The Atlantic Asks Uncomfortable (And Familiar) Questions About the Waco Biker Shooting

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“Why is Waco, Texas, fighting to suppress multiple videos of the shootout that killed nine bikers at the Twin Peaks restaurant on May 17? Why are some attorneys in the case now prohibited from talking to the press? And why haven’t Waco officials revealed how many of the nine victims were killed by bullets from police officers’ guns?” Good questions all. More notable perhaps is that they’re being asked by Conor Friedersdorf via that notorious right wing conspiracy purveyor, The Atlantic. Nice that they’ve noticed. They’re some of the same questions that we’ve been asking here since the shooting at the Twin Peaks restaurant went down back in May . . .

Mass arrests. Million dollar bail set for scores of “suspects”– many, if not most of whom were likely innocent. Suppressed ballistics and autopsy reports. Video evidence kept from the public. Questionable grand jurors. You don’t have to be sporting a Reynolds Wrap yarmulke to be wondering exactly what the Waco powers that be have to hide.

And as Friedersdorf notes, setting aside the public’s right to know — not to mention nine dead bodies — the casualties in the aftermath have been many.

Over the last two months, motorcyclists swept up in the mass arrest following the carnage have lost jobs, been evicted from apartments, and even lost custody of children. And every day that authorities continue their opposition to sunlight in the case delays vindication for the innocents who’ve had their lives upended. The state loses little by dragging its feet while accused innocents pay dearly.

Of course, it’s not hard to grok what their motivation might be for refusing to release any evidence of what happened that day.

If there is video or ballistics evidence suggesting that lots of innocent people were arrested without probable cause, or that police bullets killed some of the dead that day in Waco, it will be a public-relations nightmare and a huge liability for Waco and its police department. Scores of bikers could sue for six- or seven-figure sums. And prosecutors might find it much more difficult to secure indictments in the case.

But if indictments can be filed before evidence inconvenient to Waco authorities is publicly revealed, the leverage changes. A biker might be indicted for conspiracy to murder, then offered a plea deal to accept a much lesser charge, like disturbing the peace, with the understanding that time served would take care of the sentence. That would be a tempting deal to take. And pleading guilty to disturbing the peace would preclude a lawsuit for being arrested without probable cause while saving police and prosecutors from looking like they harassed innocents.

Nice and tidy. But with that many people locked up for months and all the knock-on disruptive effects on their lives, you can bet that they won’t all be going quietly. And once the evidence is finally made public, the cases the innocent bikers who were Hoovered up in a mass round-up will have against the police department and the city will attract lawyers sniffing big paydays like bears to a pic-a-nic basket.

If the assiduously anti-gun Atlantic has noticed the apparent travesty of justice this has become for probably dozens of people, this is going to get a lot messier and more widely noticed for everyone involved who’s in a position of authority. And the whole sordid affair looks like it’s about to get awfully expensive for the funder of last resort – Waco’s taxpayers.

comments

  1. avatar Texheim says:

    A total of 4 officers fired from select fire rifles in semi auto mode from their marked and un marked vehicles. Between these 4 officers, a total of 12 rounds were identified at the scene as having been fired by police.

    1. avatar BStacks says:

      Source?

    2. avatar PW in KY says:

      Breaking news. New details emerge on the case, broken in the comments section of TTAG!

      No but really where did you read this? Link?

      1. avatar styrgwillidar says:

        http://wtvr.com/2015/06/12/police-fired-12-times-in-deadly-waco-biker-shooting/

        That’s what the police claimed. Not sure if it’s consistent with what witnesses reported….

        1. avatar Texheim says:

          http://www.wacotrib.com/news/twin-peaks-biker-shooting/police-release-more-details-numbers-in-twin-peaks-shooting/article_fd337d6e-a7af-5e2b-84b9-fb5480b6efa0.html

          I had the number of officers wrong, it was 3.

