Uvalde Families Demand Charges for Negligent Cops Following DOJ Report - The Friday AM Quickie 1/19/24

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Texas Cops Showed 'No Urgency' Amid 'Unimaginable Horror' in Uvalde, DOJ Confirms

Nearly 20 months after the May 2022 massacre at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, that left 19 students and 2 teachers dead, the Justice Department released a 600-page "critical incident review" of the botched police response, or lack thereof, in minute-by-minute detail. Yet it does not contain the word "cowardice."

"Had law enforcement agencies followed generally accepted practices in active shooter situations and gone right after the shooter and stopped him, lives would have been saved and people would have survived," Attorney General Merrick Garland said yesterday in Uvalde after Justice Department officials briefed victims' families on the report. He added: "Our children deserve better than to grow up in a country where an 18-year-old has easy access to a weapon that belongs on a battlefield, not in a classroom."

At least 45 rounds were fired in six separate instances in the presence of police officers who took no action, according to NBC News. And per the Washington Post, the report confirms that "police never tried to simply turn the doorknob" to a classroom door that was probably unlocked while they conducted a "pointless" 40-minute search for the keys. As the Associated Press reports, the "flawed initial response was compounded in the following days by an ineptitude that added to family members' anguish."

"One family member spent hours pulling glass out of an injured son's body because some of the surviving children had not been screened for medical care. A county district attorney told families that they would need to wait for autopsy results before death notifications were made, prompting some to yell: 'What, our kids are dead? No, no!'
"Hospital staff 'untrained in delivering painful news' told some family members that their loved ones had died, while in other cases, families received incorrect information suggesting that a child had survived when they had not. At one point, an official told waiting families that another bus of survivors was coming, but that was untrue.

The report also calls out the Texas Department of Public Safety and Republican Gov. Greg Abbott for promoting a bogus "'heroic' storyline" around the police response, and falsely blamed a teacher for letting the gunman in the building, saying those lies "dealt a serious blow to public confidence in local and state law enforcement." (Abbott yesterday thanked the DOJ for the report.) As the Texas Tribune reports, many Uvalde families welcome the vindication of what they "remember all too well," but some are still demanding that cops be criminally charged for their coordinated display of negligence that cost innocent lives. "It's sort of a slap in the face that all we get is a review," says Velma Lisa Duran, whose sister was one of two teachers killed. "We deserve justice."

Shutdown Averted for Now But Check Back Later

"We have good news for America: There will not be a shutdown on Friday because both sides have worked together," Democratic Pollyanna and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said yesterday after the House and Senate passed a short-term bill to fund the government for another six weeks. Per the Washington Post, liberal centrists are embracing Budding Theocrat House Speaker Mike Johnson as the latest Reasonable Republican™, with Schumer "hail[ing] the speaker's resolve against 'the hard-right's bullying.'" But the House Freedom Caucus is promising to try to shut down the government again at the earliest opportunity, and Johnson may yet pay for crossing them; as the Associated Press observes, "a revolt of even a handful of Republicans could endanger his position in the narrowly divided House." Finally, Politico reports that U.S. Capitol police investigated 8,008 serious threats against members of Congress last year, up from 7,501 in 2022.

Wider Middle East War Watch: Pakistan Joins Fray

  • Biden on Yemen Airstrikes: "Are They Stopping the Houthis? No. Are They Gonna Continue? Yes." The President said this in response to reporters who asked if bombing the Houthis was working; a Pentagon spokeswoman later said "We are not at war with the Houthis. Actions we are taking are defensive in nature." via BBC News and the Associated Press.
  • Iran and Pakistan Trade Bombs, Missiles, Drone Strikes China is offering to mediate and prevent the violence from escalating. via Al Jazeera and the Washington Post.
  • Blowing Off Blinken, Netanyahu Rejects U.S. Calls for a Palestinian State "He is willing to take our money but will always reject our advice," Vermont Democratic Sen. Peter Welch says of the far-right Israeli Prime Minister. "He does not share our concern about the loss of Palestinian life." via NBC News and BBC News.
  • Congressional Progressives Seek Resignation of 'Delusional' Biden Middle East Adviser Frustrations have reached "a boiling point" with influential White House Middle East adviser Brett McGurk, who has pushed for even closer U.S. ties to Saudi Arabia and thinks he can solve all the region's problems by brokering a Saudi deal with Israel that gives the Saudis more influence over the fate of Palestinians. via HuffPost.


  • Promising 'Chaos and Bedlam,' Trump Tells Supreme Court He Shouldn't Be Disqualified from Ballots Even if Jan. 6 Insurrection Was Illegal "If you take immunity away from the president ― so important! ― you will have a president that's not gonna be able to do anything," Trump, who now also claims to have a "Q" security clearance, told Sean Hannity when asked to provide his closing pitch to New Hampshire Republican primary voters; he also praised Al Capone as "probably the greatest mobster of them all," bragging that he'd racked up more indictments. via the New York Times and HuffPost.
  • Justice Department Mum on No Labels' Demand for a Civil Rights Investigation Over Democratic 'Intimidation Tactics,' Such as Mean Billboards and People Being Unfriendly at Lunch A Jan. 11 letter signed by former Connecticut Sen. Joseph Lieberman, among others, alleges an "unlawful conspiracy to subvert Americans' voting rights" by discouraging donations to the unprincipled centrist third-party outfit. via the Washington Post and the Associated Press.
  • Oklahoma GOP Bill Would Designate Alleged Gang Members 'of Hispanic Descent' Terrorists "I apologize for just using the word Hispanic, but I was not wrong," says state Rep. Justin Humphrey, who plans to tweak the bill's language to specify "undocumented illegals" after receiving some feedback. "Reality is they are Hispanic. There's nothing to be ashamed with." via NBC News and KFOR Oklahoma City.
  • Indigenous Bashkir Protesters in Russia Throw Snowballs at Riot Cops, Who Respond with Tear Gas The 3,000-strong crowd protesting the imprisonment of activist Fail Alsynov represented one of the largest demonstrations in Russia since Aspiring Tsar Vladimir Putin invaded Ukraine in Feb. 2022; "This is not our war. Our land has not come under attack," Alsynov wrote last year. via the New York Times and Al Jazeera.
  • Bolsonaro Faked His Covid Vaccination Records Someone should set him up with the New York midwife who faked 12,500 vaccine records. via Reuters and NBC News.


80 percent

That's how much of Haiti's capital Port-au-Prince is under the control of armed gangs, according to the Associated Press. Gangs yesterday raided a neighborhood where many police officers live, which could lead to them taking control of the remaining 20 percent of the city.


1/19: It's Casual Friday! Emma speaks with Alex Pareene, contributing editor at The New Republic and co-host of The Politics of Everything podcast, to round up the week in news. Then, she is joined by Francesca Fiorentini, host of the Bitchuation Room!



Inside Whitey Taylor's MAGA emporium in Boonesville, Virginia.

DeSantis Flops AGAIN

He "faces a bleak path ahead," the Washington Post says.


"They call themselves patriots, they violate our constitution and our legal system, and they despise our democratic, diverse, human face. They are fascists."

-- Britta Haßelmann, parliamentary leader of Germany's Greens party, denouncing the far-right AfD at what the Guardian calls an "extraordinary" floor debate yesterday following revelations that AfD leaders met secretly with neo-Nazis to plot mass deportations. AfD parliamentary leader Bernd Baumann responded that the party's "remigration" plans for non-whites are simply "enforcement of the law" and that "the AfD is coming for Germany – whether you like it or not." Meanwhile, Italy's high court legalized the fascist salute.

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