Read a PDF of our statement here.

Yesterday, the Department of Justice (DOJ) issued a scathing report about the failures of the Uvalde Police Department during the mass shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, which resulted in the deaths of 19 children, 2 teachers, and the wounding of 17 others.  

In response to this report, Legal Defense Fund (LDF) Director of Strategic Initiatives Jin Hee Lee issued the following statement:

“We appreciate DOJ’s investigation of the tragic events at Uvalde, Texas and their devastating and thorough report, which underscores what we have long known: the law enforcement response to the Robb Elementary School shooting was a failure of dramatic proportions that resulted in many preventable deaths. Over three hundred federal, state, and local law enforcement officers responded to the scene, and local law enforcement comprises approximately 40% of Uvalde’s budget.  Nevertheless, law enforcement officers utterly failed to keep students and school personnel safe. The Uvalde community deserves much more from the government officials responsible for their safety and security. We stand with the many families impacted by this horrific tragedy in their pursuit of justice, accountability, and clarity.

“The loss of innocent lives at Uvalde—along with the victims of other mass shootings that occur far too often across the country—raises an urgent call for holistic, evidence-based solutions to prevent these tragedies from happening again. All too often, jurisdictions respond by increasing weapons, surveillance technology, and the use of threat assessments on school campuses, which have limited efficacy and can harm the very students they aim to protect. We urge the Department of Education to increase investments in programs, personnel, and services that support safe and positive learning environments for students and help prevent mass shootings without criminalizing youth.”


Founded in 1940, the Legal Defense Fund (LDF) is the nation’s first civil rights law organization. LDF’s Thurgood Marshall Institute is a multi-disciplinary and collaborative hub within LDF that launches targeted campaigns and undertakes innovative research to shape the civil rights narrative. In media attributions, please refer to us as the Legal Defense Fund or LDF. Please note that LDF has been completely separate from the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) since 1957—although LDF was originally founded by the NAACP and shares its commitment to equal rights.