Don McLaughlin, the mayor of Uvalde, Texas, is calling on Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) to address what McLaughlin called a “cover-up” by the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) amid scrutiny over law enforcement’s failure to respond to the Robb Elementary School shooting.
McLaughlin told CNN Tuesday that he was writing to Abbott to share his concerns about the DPS’ investigation into the failed response to the massacre, during which more than a dozen children were killed inside two classrooms as multiple armed officers stood outside the hallway and the school building for more than an hour.
“I’m not confident, 100 percent, in DPS because I think it’s a cover-up,” McLaughlin said.
The mayor pointed specifically at DPS Director Steven McCraw, who repeatedly offered conflicting timelines for the attack, fueling already boiling criticism of law enforcement’s lack of transparency in the aftermath of the tragedy.
“McGraw’s covering up for maybe his agencies,” McLaughlin claimed.
The Uvalde leader explained that his growing distrust of the DPS’ investigation is what led him to ask the Justice Department to open its own investigation, which is currently underway.
“I lost confidence because the narrative changed from DPS so many times, and when we asked questions, we weren’t getting answers,” he said.
McLaughlin also urged Abbott to return to Uvalde to speak to the families of the victims, which included 19 kids and two teachers.
“These families want to talk to the governor and he needs to come and see them,” the mayor said.
Renae Eze, Abbott’s press secretary, told TPM in an emailed statement that the DPS and FBI’s investigations are “ongoing,” and that “we look forward to the full results being shared with the victims’ families and the public, who deserve the full truth of what happened that tragic day.”
As for McLaughlin’s call for Abbott to come to Uvalde, Eze said that the governor “will continue visiting with the Uvalde community and local leaders,” though she didn’t give a specific date.
Abbott, who said in the days after the massacre that he had been “misled” about the police’s actions during the attack, has come under fire himself for offering feeble solutions to prevent future shootings, like calling on lawmakers to form a special committee to study the issue.