New information is surfacing about how law enforcement officials handled the Uvalde school shooting—and it isn’t making them look good.
This led to an exchange between Brian Kilmeade and fellow Fox News host Lawrence Jones after the latter tried to defend Texas authorities over the mounting criticism, which only looks to get worse in the days ahead.
As more information trickles in about what happened at that confused and chaotic scene on Tuesday, there seem to be many disturbing accounts suggesting local Uvalde police officials didn’t exactly rush into the school to save children and neutralize the shooter. Instead, videos are emerging that indicate the law enforcement officials loitered outside the school and expended more energy containing irate and terrified parents than saving children. That included allegedly handcuffing a frantic mother and tackling and pepper-spraying a father.
(Video: Fox News)
On Thursday morning, Lawrence Jones dismissed reports of the inaction of local police as “simply ridiculous,” and cited police sources and the insight he’s received from them in his defense of their actions. But as inconsistencies have cropped up in official reporting on the timeline of the shooting, and as videos from the scene have emerged on social media, that position has become less tenable.
Jones seemed to acknowledge this and indicated in his reporting that the problem had more to do with public relations.
“You know,” he said, “[law enforcement officials] aren’t great PR people when it comes to explaining, from a human aspect, on what’s going on. There’s a lot of law enforcement talk, but they don’t know how to communicate to the average day public. And so, I had to ask multiple questions to actually try to get some sort of picture that I could understand.”
“The one thing I will say,” he continued, “and this is what I pushed back yesterday when we were on air, that what is the pressing issue is ‘did law enforcement want to go in?’ And the answer is yes, as I continue to say, their own children are in that building.”
Jones then went on to explain that the situation was very chaotic, with injured officers and the possibility of children being held hostage, which militated against the advisability of officers rushing into the school.
“Now, I understand people watch movies and all that,” Jones added, “but there is no way, in any situation, and I’ve been through numerous active shooter situations, that you just go all guns blazing into the room when you have hostages in that room. And I think that is the disconnect about that 45 minutes. Did law enforcement go into a full retreat? No, they did not.”
Kilmeade responded by acknowledging Jones’ points, but also explained the many reasons why the situation didn’t look good for local police. That included the fact that if police had entered earlier, they might have been able to save more children’s lives, and there was no excuse to “come out with some fable, that they were engaged by a resource officer that was armed, when that was flat out fiction.”
“That’s not bad communication,” Kilmeade said. “That is a lie.”
Still, Jones’ points were well taken, and “Fox & Friends” co-host Pete Hegseth jumped to his defense.
“Lawrence, first of all, I want to tell you something,” Hegseth said. “I fully appreciate the extent to which you are taking in all the information and providing context. I think it’s extremely important. People rush to judgment. They watch movies. They think the police should be there in one minute. Everyone is trained to be a SWAT officer. I get it—I think two things can be true at the same time. The fog of the moment is real.”
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