UVALDE, Texas — The family of Uziyah Garcia is pledging to protest against the Uvalde CISD police chief until he's removed from his positions with the school district and Uvalde city council.
Brett Cross said seeing Pete Arredondo go would be the least he could do for the victim families. Cross is the uncle of Uziyah but said he considers "Uzi" to be like his own son. He keeps the 10-year-old's ashes close by.
"Pete gets to go to bed with no worries at night, but I had to lay my son down to rest on June 13th. We cremated him. He's in our living room, he's in my bracelet, he's in my children's necklaces to keep a part of him near," said Cross.
They are places Cross never imagined Uziyah would be. It sits high on his list of reasons why he wants Arredondo removed.
"His errors and lack of judgement and lack of decision making costed how many lives? I'm not saying Uziyah would've been saved but how many other kids could have? He didn't pull the trigger but there's definitely blood on his hands," he said.
Cross used his Father's Day weekend to hold signs in protest along Main Street. On Sunday, he was joined by his family and other protestors from the community.
This week Cross plans to attend the Uvalde CISD school board meeting on Monday and city council on Tuesday. To date, the school district has refused to comment on Arredondo's employment.
According to its agenda, the Uvalde City Council will consider granting the newly-elected councilman a leave of absence from future council meetings. It's not clear if Arredondo asked for the leave, according to KHOU.
If granted, Cross hopes he goes without compensation.
“He doesn’t need to be paid for this leave of absence either," he said.
On Saturday, the Express News reported surveillance video from inside Robb Elementary shows police never tried opening the two doors leading to the classrooms where the shooter went inside. The paper cited a law enforcement source close to the investigation.
The source also told the outlet, police may have assumed the doors were locked and the shooter could not have locked the doors from the inside.
In response, Cross said he was tired of the cowardice.
"It just shows what cowards went into that school."
But he's not tired of fighting for Uziyah and the many other families continuing to grieve. Cross plans to protest at the town square every weekend from 12 p.m. to 2 p.m. moving forward.
"[I'll be here] until something is done with Arredondo, and then we move on to the next chapter," he said.