The Waco Police Department and the McLennan County District Attorney’s Office have lied and wrongly charged a majority of bikers on May 17 that were gathered for a Confederation of Clubs and Independents bi-monthly biker meeting, according to the Bandidos Motorcycle Club.
By H. Nelson Goodson
Hispanic News Network U.S.A.
June 23, 2015
Waco, Texas – On Monday, the Waco Police Department responded to criticism and allegations claiming that the department and the McLennan County District Attorney’s Office are corrupt and illegally detained without due process and falsely charged 177 bikers with one felony count each for engaging in organized crime and had illegally set $1M bonds for everyone arrested. Since, the bikers arrests, some of the bonds have been reduced. Few bikers still unjustly remained in jail unable to post bonds for more than a month.
Nine bikers were killed by police and 20 were wounded by SWAT and Texas Rangers involved in the melee.
Waco Police Chief Brent Stroman and McLennan County D.A. Abel Reyna have not released any video from the Twin Peaks biker brawl between the Cossacks, Scimitars and Bandidos M.C.s, including police. The Bandidos have not made a public statement until Monday, when they alleged that the Waco police has lied about what actually happened at the Twin Peaks on May 17 and are refusing to release video evidence from the Don Carlos Restaurant that would exonerate bikers and implicate Waco police in the murders of nine bikers.
Sergeant Patrick Swanton, spokesman for the Waco Police Department (WPD) released the following statement after the Bandidos M.C. alleged that the police department had continuously lied and are refusing to released video evidence and autopsy reports because it would taint an ongoing investigation and a jury pool for trials. The Bandidos M.C. dispute Sgt. Swanton’s reasoning.
Sgt. Swanton’s statement posted on the WPD Facebook account said, “I have begun to realize there is a group of individuals who regardless of what we say will have a tainted picture of what actually happened at Twin Peaks…Obviously what I release has to be approved by PD administration, investigating detectives and the District Attorney as this case will need to be tried in court, not on Facebook.
“I said from the very first day we have several videos that captured the scene at Twin Peaks. That fact stands and is undeniable. The FBI is in possession of those videos to assist us in the investigation. It is not up to me as to when that gets released but rest assured it will. Unedited, unaltered and will show exactly what was started by bikers and how it led to officers having to use deadly force to stop their violence towards each other and Law Enforcement.
“We have been and will maintain to be truthful, as transparent as possible without jeopardizing the case investigation and will reveal every aspect of this case in time. Some think we can release everything at this point but that is simply not the truth. This is real life and not a made for TV movie.
In the early hours of the incident we put out as much as possible in a very fluid situation to inform our public. We immediately corrected any information if need be as we learned more during the investigation. That is not any indication we misled anyone. It was simply an attempt to share what we believed had occurred during the start of the incident.
Thank you for your concern and as we can, information will be shared with all in as timely a manner as I can,” Sgt. Swanton stated.
Las Vegas Attorney Stephen Stubbs released a statement from the Bandidos M.C. on Monday alleging the WPD has lied and fed misinformation to the mainstream media. The Bandidos full statement says, “The Bandidos Motorcycle Club (hereafter, “Bandidos”) is saddened by the incident that took place at the Twin Peaks Restaurant in Waco, Texas on May 17, 2015. The violence was senseless, completely unnecessary, and wrong.
“From the beginning, the Waco Police Department has freely spoken to the press and said many things that have since been proven untrue. This false narrative is damaging to everyone involved. Still, the Waco Police department continues to feed false information to the public, and at the same time is refusing to disclose important information/evidence (such as video evidence and autopsy reports) that would independently prove what really occurred. The Waco Police Department refuses to speak beyond their planned narrative, claiming that they do not want to “influence a potential jury pool” or “interfere with the investigation.” However, this is nonsense as nothing in the video and/or autopsy reports will alter or change any part of their investigation. The release of the video and/or autopsy reports would simply clear up rampant misinformation. If the Waco Police Department didn’t want to interfere with the investigation or influence a potential jury pool, it should not have released its false narrative in the first place and instead should have stayed silent during the entirety of the investigation. They did not, and now, after the false information has been widely reported, the Waco Police Department is content to feed the false narrative and allow the public to believe falsehoods. Therefore, the Bandidos demand that all video evidence and autopsy reports be released immediately to clear up the damaging misinformation that is running wild.
The following is true and correct:
1) The Bandidos were at the Twin Peaks restaurant to attend an organized political meeting and nothing else. A regional meeting for the Texas Confederation of Clubs and Independents (a bona fide political organization centered on Constitutional rights) was scheduled, and a prominent member of the Bandidos was the key-note speaker at the meeting. This Bandido key-note speaker was to report on the National Coalition of Motorcyclist event that occurred weeks earlier. Because COCI members from across the state were expected to attend this special meeting, it was purposefully scheduled in Waco, TX, a central city between Austin and Dallas.
2) The Bandidos have no knowledge of any other meeting. The Bandidos are aware that members of other motorcycle clubs are claiming that there were plans to meet with the Bandidos in Waco, TX on May 17, 2015. This claim is not true.
3) All weapons in possession of members the Bandidos were legally owned and carried.
4) Members of the Bandidos were not aggressors, did not start the altercation, did not strike first, were not the first to pull weapons, and were not the first to use weapons. The majority of the Bandidos took cover, and all involvement in the altercation by members of the Bandidos was in self-defense. Texas law allows people to defend themselves with the same amount of force that is exerted against them, and a few members of the Bandidos acted in accordance with these laws. In fact, members of the Bandidos involved in the incident did not even have time or opportunity to get off of their motorcycles before police came in,” the Bandidos stated.
So far, it seems the WPD and the McLennan County District Attorney Reyna have sealed the video surveillance recording taken from the Don Carlos Restaurant and won’t release it to media, which according to the latest information by Waco police indicates that the FBI has the video in question and is reviewing it. Autopsy reports of the nine bikers killed and other relevant evidence hasn’t been released by police in an attempt to cover-up a Waco police massacre at the Twin Peaks, according to eye witnesses and bikers who were arrested. Police have cited that they don’t want to jeopardize the ongoing investigation, so the information won’t be released, which has cast doubt about the investigation itself, according to attorneys representing some of the bikers arrested and bonded.
Waco Police Chief Stroman nor McLennan County D.A. Reyna haven’t admitted that the initial criminal affidavit warrants by Waco Police Detective Manuel Chavez were illegally served due to a lack of due process and individual probable cause hearings for each biker when the warrants were illegally signed by Justice of the Peace Walter H. Peterson who unlawfully set $1M bonds for some of the bikers arrested in May. Peterson is prohibited by Texas law to preside over felony cases involving jail terms and to set bonds.
A complaint has been filed against Justice of the Peace Peterson with the Texas Commission on Judicial Conduct claiming that Peterson illegally signed warrants without individual probable cause hearings, was bias and set excessive bonds for bikers violating his limited authority under state statues.
Don Carlos Rest. Twin Peaks May 7, 2015 video of Waco Police at scene of Bandidos and Cossacks MC brawl leaked (poor visibility) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jpPNX4PHKVQ
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