A Texas gunman who killed 19 children and two teachers this week was inside the school for about 40 minutes before being killed by border patrol agents. Conflicting reports have emerged about the law enforcement response in the crucial moments after the 18-year-old shooter entered the building.
- Border patrol agents had trouble breaching the classroom door and had to get a staff member to open the room with a key, a law enforcement official familiar with the investigation told the Associated Press.
- Witnesses described a scene of desperation, with officers gathering outside the school but not entering the building. “Go in there! Go in there!” a nearby woman reportedly shouted at the officers soon after the attack began, but they did not.
- The father of a fourth grader who was killed raised the idea of running inside himself when he thought law enforcement was not going to act.
The border patrol chief, Raul Ortiz, told CNN that dozens of on- and off-duty agents responded to the shooting, and that as soon as officers arrived, “they didn’t hesitate”.
Meanwhile, the National Rifle Association, which has blocked any meaningful gun control legislation in recent years, is still planning to hold its annual meeting tomorrow, just hours away from Uvalde in Houston, Texas. Donald Trump, the Texas senator, Ted Cruz, and the Texas governor, Greg Abbott, plan to attend, along with a number of protesters.
Biden signs police reform executive order on anniversary of George Floyd’s murder
On the second anniversary of the murder of George Floyd – and with Congress deadlocked on the issue – Joe Biden signed an executive order he promised would usher in the “most significant police reform in decades”.
- The order directs federal agencies to revise use-of-force policies, banning tactics such as chokeholds, restricting practices such as no-knock warrants and promoting de-escalation techniques.
- It also calls for the creation of a national standard for accrediting police departments; a national database to track police misconduct; further restriction on the transfer of military equipment to police departments; and a requirement for agencies to implement new tools to screen for inherent bias among officers as well as recruits, including those who promote unlawful violence or harbor white supremacist views.
Millions risk losing healthcare when Covid emergency declaration expires
During the pandemic, the federal government required states to continuously enroll Medicaid recipients into the program. The federal government provided $100.4bn in new funds to cover the costs of doing so, halting coverage gaps and loss of eligibility for those who rely on healthcare coverage through Medicaid.
With the pandemic public health emergency declaration ending on 15 July, an estimated 5.3 million to 14.2 million individuals could lose their Medicaid coverage, according to an analysis by the Kaiser Family Foundation.