          He also disputed rumors that Waco police had officers assigned to the area in a sniper capacity and said, “We did not fire indiscriminately into the crowd.”
          A Waco Police Department press release reports that the three officers fired .223-caliber rifles that are capable of fully automatic fire, but were only used in semi-automatic mode during the Twin Peaks shootout. The release says there was no fully automatic fire from any officers on the scene, contrary to some statements made by bikers after they were released from jail.
          All Waco police officers were inside their vehicles at the time the shooting started at Twin Peaks, the release says. The officers involved have been assigned administrative duties pending the outcome of the investigation.

        2. avatar doesky2 says:

          12 police shots…. nine dead bikers.

          Well I guess I got to commend the police on their accuracy.
          Unfortunately for Waco taxpayers, the jury handing out the award money is probably not going to care about accuracy. The issue will rather be how WRONG the Waco cops were to shoot in the first place.

          The financial penalties will be epic. Good.

        3. avatar Good Riddance says:

          Why would the pigs give a damn about punitive damages? They personally don’t pay a dime.

  2. avatar Dave Gibson says:

    The Atlantic is picking up this story simply because it has the potential to be anti-police and anti-Texas, which is considered by many in the press to be the epitome of the Right Wing Conspiracy.. The merits don’t enter into it for them one way or another so long as they see an opening to poke an eye.

    1. avatar DoomGuy says:

      Bingo. You move onto the next round good sir.

    2. avatar Voice in the Wilderness says:

      Not just the Atlantic. NPR (for my red state friends that’s the pinko public radio network that sucks off the gov’t teet) had a story on this is as well including an extensive interview with an articulate and highly credible husband and wife who spent a week in jail, have no prior convictions, no known gang affiliations and just happened to be (i) at the wrong place at the wrong time (ii) like Harleys and leather and (iii) carrying firearms legally.

    3. avatar GusMac says:

      As a born and raised Texan I can’t disagree with that. The press may have more lemmings reading, cheering and possibly believing their drivel but being anti-Texas is pretty popular with the pro-gun crowd as well. Certainly in the comments sections of certain pro-gun blogs… At least the ignorance is often amusing. 🙂

  3. avatar David R says:

    This sounds a little too conspiracy theory like for TTAG

    1. avatar rosignol says:

      No, it’s pretty clear that something is rotten in Waco. Getting into exactly what, well, that would probably lead to conspiracy-theory land pretty quickly. But pointing out that something very strange and unlikely to be on the up-and-up is going on is completely legit.

  4. So did Fast and Furious. How’d that turn out?

    1. avatar William says:

      Point to Mr Zimmerman.

  5. avatar Chris T from KY says:

    The truth will come out eventually. If the police had executed a known rapist killer like a biker out of “sons of anarchy” would anybody really care? Or if the biker is a black rapist killer would you think differently?

    Bikers hate cops. What if the bikers wanted to kill cops like muslims like to kill marines? Like I said the truth will eventually come out.

    1. avatar Good Riddance says:

      “If the police had executed a known rapist killer like a biker out of “sons of anarchy” would anybody really care?”

      People who are concerned with due process would care. But that automatically excludes the killer cops and their scumbag cheerleaders.

      1. avatar Chris T from KY says:

        Those of us in the real world stopped believing in or have very little faith in your due process. In Chicago, how many dead so far? Or Baltimore. Your due process is working quite well in San Francisco. I fully expect the illegal alien to walk or receive the lowest sentence possible. A progressive San Francisco jury let a double murderer get 6 years. He served less than 3 years. He murdered the mayor and the first open homosexual city councilman.

        1. avatar john says:

          I’m pretty sure you don’t even understand what the right of due process gives us. Otherwise there is almost no chance you would make such a statement.
          “…nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law…”
          Are you OK surrendering your life, liberty or property to any and all government officials that demand it without so much as a hearing?

        2. avatar Good Riddance says:

          You sound awfully like the anti’s with your emotional hysterics and exploitation of tragedies for political purposes.

        3. avatar int19h says:

          Sounds good. So when the ATF SWAT team busts your house without a warrant and confiscates all your guns, remember that you said it first: “I don’t care about due process”.

