SAN ANTONIO — Uvalde CISD Chief Pete Arredondo is under intense criticism over how he handled the school shooting, and now he's on leave. Arredondo is not just district police chief. He is also a city councilman.
On Tuesday night, the council denied him a leave of absence. Uvalde resident Kim Hammond was at the meeting and has gone viral on Twitter. She cited city policy as a way to remove Arredondo from his seat if he doesn't show up. She had no idea her speech to council generated more than a million views.
Hammond lives two doors down from Robb Elementary. Four weeks since the deadly attack, this is how she sees it now.
"What a monumental mess up," she said.
Hammond criticized Uvalde CISD, and law enforcement for its response in the massacre that killed 21 people. She is especially looking at Arredondo who DPS said was the incident commander that day. DPS said officers waited to take down that gunman for an hour and 14 minutes.
"Honestly he should hang up his badge," Hammond said.
Hammond is not afraid to give her opinion. She spoke at Tuesday's council meeting regarding Arredondo's status as a council member. Since taking office, after the shooting, he has been a ghost at the meetings. He hasn't attended one. Hammond's speech to council has gone viral on Twitter.
"I will take that momentum and move forward."
Council sided with Hammond and others by not granting Arredondo a leave of absence. Instead if Arredondo misses the next two meetings, the council can declare his seat vacant.
"Cookies and hugs are fantastic," she said. "It is warm and loving it is what people can do. But I can’t bake. I don't know how to bake. But I know how to speak up."
Hammond said she will be at the next council meeting. For now, Arredondo remains on council and on leave from the police force. Uvalde Police Lieutenant Mike Hernandez has taken over the duties of district police chief.