In a video posted to social media, Stein is seen outside the school building informing viewers about his plans to confront city council members, adding that while he normally attempts to call attention to political leaders and injustices in a humorous way, exposing the officers' lack of response was not something to laugh at.
"When I drive into this city, there's a stain on this city that will never be lifted, no matter what you do," Stein began, his voice steadily rising as he took issue with the school principal -- who has been fired -- for refusing to act even though he was aware of systemic security issues at the elementary school.
But it was after one of the council members told Stein that they are "not the school board" and they aren't "leaders" in the city when Stein really went off.
"So you don't consider yourself leaders, is that what you're telling me? You see, that's why. It's because you don't consider yourself a leader, you don't take responsibility for your actions," Stein said as he then pivoted to the pathetically slow police response, receiving a smattering of applause from the audience.
"They were cowards! It took them 77 minutes" to respond, "and you're a coward!" Stein railed. "You sit there like a coward trying to combat what I'm saying, I'm bringing awareness to your city. You still have the audacity after 21 people died.
"Chief [Pete] Arredondo, you swore 'em in!" Stein yelled, before blasting the city's mayor for being absent and saying that regardless of where he is, he could have at least appeared digitally.
The police response to the incident has been widely criticized -- by parents, especially, but also some of Texas' top law enforcement officers.
Steve McCraw, the director of the Texas Department of Public Safety, confirmed that nine officers were inside the building within three minutes of the attack. He has also been extremely critical of the officers’ actions as well as those of the on-scene commander who reportedly issued orders for police to wait.
“There’s compelling evidence that the law enforcement response to the attack at Robb Elementary was an abject failure and antithetical to everything we’ve learned over the last two decades since the Columbine massacre,” he said during testimony before a state Senate committee last month.
“Three minutes after the subject entered the West building, there was sufficient number of armed officers wearing body armor to isolate, distract, and neutralize the subject,” McCraw added.
“The only thing stopping the hallway of dedicated officers from entering room 111 and 112 was the on-scene commander who decided to place the lives of officers before the lives of children,” McCraw continued.
“One error; 14 minutes and eight seconds,” the director said of the young students waiting in a classroom for police to save them. At one point, he noted, officers were waiting for a “key that was not needed.”
“I have great reasons to believe it was never secured,” he told the state Senate panel. “How about trying the door and seeing if it’s locked?”
“Obviously, not enough training was done in this situation, plain and simple. Because terrible decisions were made by the on-site commander,” McCraw criticized.
Even after hearing at least four additional shots from the classrooms 45 minutes after police arrived on the scene, the officers waited.
They asked for keys to one of the classrooms. (It was unlocked, investigators said later.) They brought tear gas and gas masks. They later carried a sledgehammer. And still, they waited.