SOUTH BEND, Ind. — REAL News Michiana has learned there was a threat of a school shooting the day before a South Bend police officer was booted from a local elementary school.
According to the South Bend FOP, Coquillard Elementary School administration made a report about the threat on April 20th, the day before the officer was asked to leave by Dr. Cheryl Camacho. Camacho is the head administrator of 5 South Bend schools.
April 20th, is the anniversary of the 1999 Columbine High School shooting. While all threats of gun violence at schools are taken seriously, the high profile nature of that shooting makes it ripe for copy-cat criminals. While it is normal for police to conduct walk-throughs at local schools, SBPD leadership instructed a priority walk-through the next day, April 21st, according to the South Bend FOP.
The incident, that was captured on the officer’s bodycam, shows Camacho approaching the officer questioning his intentions.
“Just walking through? What’s going on?” She asks the officer.
“Uh, just making sure you guys are safe.” He replied.
“Okay.” Camacho said, followed by a long, awkward pause. “I know we had an incident yesterday with a student. Okay. Is that what you’re talking about?”
“That, but I mean this is just the area I work. So, I’m just making sure you guys are okay.” He said.
During the interaction, there are times when children are walking past. There are also other school staff standing nearby. This could be why the officer seems to be vague when saying he is there just to “make sure everyone is safe.” The officer may not want to cause a panic with students and staff, since the FOP has said the credibility of the threat had not being fully determined. It also appears that Camacho was aware of the threat when she said, “I know we had an incident yesterday with a student.”
This new information also explains the officer’s passion when passing that information along on the radio to his command when leaving the school
Please watch the entire video below:
RNM Broke this story on Thursday, you can get more information about the initial incident here.
Camacho has since played the race card, saying she does not feel safe around police as a “Black woman.” You can read that follow up story here.
The school’s board chair, Samuel Centellas, who defended the actions of Camacho, has a history of supporting anti-police movements. He is also currently on probation for drinking and driving. You can read more about that here.
You can read the full statement from the South Bend FOP below.