        4. avatar Good Riddance says:

          Chris T will literally drop to his knees and start sucking. Bank on it.

    2. avatar Mark N. says:

      Bikers may not like cops too much, but it is notable that at least one of the arrestees is a retired detective,–also held on a million dollar bail, not because he was in any way involved in the fight and the shooting, but for “conspiracy”. Many of the arrestees were seen on vids running the other way. I think that we see is a conspiracy by the police to discourage bikers from ever darkening Waco’s streets again, aided and abetted by the DA who is the former law partner of the judge. Speaking as a lawyer, what I see is a bunch of due process violations engaged in to hurt any member of a bike club–whether that person is a gang member or just a rider. The legal theory is thin and the evidence to support it thinner. Do the Banditos have some members who are criminals? No doubt. but that doesn’t mean that Waco can convict the whole membership of conspiracy to commit murder for what a few (or less) did.

      1. avatar Bradley Ward says:

        Boycott Waco. Not just bikers, but everyone traveling through. I will get gas/food/whatever when I travel down I-35 either before or after the Waco city limits. Probably the county line.

      2. avatar Chris T from KY says:

        Like I said before the truth will come out.
        If the Waco police did try and scare a gang out of setting up a perminent presence, that is something I would understand. The innocence black people in Chicago, LA, Baltimore and other cities don’t see this due process you speak of. They do see criminals killing each other and stray bullets hurt the innocent. The police forces in these large cities are not bringing due process to these neighborhoods. Most of the crimes go unsolved. If you have due process where you live I’m happy for. I believe I have it where I live. But I’m not talking about where I live.

        In fact progressive San Francisco has the worst rate of unsolved murder cases. It was progressive law makers who created what became known as the “twinky defense ” that got a double murderer only 6 years. That double murderer was a former SF police officer. Even the judge at the time could not believe what had just happened and neither could I. All of these big progressive cities prevent law abiding blacks from getting guns to protect themselves with.

        1. avatar Chris T from KY says:

          If there were more police chiefs like Detroit police chief Craig or the sheriff of Milwaukee county, sheriff David Clark , you would have due process, but you wouldn’t need it as such since the bad guys would get shot by the good guys. These head LEO’s make sure law abiding black people get the guns they need.

        2. avatar Chris T from KY says:

          I’m tired. zzzzzzz

    3. avatar doesky2 says:

      Hey Chris, get out of the cops crotch.

  6. avatar Adam says:

    This post needs more Adam Reposa

    1. avatar Geoff PR says:

      “This post needs more Adam Reposa”

      Are you Mr. Reposa, Esquire?

  7. avatar Mack Bolan says:

    Head over to http://www.agingrebel.com who has been covering this since day 1.

    Lots of interesting information on how this has been proceeding and who is all involved from the government side, including DHS.

  8. avatar JADE HELM 15 says:

    RE

  9. avatar Ralph says:

    This Twin Peaks melodrama is more twisted and convoluted that the David Lynch TV series.

    Are we ever going to know the truth? No, not if the City of Waco has anything to say about it.

    What I find most amazing is that nine bikers died and eighteen others were injured, but not one cop suffered as much as a scratch. That doesn’t seem like a shootout — it seems like a massacre.

  10. avatar Jonathan - Houston says:

    Meh. I’m more interested in dogs, infants, and innocent bystanders mowed down by police than I am a bunch of bikers meeting to divy up territory.

    1. avatar josh says:

      You sir are FLAME DELETED, I can’t even waste my time arguing with such a FLAME DELETED. I ride, I’m a biker, I go to bike nights with my buddies that I’m sure you would label as a gang meeting. Yes there are some one percenters (as the name implies it really is one percent compared to rest of us) but don’t automatically throw every rider into the SOA narrative, thats just pure ignorance man.

