On Sunday, DOJ announced it would conduct a critical incident review of law enforcement’s response to the mass shooting in Uvalde, Texas. The review was requested by Uvalde’s mayor. It is not a criminal investigation into the Uvalde Police Department or any individuals.
Given the circumstances surrounding the tragedy that left 19 students and two of their teachers dead, it’s unsurprising that some people were critical of the extent of DOJ’s review and wanted a criminal investigation. Information in early press conferences held by state and local officials in Texas turned out to be inaccurate, including accounts that a school resource officer engaged the gunman on his way into the school. News leaked out that during the 78 minutes the line commander refused to make entry before federal agents reportedly went in anyway, students called 911 repeatedly and begged for help. People want accountability for failures of information and failures of action. But it’s important to understand that is not the purpose of DOJ’s investigation. Accountability will more likely be a local matter.
Voices across the country are also crying out for common sense gun control. It’s hard to see how the United States can solve or even mitigate its mass shooting problem without some of these measures. (More on this below.) But that doesn't mean DOJ's investigation isn't valuable.