The Associated Press has analyzed evidence from a May shootout in which nine members of motorcycle clubs were killed outside a Waco restaurant and concluded some were hit by police bullets, a Friday AP report reveals. “The AP reviewed more than 8,800 pages of evidence, including police reports, dash-cam video, photos and audio interviews related to the May 17 confrontation,” the report explains. “Four months later, authorities have released little information about what sparked the fight or how the gunfire played out, and no one has been charged with any of the deaths.” . . .
That goes directly to a concern raised in this column after it was revealed in August that autopsy reports were released without ballistics reports. Along with questionable activities by both the prosecutor and the judge in the case against the bikers, flags were raised because that testing had been assigned to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, and ATF had pledged the tests were “being given top priority over other cases.”
Because of that, this column approached Sen. Chuck Grassley of the Senate Judiciary Committee, and Rep. Jason Chaffetz, Chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, with a simple request that is well within their purview and authority, and which would not in any way interfere with the ongoing investigation:
“Ask ATF when Waco ballistics report will be released.”
That’s it – just let us know when it’s expected to be complete. Surely by now the lab folks must have a feel for what procedures must still be completed, and the experience to estimate how long that should take.
With that request sent via Facebook messaging, Grassley’s office responded to TTAG’s inquiry. Except initially, the response just contained platitudes that committed to nothing. Challenging being effectively dismissed with nothing of substance got the staffer’s attention and resulted in a pledge of sorts.
“We definitely appreciate you taking the time to contact Senator Grassley,” the staffer replied. “If you can give us your email or mailing address, the Senator will be able to send you a more detailed message regarding your comments. Thank you.”
That was two days ago, and the detailed email has not arrived yet. With this latest development, I replied with a link to the AP report and a message that “this makes the question by Sen. Grassley to ATF all the more appropriate and urgent.”
This column will continue to monitor developments and post the detailed Grassley reply upon receipt. Perhaps the senator responding to TTAG’s inquiry will receive wider media attention and prod ATF to estimate how much longer the public will have to wait for its report.