Florida SWAT Team Swoops on Bikers at Machine Gun Preacher Preview

“A movie about a biker-turned-preacher drew bikers, in leathers, to a preview screening in Winter Park And that earned the attention of a Winter Park Police Department SWAT team, six of whom interrupted the Monday night showing of ‘Machine Gun Preacher,'” blogs.orlandosentinel.com reports. “[The SWAT team] entered the crowded theater, pistols and assault rifles drawn, and arrested three 40something year old men in Warlocks biker gear.” Skipping to the good bit: “Police identified the three men as  members of the Warlocks gang and that determined that no laws had been broken, no charges filed, but asked the bikers to leave the theater.” You pay for a militarized police force, you get a militarized police force. And how.

comments

  1. avatar Corey says:

    This is the first I’ve heard of this…I’m not far from winter park

  2. avatar Aharon says:

    Warlock would be a cool name for a mean looking tactical weapon.

  3. avatar GnD says:

    It’s the Government, we’re here to help. Please turn off your cell phone, refrain from talking, and all Warlocks must present ID.

  4. avatar Tony says:

    So much for freedom of association. Then again, everyone knows that bikers are scary guys. That reminds me, I need to polish my bike. Looks like the cops stepped on it again.

  5. avatar Sirkowski says:

    Seems relevant to note that the Warlocks biker gang is a criminal organization.

    1. avatar Coyote Gray says:

      +1

      A violent, drug running, murdering criminal organization. Except, unlike most other crime organizations, they don’t have the good sense to NOT announce it on the back of a leather vest.

      We always jump up and scream foul when that cops have a “known gang members list” but fail to act on it. I don’t have a big problem with this.

    2. avatar JustSomeGuy says:

      Members of a “criminal gang” or not, shouldn’t we oughta wait until a crime has been committed before taking aggressive police action? Members of a “criminal gang” or not, doesn’t the presumption of innocence still apply? Not to beat the stinky equine, but…regardless of membership shouldn’t a reasonable threat of deadly force exist before the police present a threat of deadly force to all and sundry sitting down to watch a movie!

      I find it bothersome that some folks think someone’s associations can or should result in the abrogation of an individual’s civil rights. In the absence of a criminal conviction these individuals remain innocent citizens. And in the absence of criminal activity the police have no cause, and no authority, to interfere with their activities.

      JSG

      1. avatar Raph84 says:

        +1 JSG to many people willing to give up liberty for the appearance of security

  6. Criminals or not, what kind of tactical planning led them to confront the bikers in a crowded theater rather than waiting until the movie was over and the subjects left? How many people did they endanger by going in, guns drawn, risking a possible gunfight amid a hundred or so innocents.

    This kind of gung-ho asshattery should get someone fired.

    1. avatar Danny McBee says:

      I agree with Dan. This could have ended very badly. I don’t see a real reason for that kind of raid.

    2. avatar John says:

      What prompted them to take this approach? “We are the power, “citizen” now sit down, shut up, and do as you are told or the same thing will happen to you.”

    3. avatar HSR47 says:

      This.

      Whether or not they are known to be members of a criminal organization, you just don’t pull this kind of shit unless there’s a REASONABLE belief that they pose an IMMINENT threat.

      If they’re just sitting there, drinking soda and eating popcorn while watching a movie, then the peace has not been broken, and thus there is no cause for officers of the peace to act.

      This is, by all appearances, yet another example of jack-booted thuggery, and I’m sick of it.

  7. avatar Redfish says:

    Opportunity knocks……nobody answers. We could have had a few less storm troopers and a few less outlaw bikers. Oh well, maybe next time.

  8. I agree Walter… I mean Dan. Someone wasn’t thinking when they planned/authorized that action. The fact that they sent the SWAT Team in is a direct reflection of the amount of force they expected to encounter. I applaud the police force for trying to be proactive, but they chose the wrong place at the wrong time. We are lucky not to be reading the headline, “Gunfight at ‘Machine gun Preacher’ Leaves 12 Dead; 36 Injured” or somethig to that effect.

    1. avatar HSR47 says:

      Honestly though, that would have, potentially, taught several valuable lessons.

  9. avatar JOE MATAFOME says:

    Dan and Romeo are right on target, this could have led to a massacre. Everyone’s lucky the SWAT guys didn’t have to shoot, because they would have most likely shot more innocent bystanders (or sitting downers in this case) than bikers. The bikers could have also been packing and if they had opened fire this could have really turned into a big ole mess.

  10. avatar Ralph says:

    The Warlocks are a criminal gang of thugs, but all the three guys did was go to a movie. Those cops are a criminal gang of thugs who arrested three people with no probable cause, or even a reasonable basis to believe that they were doing anything wrong. So which gang is truly scarier?

    1. avatar HSR47 says:

      Obviously not the bikers.

      Why?

      Because it’s legal* for me to shoot them if/when they illegally attack me.

      *In the sense that there are no statutes that specifically prohibit it; in fact, quite the opposite is true.

      1. avatar UpUrs says:

        Is it legal to shot them if they illegally attack you? There are 4 guys in jail right now who would say this isn’t true. Those fag Florida chicklocks pull up and open fired on these guys, so these guys retailiate in self defense but because they are better shots then they’re attackers, they are being charged for murder without bond. F’d up system

    2. avatar JustSomeGuy says:

      ^This, definitely (Ralph’s). I certainly don’t worry about the local MC as I go about my day to day (and we have one of the world’s largest active here). However, I read something every day about the activities of the law enforcement crowd, from officers to prosecutors, that worries me. And not in an existential what’s the world coming to sort of way, but in a real, visceral what if I find myself threatened with this dangerous behavior way. For instance, I’ve been known to go to the movies. Oh, and I have a dog…

      JSG

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