Uvalde Residents Voice Anger as School Board Fires Police Chief

Uvalde school board officials fired school police chief Pete Arredondo on August 24, exactly three months after the school shooting that killed 19 students and two teachers.

In a unanimous vote, the Uvalde Consolidated Independent School District’s board of trustees dismissed Arredondo.

Arredondo was not in attendance at the meeting out of concerns over his safety, his attorney, George Hyde, said in a 17-page statement released shortly before the meeting on Wednesday.

This footage, streamed live on Facebook, shows community members including a young girl confronting officials over the police response to the shooting.

“I am here today to make a statement,” a young girl said. “If law enforcement’s job is to protect and serve, why didn’t they protect and serve my friends and teachers on May 24th?”

“Turn in your badge and step down! You don’t deserve to wear one!” she continued.

The school board adjourned for a closed session, before returning to announce their vote to the community. Credit: Dolly Schultz via Storyful

Video Transcript

- Everyone, head over to the special meeting public comment. All comments must be related to the agenda item the person signed up to speak about. Speaker may not give their time to another person. Each speaker may have up to one minute to make their agenda comments.

We urge speakers to keep comments constructive. Speakers who use profane, threatening, or abusive language during any board meeting shall be ruled out of order and may be asked to discontinue their agenda comments. So we have five today. So each will have a minute to their-- we do have a time limit. So we'll let you know when your time's up, OK?

So we'll start with the first one. I believe the first one looks like Eloina Castria. I hope I didn't butcher your name, ma'am.

- Castro.

- Oh, your name is Castro. OK, perfect. Thank you, ma'am. I'm sorry about that.

- My first question to you is while Chief Arredondo was on sick-- on leave without pay, was he receiving unemployment? My second question is to the board-- to the board is I saw that you found in the newspaper that Chief Arredondo signed a new contract with the city of Uvalde. Will this contract be honored with everything that has happened? Thank you.

- Thank you, Ms. Castro. Appreciate it. Next up, we have Mr. Bret Cross.

- I keep telling y'all, these time limits ain't going to work. So, ladies and gentlemen of the board, we've seen this trend at these public meetings where you take comments from people who are here and then go into a closed session. In the interest of full transparency, closed sessions do not provide that transparency. It needs to stop.

I implore you to make a call to action to keep these discussions open to the public. Additionally, per Texas government code 551.0821, we have a written request that items that fall under the preview of the session be brought into an open session.

- Thank you, Mr. Cross. Appreciate it.

- Oh, I'm not done yet. I'm just standing over here.


- Now you want to do something?

- Additionally--


Additionally, we have just been told that Mr. Arredondo is not going to be here because he doesn't feel safe. And I'm going to sit here and say that nobody has threatened him. That's-- that's all I'm going to say on that. So for him to not be here and actually to face the consequences to his actions--


- Coward.

- Exactly.

- Coward.

- Do not-- do not take this in a closed session. We deserve to hear. Our babies are dead. Our teachers are dead. Our parents are dead. The least y'all can do is show us some respect and do this in the public.

- Thank you, Mr. Cross. Next up, we have Ms. Danielle Myers.

- School board, so I want to tell you that Monday, man, you guys did a lousy job. Lousy.

- Fail.

- You kept us there for one hour. And, Mr. Board President, in a heartbeat, you guys were gone. That's why this community is the way it is. You guys don't care squat about these families.

You don't care squat about these families. If it was one of your children, heads would be rolling right now. But because it's not, you don't care. You are not going to sweep this under the rug.

You're not. All of you are accountable. When that special report came out and that mentioned that one of the times that I was here, three main families, number one, school administration right there. Right there. From the two branches you guys [INAUDIBLE].

He was fired from Webb County. He went to another place. And he was demoted. You guys dropped the ball. You messed up.

- Cowards.

- And you have the audacity to say, we messed up and Arredondo gone, out of here. That's why we are here.

- Cowards.


- That's why we [? we're here. ?] The timing, undenied, that was a disgrace to the families, to our city, to our community.



- I'm here today to make a statement. If a law enforcement's job is protect and serve, why didn't they protect and serve my friends and teachers on May 24.

- Yes!

- Yeah. Go!

- I have messages for Pete Arredondo and all the law enforcement that were that date. Turn in your badge and step down. You don't deserve to wear one.


- Turn in your badge.

- Yes!

- Disgrace to law enforcement.

- Just wanted to let you know that I do agree also. You should not have closed sessions. Plain and simple, if you want to start-- for the community, the families to start healing, you just have to terminate him, do it in front of them. And let me tell you, that goes a long way.

So that's what you should do today. I'm ready to go on. So just terminate him in front of here. And that's what it's supposed to happen. Do the right thing. Thank you.



- I have one comment that I'd like to make. One [? question ?] that I'd like to ask y'all. As I was driving over here, I passed by. And I saw the band practicing and the high steppers and everybody out there practicing. And I didn't see one law enforcement out there protecting them. And yet y'all have all this coverage. Y'all should be ashamed of y'allselves.

- You're not doing your job.

- Moving onto the next item of the agenda. Number three, the next item on the agenda is to consider the request for a hearing from Pete Arredondo regarding the termination of his nonchapter 21 contract. If at any time the board is to hear a matter involving the appointment, the appoint evaluation reassigning duties, discipline, or dismissal of a public officer or employee, the matter generally is heard in closed session. This has been posted on tonight's agenda as such.

Under the Texas open meetings act, personnel-- personnel items will be in close-- unless-- unless the employee who is the subject of the deliberation or hearing requests a public hearing. And then that request will be honored as such.

- What about our children?

- At 4:48 PM today, Mr. Arredondo Mr. Arredondo's attorney notified the district council that neither he nor Mr. Arredondo would be attending tonight. We will return-- I'm sorry. Wrong one. Accordingly, we will conduct a hearing in closed session.

Prior to that time, however, the board is going to go into closed session to consult with the board's attorney regarding legal and procedural issues relating to the [INAUDIBLE] termination for good cause on the [INAUDIBLE] contract of Mr. Pete Arredondo. Pursuant to Texas government code section 551.071, when we have completed that consultation, we will continue in closed session to conduct the hearing.

We will come up to open session when we are finished to make any motion on the issue. So it is now 5:43. We will convene to close session where--


OK I'm sorry.