“A McLennan County investigator has obtained a search warrant to extract a bullet from the arm of a biker — killed last week in a wreck — who was wounded in the deadly May 17 Twin Peaks shootout but left Waco before he was identified or arrested,” the Waco Tribune-Herald reported Wednesday. He’s doing it because it may help identify the weapon used to create the wound, and wants to have the sample submitted to the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, which is conducting the forensic analysis of weapons, bullets, bullet fragments and casings recovered at the scene…” . . .
The curious thing about that is, even though the shootings happened on May 17, ATF still hasn’t released its findings, so they could not be included in the autopsy reports released last month on the nine bikers killed. And that’s after “ATF Senior Special Agent Nicole Strong said pieces of evidence from the Waco Twin Peaks cases … are being given top priority over other cases.”
Obviously, with an important investigation going on, inappropriately rushing things won’t serve the interests of justice, the case must not be tried in the media, and law enforcement agencies don’t comment on existing investigations anyway – unless doing so serves their interests. That said, many serious questions about who was responsible for all of the shootings remain unanswered, and suspicions are further fueled by the lack of an official statement.
There is something that can be done, and it has precedent.
Back before the media and the Congress wanted to have anything to do with Operation Fast and Furious “gunwalking,” my colleague Mike Vanderboegh and I wrote an open letter to Senate Judiciary Committee staff asking them to look into allegations and to offer protection to whistleblowers. We also did what we could to overcome the lack of pressure by those with the means to apply it, and chide the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform to investigate.
Similar citizen efforts could be productive in the Waco Twin Peaks case as well, not with the local investigation, but with the federal one. ATF’s involvement is well within the purview of Senate Judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley and House Oversight Chairman Jason Chaffetz to inquire about. Plus, it’s not like ATF isn’t known for embedding assets into motorcycle clubs, and that potential should definitely be of interest to both committees.
That aside, just asking when the ballistics investigation is expected to be completed hardly seems unreasonable, and would further let bureau management know influential eyes are on them. If nothing else, it will let ATF know they are being watched, and the stonewalling and obfuscation their actions have led observers to expect will not go unnoticed.
As with Fast and Furious, it took citizens joining in to motivate the politicians to act. Grassley and Chaffetz have the standard contact forms, but for those who aren’t state/district constituents, a quicker way to communicate, that won’t be excluded based on residency, would be through social media.
“Ask ATF when Waco ballistics report will be released” messages can be sent to Grassley at his Twitter and Facebook accounts, and likewise, Chaffetz also has Twitter and Facebook pages. The more concerned citizens who do this, the greater the chances we’ll see some movement from the politicians.