      1. avatar josh says:

        Im kinda laughing about the “flame deleted part” and really confused lol

        1. avatar Geoff PR says:

          The “FLAME DELETED” was a warning to you from The Truth About Guns not to flame the website, authors or each other…

    2. avatar Ralph says:

      Jonathan, you’ll be “delighted” to know that the officer who flash-banged a little baby, causing critical injuries that resulted in a million dollars in medical costs, was not indicted by a GA grand jury, and the County refused to pay the medical bills. But, the County eventually was forced to settle for $954,000.

      And — Sheriff Nikki Autry, who lied to get a magistrate to sign off an a no-knock warrant, is being prosecuted by the Justice Department on a civil rights charge.

      Now if somebody would only flash-bang that damn SWAT team right in their trousers . . . .

    3. avatar tsbhoA.P.jr says:

      interests. many people have them. thanks for sharing.

  11. avatar AllAmerican says:

    I have no idea. But I do know Waco seems to draw in its share of massacres for some reason. Indian burial ground perhaps.

  12. avatar AllAmerican says:

    I don’t know. But Waco sure seems to draw it’s fare share of massacres. Indian burial ground perhaps.

    1. avatar B says:

      Waco, or as I like to think of it, the Hellmouth. There’s probably some kind of arcane ritual where they have the government murder a bunch of people to appease their dark lord.

  13. avatar josh says:

    I sense mainstream media wanted this story of the charts, they talked about it for maybe three days and as soon as the evidence was damning towards the city all of a sudden the story vanishes. Didnt play out to the song of Sons of Anarchy theme media wanted. We need to reform media, and demand reform of the gov, get rid of corrupt inept lobbyist, reform and break down the monopolies of the defense industry,dismantle large government, have secure monies, disband the Federal Reserve, IRS, burn the pages of the un”patriotic act”, have more civilian oversight, and respect nothing but the laws of constitution, bill of rights and nothing more. All of a sudden were back to life liberty and happiness after those steps are taken, i’m not calling for war, but protest, a united protest, as we all know United we Stand Divided we fall.

  14. avatar Analprobed says:

    IMO, the real shooting is about to start.

  15. avatar Bob says:

    Guaranteed they (cops and Waco government) have been doing everything they can to destroy and modify evidence to hide their blatant crimes. These people have little to no integrity.

    1. avatar Good Riddance says:

      Wouldn’t be the first time that happened at Waco. The feds razed, bulldozed and buried the Branch Davidian compound after their bonfire party.

    2. avatar doesky2 says:

      One can easily imagine the late night pow-wows at the cop homes before they wrote up the reports.

  16. avatar Tom W. says:

    I think “our gov’t/FBI/ATF/DEA/ etc,.” does things behind our backs, behind closed doors, utilizing informants, to rid those “bad elements” from who “they” deem unworthy of consuming oxygen.

    The LEO’S and Feds have been infiltrating and had a long seething hatred of biker “gangs”. Non disputable.

    I think this was a set up, a hit job, a reminder to the bikers of all stripes, that the real boot on your necks is “us”. How many red flags on bond, gag orders, blocked vids, witness testimony, hoping this story just fades away do you need?

    Oh wait, Dancing With The Stars is on, nothing to see here sheeple, move along.

  17. avatar Vitsaus says:

    #Bikerlivesmatter

  18. avatar gsnyder says:

    Infiltration to gangs and baited to Twin Peaks to incite opportunity to kill and capture these gangs. My opinion and as to why the issue got very quiet.

  19. avatar Hamster in a Wheel says:

    I’m amazed that anyone would snarkilly question due process and then claim that its supporters are bleeding heart leftists. On the contrary, true conservatives and libertarians must hold the government accountable when they fail to adhere to the Constitution.

  20. avatar Chris T from KY says:

    As I said before The truth will come out about the Waco biker incident.

    In order to have due process a reliable police, DA and court system must exist for the accused. What if they don’t exist for the accused and the victim of the crime? A muslim kills marine recruiters and a sailor, this caused terror in Chattanooga society. But lesser known crimes are causing terror and are not being addressed by the political leadership or the press. As I said in a previous post If you “kill the wrong person” then the system will kick in and you will have due process.

