Exclusive: Police Officer Under Investigation Over Uvalde Response Orders to Defer Classroom Violation | CNN

Uvalde, Texas CNN — Texas State Police Captain tried to delay law enforcement’s entry into a classroom to end the Robb Elementary School massacre, and is being investigated after someone at the scene ordered his officers not to enter the classroom. . In an initial response to the shooting, a school source tells CNN. CNN got a new audio recording of Capt. Joel Betancourt orders the attacking team to wait until more than 70 minutes have elapsed since the attack started. Betancourt said he thought a more highly skilled team would come. Separately, a police memo criticizes Court, a veteran who served 15 years with the Texas Department of Public Security (DPS). A memo written two days after the May 24 massacre and reviewed by CNN details DPS’ involvement in the hesitant but confusing law enforcement response to the shooting in Yuvalde, Texas. No action was taken against the shooter or assisting those trapped with him for 77 minutes, except for initial access that was interrupted when the shooting started. The massacre killed 19 children and two teachers. “I heard someone shouting, Captain. Betancourt said all DPS staff must be on the perimeter and must not enter the building.” One DPS lieutenant wrote after writing how he drove about 40 miles away at speeds of up to 130 mph to get to the scene. DPS Sergeant added in the memo: DPS Director Col. “Yes, of course,” Steven McCraw told CNN when asked if Betancourt, who told police officers not to go into the hallways, was being investigated. “IG is looking into this,” McCraw said in an impromptu interview before the meeting last month. Betancourt was interviewed several times shortly after the incident, and subsequently became one of seven former and current DPS officers who were requested further investigation by the DPS Inspector General. CNN learned from sources close to the incident that it was not authorized to talk about in the media. He told investigators that the teenage gunman arrived at Rob Elementary School around 12:45 p.m., minutes before he was murdered. “Hey, DPS Captain Betancourt. The team to break in must wait. The team to break in must wait.” He ordered at 12:48 p.m. on May 24, as heard in audio from a police radio broadcast captured on body-worn cameras of several officers, during the investigation, Betancourt told investigators that he had no direct knowledge of what was going on. According to a source familiar with the investigation, including the BORTAC, a specialized border patrol tactical unit, is facing a shooter. He ordered the team to stand by because he thought a better unit was coming, the source said. The source said no one responded to or followed his orders, the sources said.The memos and audio reviewed by CNN provide evidence that contradicts the official DPS description that DPS’ officers never had control or issued any substantive orders, DPS Commissioner McCraw said at the time. He has repeatedly criticized District Police Chief Pedro “Pete” Arredondo for leading the “disastrous failure” of the response. Arredondo said he did not see himself as the incident commander. CNN left a message to Betancourt by phone, email and text message. did not respond Betancourt remains on active duty with DPS DPS declined to comment on the story Two police officers described their initial response to a shooting ordered not to enter the school Officers responded to the message Betancourt told investigators he remembered telling DPS officers to get out and form a perimeter, but sources say it was heard by Uvalde Sheriff Ruben Nolasco after he arrived, Nolasco commented on CNN The request was not responded to The names of the DPS officers under investigation were not disclosed McCraw and other sources confirmed to CNN Betancourt’s participation The other one of seven, Crimson Elizondo, was announced this summer. She left DPS to work for the Uval des School District and was fired after CNN exposed her words and actions on the day of her massacre. Betancourt, who is said to be under investigation for a failed police response, told investigators that he had little to do with the operation of Rob Elementary School until after the shooter’s death, a source close to the investigation told CNN. Interviews shortly after the incident, described by several sources on CNN, provide the first direct account of officers currently being investigated by the Inspector General. Betancourt told investigators that he had clear memories of being on Eagle Pass in Texas with other officers when the first report of the shooting was received around 11:50 a.m., but it’s unclear how serious the situation was. They left as details became known, and Betancourt alone drove 60 miles to Uvalde and stopped to get oil, he said. Sources said Betancourt told agents that he had no body cameras or dash cams to record himself. While driving, he spoke to Uvalde Sheriff Nolasco on the phone and was told that the shooter had barricaded with an “AK47” at school, the source said. Betancourt told investigators that he arrived around 12:45 pm and initially thought Nolasco was the field commander because he was outside the school. Later, when he saw and spoke to District Police Chief Arredondo inside after the shooter was murdered, he told investigators he thought Arredondo was in charge. Arredondo was fired by the Uvalde Board of Education in August and insisted that he be reinstated. Betancourt told CNN that he was asked who he was talking to about why he wasn’t entering the classroom and he didn’t. He gave investigators a “standby” order based on Nolasco’s information and still thought there was a better SWAT team heading to the school, the source said. After the teenage gunman was killed by the BORTAC team, Betancourt said he had focused on clearing the crime scene and setting up a command post. According to a source familiar with the interview, he told investigators how he used FaceTime to keep his boss informed of the situation at the school after the massacre. In a follow-up interview, he told CNN that he didn’t know there were children in the building until after the accident. A source familiar with the investigation told CNN it was Betancourt who at least two police officers warned of an ongoing attack at Robb Elementary School. A boss said he had received a text message from Betancourt about an “active shooting” incident around 11:37 a.m., which questioned Betancourt’s claims that he was later involved. Victor Escalon, director of regional DPS for the South Texas area that includes Uvalde, said Betancourt texted him at 12:09pm. The text reads like this: [specialist negotiator team] Activated and the suspect barricaded. Cavalry, a medic, was deployed. The drone team is coming,” the source said. McCraw and other DPS leaders declined to discuss or disclose information about the internal investigation until the investigation was completed at the request of regional prosecutor Christina Mitchell Busbee. Her criminal investigation could take years and she will prosecute anyone who commits a crime at Robb Elementary School, including law enforcement officers, she said. CNN is part of a coalition of news organizations suing DPS for records related to investigations that have not been released to the media and the public, including radio transmissions and body camera footage referenced in this article.

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