DPS Captain Ordered Officers Not to Breach Classroom in Uvalde School Massacre
Second Law Enforcement Officer Under Investigation Identified
(TX) – CNN has obtained video that gives more information about the school shooting at Robb Elementary in Uvalde and the failed police response. Captain Joel Betancourt has been identified as one of the seven officers who are under investigation by the Department of Public Safety Inspector General.
Betancourt arrived at the scene 70 minutes into the 77 minute incident. He discovered that a Border Patrol tactical unit was getting ready to breach the room. His response was to use his radio to inform law enforcement officers to wait.
“Hey, this is DPS Captain Betancourt. The team that’s going to make breach needs to stand by. The team that’s gonna breach needs to stand by,” he could be heard saying in audio obtained by CNN.
Betancourt also told officers to get away from the building and to maintain the perimeter.
Incompetence and Coverups
The story being built by CNN is of a commander who is incompetent and is now trying to escape consequences. Betancourt was in Eagle Pass when he heard about the shooting. When speaking to investigators he said, “but it was unclear how major the situation was.” Once the scope of the shooting became apparent he drove the 60 miles to Uvalde, but had to stop to get gas first.
Everyone wanted to be in charge during the incident. Those same people are now claiming they thought someone else was in charge. That happened with Chief Arredondo and it’s happening with Captain Betancourt. The CNN article states Betancourt told investigators that he though Sheriff Nolasco was in charge. And later in the article it says he claimed he thought Arredondo was in charge.
In the course of the investigation, Betancourt told investigators he had no first-hand knowledge of what was going on, including that a specialized Border Patrol tactical unit, BORTAC, was confronting the shooter, according to sources familiar with the investigation. He said he issued the order for the team to stand by as he thought a better unit was on its way, sources said.
Supposedly he didn’t know anything, yet he chose to issue orders for officers to stop trying to help the children. I suspect the parents and spouses of the deceased would have been just fine with the SWAT team on hand, rather than waiting for a better one that wasn’t there.
Betancourt issued orders. DPS had to have known it. Yet their official narrative, per the CNN video, is “That the State Police were never in command of the scene and never issued substantive orders.”
Law Enforcement Officers Handicapped by Poor Leadership
The Texas House investigative committee described law enforcement as having “an overall lackadaisical approach.”
“I heard someone shout out, Capt. Betancourt said all DPS personnel need to be on perimeter, do no (sic) enter building,” one DPS lieutenant stated, after writing how he had driven from some 40 miles away at speeds of up to 130 mph to get to the scene.
A DPS sergeant added in his memo: “As this was clearly against established training, we both decided to enter the building where the shooter was located.”
In the CNN video, a Border Patrol EMS can be heard saying, “F**k we’re taking too long.”
Is Politics Raising Its Ugly Head?
Governor Abbott initially praised the response of law enforcement. When information started trickling out, he joined the band wagon in blaming local police. There were almost 400 officers at the school. 91 of them were from DPS. Those are Abbott’s officers. They are the ones he uses in his campaign ads. In fact, Joel Betancourt appears in several of Abbott’s campaign ads.
News organizations have been trying to get documents and recordings, but have been blocked. Those organizations are having to sue to get information. What little has come out has only done so due to court orders. Why hasn’t Greg Abbott or Ken Paxton stepped in to get the information released? All it would take is for either of them to say release it. Why haven’t they?
The Republican District Attorney, Christina Mitchell Busbee, doesn’t want the information released. She says it’s because she is conducting a criminal investigation into what happened. Any criminal investigation into an incident of this size would take years. Could the real reason be that she doesn’t want the truth to come out before the elections because it could hurt Republicans?
Accountability is Slow and Sparse
So far Chief Pete Arredondo has paid the highest price. He lost his job as the police chief and as being a council member on the city council. That’s it. Nineteen children and two teachers are dead. They lost everything.
Captain Joel Betancourt is one of seven individuals at DPS who are being investigated. Currently DPS is shielding the identities of those under investigation. Betancourt is still employed with DPS.
The other person who has been identified as being one of the seven is Crimson Elizondo. Trooper Elizondo arrived “within two minutes of a gunman entering the school and opening fire last May.” Yet she stood around and did nothing. She was caught on body cam telling a fellow officer, “If my son had been in there, I would not have been outside,” she said. “I promise you that.”
Elizondo used her accumulated leave to burn time while she looked for another job. She quit DPS and immediately began work the next day for the Uvalde school district as one of their officers. Once people found out, the outcry was so great, she was fired.
It is unknown why Uvalde school officials would be so callous and lacking in common decency as to hire a person who stood by and let 21 of their people be massacred.