    The police in LA, Chicago, New York City and Baltimore have retreated from parts of their cities. In some parts of America the old west has returned were the law is far away from the people and it has become a savage land where they live. With gun fire almost every night, an occasional bullet passing through one of your house windows. I’m not concerned about due process for organized criminal gangs.

    I was not concerned with due process for the Klu Klux Klan when I was younger, and I’m not concerned for other white criminal gangs either. I know there are plenty of bleeding hearts who support due process for organized criminal gangs who rule the night in the worst parts of some cities. Law abiding blacks in these places can’t get a gun. I wonder why????

    Those who live in the nice white quiet part of town will always have due process. I think a large group of white criminals possibly being mistreated is what is causing so much interest.
    The most anti police complainers in society are also the same people who want to disarm all civilians. They also almost never call for the police to be disarmed. Except one Washington DC city council man did say in public he wanted the police to not carry guns.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dawson_murder_case

    The Dawson family tried to their civic duty. The system failed them. The system did a good job of making sure criminals got away with terrorizing a family. Due process? Oh ya you bet.

    …The Dawson family, a family of seven (parents Carnell, Angela, and five children), were all murdered in Baltimore, Maryland, on October 16, 2002…

    …After Angela had repeatedly alerted police to drug dealing, assault, and other crime in her East Baltimore neighborhood of Oliver, the entire family died after their home was firebombed…

    …A neighbor, Darrell L. Brooks — once a page in the Baltimore City Council chamber — pled guilty to the crimes and was given a life sentence without the possibility of parole.[1] At the time of the attack, Brooks was on probation but had been left unsupervised…

    In some neighborhoods you only have police protection on paper. Even if the city asks you to testify against criminals as the Dawson family and others were asked to do so by the Baltimore city government. In short, they want you to testify, but the city can’t protect you, and you can’t have a gun in Baltimore city limits.

    The Rampart Scandal in the LAPD
    http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/lapd/later/streets.html

    …”CRASH, by and large, did a superb job, minus the things reported about some of the corruption,” he argues. “But to think that CRASH just was a bunch of hoodlums, a bunch of uniformed thugs, is a vastly distorted image by individuals who, I believe, have an agenda, who don’t want a strong police department, either in Los Angeles, or anyplace else.” Father John believes that the CRASH cops gave the community what it wanted…

    …People forget the Bill of Rights guarantees us some reasonable access to the pursuit of happiness. Gangs are a form of terrorism.” While he doesn’t condone police misconduct, Father John sees some benefit in the administration of rough justice on the streets. “Yes indeed, CRASH did bring some fear into some of the so-called gangsters. And you know something my dear friend? Fear is a legitimate emotion. It’s a legitimate emotion. And we need a little bit more of that…”

    You want less police you may get less police. But may not like it.

    http://www.thetruthaboutguns.com/2015/01/robert-farago/note-new-york-mayor-bill-de-blasio-fire-policemen-stat/

    If the government fears the people, there is freedom. Another way to put it is, ”If the people (criminals) don’t fear the government (police) then there is no freedom.

    Many people say Rampart was the worst black eye for American law enforcement. I disagree. To all the LEO’s who visit this site. Would you tell on your fellow men and women in blue? There were many stories at the time of victims of gangs who supported the police in the rampart scandal because the cops protected the innocent and they did harass the guilty. Now the Rampart division area is just about a free fire zone for criminals.

    http://pjmedia.com/blog/rampart-scandal-continues-to-reverberate/

    …In 1992, the Los Angeles Police Department investigated a staggering 1,092 murders, the most in the city’s history…

    …Though Perez implicated dozens of officers in misconduct, criminal charges were ultimately brought against only nine…

    …Of these, five pled guilty, one was acquitted by a jury, and three were convicted at trial. And those who were convicted at trial were later vindicated when their convictions were overturned by the trial judge, a decision upheld through the appellate process. And it is worth noting that those same three officers were later awarded $5 million each when a civil jury concluded that they had been arrested and charged despite the absence of probable cause. That verdict has also been upheld through a long series of appeals…

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