(The Texas Tribune) — Two congressional Democrats from Texas are calling on the state Department of Public Safety to provide more Spanish-language communication in updates about the mass shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, a predominantly Hispanic community.
Reps. Joaquin Castro, D-San Antonio, and Veronica Escobar, D-El Paso, said in a letter to DPS that the high number of Spanish speakers in Uvalde necessitates more Spanish communication from DPS officials. Democratic Reps. Norma Torres of California, Chuy García of Illinois and Raúl Grijalva of Arizona also signed the letter.
“It is unconscionable that public safety officials are neglecting to provide critical information in Spanish to a predominately Spanish-speaking community,” the representatives said in a letter Friday to DPS Director Steven McCraw. “As investigations continue, all Uvalde residents deserve to know the full details of this horrifying tragedy.”
DPS has come under fire for its lack of Spanish communication in the aftermath of the shooting in which 21 people were killed last month. More than 80% of Uvalde’s population is Hispanic or Latino, and more than half of households in Uvalde speak Spanish, according to census estimates. Less than 10% of households in Uvalde speak “limited English.”
In a press conference two days after the shooting, DPS officials ignored calls from reporters to answer questions in Spanish.
Journalists reporting from Uvalde have also said officials did not provide information in Spanish after previously promising to do so.
“The people of Uvalde cannot be ignored, and they deserve answers in their preferred languages,” the letter said.
DPS did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
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