious questions about their respective leaders.” Meanwhile, Russian missiles hit industrial facilities in Mykolaiv, a key shipbuilding center in in the south, and as they pressed their offensive in the eastern  Donestsk regoin, the Ukrainian military’s General Staff said Ukrainian troops had thwarted Russian attempts to advance toward Sloviansk, the key Ukrainian stronghold in Donetsk, and other attacks in the region.

JAN. 6TH COMMITTEE’S THURSDAY HEARING TO FOCUS ON TRUMP’S ACTIONS DURING ATTACK: The House commitee investigating the January 6th attack on the U.S. Capitol will focus in their primetime public hearing this Thursday on then-President Donald Trump‘s actions during the attack, with members of the committee saying Sunday (July 17th) that it will show evidence of what Rep. Elaine Luria said on CNN’s State of the Union was his, quote, “dereliction of duty.” Another committee member, Rep. Adam Kinzinger, said on CBS’ Face the Nation, “This is going to open people’s eyes in a big way. The president didn’t do anything.” Thursday’s hearing will be the first in prime time since the initial one on June 9th, and is expected to be the last of the public hearings. However, the committe says it continues to receive new evidence  every day, and isn’t ruling out additional hearings or interviews with other witnesses.