Almost immediately after the Uvalde elementary school massacre, cops began harassing the mother who jumped the school fence and rushed inside to resuce her two children. Angeli Rose Gomez says police have been driving over to her home, parking in her driveway and flickering their lights– trying to intimidate her. Why? Who knows. Maybe to shut her up. The more she tells her story, the more disdain people have for the cops who were tough enough to handcuff and throw a distraught mother in the back of a squad car, but not tough enough to follow her inside the school to rescue a few kids. According to Gomez the intimidation got so bad she had to send her kids away to stay with relatives– just in case.
The Uvalde, TX elementary school shooting on May 24 left 19 children and two teachers dead. Gomez is the mother of two of the students trapped in the school when the shooting started. She was frantic when she arrived there and heard other parents pleading with the police to do something to save he children. Uvalde cops had cordoned off the school but were doing nothing as the gunman, 18-year old Salvador Rolando Ramos, moved throughout the school shooting and killing kids and staff.
When she tried to rush past the cops, they cuffed her and threw her in the back of a squad car. Gomez says she was cuffed by a U.S. Marshall. The Marshals deny it was one of them. Gomez says she managed to convince one of the officers that she knew to ask the Marshal to uncuff her, and as soon as she was free she bolted, jumped a fence and ran into the school to get her two boys. Cops watched, but none of them bothered to join the unarmed mom in her storming of the gates.
A short time later, she was seen running from the school with her two boys in tow. In an interview with local news she said she convinced a teacher to unlock a door and let her in. She then told the teacher to leave with her child and the rest of the class because the shooter was on the other side of the school. She then went to her other child’s classroom and got him and more kids out. Without training of any kind, she had effected the rescue of a number of chidren– something none of the law enforcement officers onsite armed with assault rifles and ballistic shields, were willing– or allowed– to do.
Because they stood around outside the school listening to kids and teachers being killed for over an hour, the cops were loudly criticized for what many in the community thought was pure cowardice. Instead of abiding by their instructions to not enter the school, Gomez had shown them all up. She made them all appear uncaring, ineffectual and unwilling to do what they had been hired to do– serve and protect.
And they have the audacity to be angry with her.
It’s a very pervasive attitude. Despite the increase in mass shootings, Texas Republicans have thumbed their noses at te plight of ordinary citizens in order to line their pockets with gun money. The GOP-controlled legislature has nearly stripped away all gun restrictions in Texas. Anyone 18 years of age can legally buy a long gun like the AR-15-style semi-automatic rifle Ramos used in the attack– and no permit is required.
As of last year, anyone 21 and older can legally carry a handgun in public without a license, without a background check, or without any training in how to properly use a weapon. It’s a return to the Wild, Wild West.
Mabe it’s just me, but I wonder if those same Uvalde cops wouldl be just as passive about confrontation if they were to see a black man walking down the street legally carrying a sidearm on his waist.