Earlier this week, Waco Police Spokesman W. Patrick Swanton said 22 members of law enforcement were on-scene before shooting broke out at a motorcycle club gathering at the Twin Peaks restaurant. The police force included the Assistant Police Chief, ten members of the Waco SWAT unit, two sergeants and four State Troopers. Despite the fact that an autopsy of the dead has been completed, we still don’t know who shot whom. And with 169 citizens under lock-and-key pending $1m bail – each – we’re not getting the bikers’ side of the story. What we are getting is some extremely defensive comments from the cops. Here’s Sgt. Swanton’s most recent message to the biker community [via cnn.com] . . .
Police Sgt. W. Patrick Swanton said Wednesday that three or four Waco officers probably opened fire but that it’s too early to tell how many of the dead bikers may have been struck by police bullets.
Swanton told CNN’s “Erin Burnett OutFront” after the bulletin was sent to authorities that police live with constant threats.
“Unfortunately, in our line of work, it’s something we deal with day in and day out. I would, however, like to say this, to those that are listening that are making the threats: The incident that occurred here Sunday afternoon … was an absolute tragedy,” he said. “However, those of you that were there know that we did absolutely nothing to start that. We would ask you to remember that and remind you that although you have totally different ways from us, law enforcement did not start the melee.”
Again, “those of you that were there” are all in jail. Every single one of them save one, and he ain’t talking. We’ve not seen any police body-cam video of the incident – should it exist. On Wednesday, the AP (and the AP alone) viewed restaurant security video. They report that “only” one of the dozens of bikers recorded fired a gun from the patio of the restaurant.
There’s been no footage of the parking lot, where [we believe] the victims were shot. Anyway, even if the bikers started the violence, even if they threatened the police with deadly force, that doesn’t absolve the cops from responsibility for their actions once the lead started flying.
Sgt. Swanton’s comment came after claimed threats from brother bikers bent on retribution.
Texas law enforcement officials are investigating what they say are new threats against officers from biker gangs in the wake of a recent shootout in Waco.
Members of the Bandidos biker gang who are in the military “are supplying the gang with grenades and C4 explosives,” according to a bulletin issued Thursday by the Texas Department of Public Safety and reviewed by CNN.
The bulletin warns of plots targeting high-ranking law enforcement officials and their families with car bombs. The bulletin is based on unsubstantiated information from an informant who claimed to have obtained it from Bandidos and Black Widows motorcycle gang members.
The Bandidos want to retaliate against police for shooting “their brothers” as they came out of the Twin Peaks restaurant, the bulletin says.
The gang has ordered a hit against Texas troopers and other officers, according to the bulletin. Among the threats are running over officers at traffic stops and the use of grenades and Molotov cocktails and firearms.
The bulletin includes some locations as possible targets: McLennan County Jail in Waco as well as sites in Austin, El Paso, Dallas, Corpus Christi and Houston.
We’ve also learned [via dailymail.co.uk] that not all of those killed were criminals, as the police maintained. One of the dead includes Jesus Delgado Rodriguez, a 65-year-old Marine without a criminal history. His son said he was “not violent” and rode in charity events to combat crime. Whatever that means.
It would be really nice to know the facts of this mass shooting. The police’s refusal to provide key details and the court’s decision to jail such an enormous group of witnesses, does not give one confidence that this will be the end of it. In some ways that’s good. In others that’s very, very bad. [h/t DrVino]