For the last four days a glib, specious, Waco police sergeant named Patrick Swanton has been defining the reality of what happened last Sunday in and near a Texas Region One Confederation of Clubs and Independents meeting. The meeting was in a lewdly named restaurant called Twin Peaks in a shopping center called the Central Texas Marketplace near the collision of two freeways in Waco, Texas.
“I’ve see this before,” William L. Dulaney, an interesting man who has been a soldier, a scholar and a motorcycle outlaw, said this morning about the gelded press in Waco. “The police are controlling the narrative. They have everybody who might contradict what they are saying locked up. The press believes everything the police are saying. I’ve seen this before. I’ve never seen it this bad.”
Virtually everything Swanton and other officials in Waco have said about Sunday’s massacre has gone unchallenged. When CNN, citing “a law enforcement source,” had the audacity to report that four of the nine men killed last Sunday had been shot by police “in a hail of police bullets,” Swanton lit into talking head Ashleigh Banfield. “That’s not fact,” he insisted. And then he told Banfield that he was the only person who could authoritatively speak about the massacre. And then he told Banfield the autopsies had not been “completed.”
H. L. Mencken
Banfield, who is not exactly H. L. Mencken, meekly replied “Well, I’m glad you cleared that up… Well, I know you’re busy and you have a big crime scene.”
H. L. Mencken or Edward R. Murrow or Dan Rather or, for God’s sake, even Brian Williams might have asked, “Why haven’t the autopsies been completed yet? How long does it usually take to remove a bullet from a skull? How many bullets have been recovered from the bodies so far? What are the calibers of those bullets?”
The lie of the “incomplete” autopsies is merely one of numerous, obvious lies Swanton has told the press this week. Swanton’s lies have created a cloud of confusion that has obscured press coverage of Sunday’s massacre. Most of the press doesn’t seem to mind. After all, even if Swanton is lying through his teeth he at least gives good quote. So it might be a good thing for this obscure corner of niche journalism to actually list a few of them.
Criminal Element Bikers
This was a meeting of “A bunch of criminal element biker members that came to Waco and tried to instill violence into our community and unfortunately did just that…. This is not a bunch of doctors and dentists and lawyers riding Harleys,” Swanton said as reporters took careful notes. “These are criminals on Harley-Davidsons.”
The massacre occurred at a Sunday brunch of bikers from diverse motorcycle clubs who intended to discuss issues of interest to motorcyclists – like lane splitting, profiling of motorcyclists, the right to wear a club patch while eating in a diner, state politicians who are sympathetic and unsympathetic about so called “biker rights,” and the legal implications of traffic intersection mass detectors that cannot detect motorcycles. There were at least a dozen clubs there.
Some sources have suggested that there might have been a side meeting between some Bandidos and some Cossacks to discuss matters of mutual concern to those two clubs. Neither the Bandidos nor the Cossacks have said that yet.
Profit Over Lives
“What occurred here today is the worst-case scenario when a business owner puts profit over human lives. It’s sad. This could have all been avoided,” Swanton said.
The Twin Peaks franchise sold food and drink to a peaceful assembly of American citizens. The Waco police wanted the restaurant to ban the bikers, who the Twin Peaks management knew from past experience to be peaceful, and lose the business. The owners of the Twin Peaks thought it was more important to make their payroll instead.
Police in Waco have deliberately prevented public scrutiny of the massacre by sealing the entire shopping center and claiming that the citizens of Waco, and all police in Texas are in danger from a vaguely described biker menace. Swanton claimed that there was “credible information about threats toward law enforcement,” Police leaked an “internal bulletin” Sunday night that claimed “Our agency has recieved (sic) information that the Cosaks (sic) and Banditos (sic) have issued an order to kill anyone in uniform.”
The police statements are fabrications. There were no threats. Murders of, and even assaults on, sworn peace officers in the United States by outlaw bikers are extraordinarily rare. In the United States, policemen are more likely to be struck by lightening than to be punched by a motorcycle outlaw.
One exception is the Dequiallo patch worn by a few Hells Angels which, allegedly, is earned for punching a cop. A recent notable exception was the apparent shooting of a Swat officer named Shaun Diamond by a Mongol named David Martinez as a Swat team broke into Martinez’ home in the middle of the night to serve a search warrant.
Motorcycle outlaws are not gang bangers. Motorcycle clubs are not gangs. Sergeant Swanton in uniform would be in much less danger at a convention of outlaw bikers than he would be standing on a corner in East Baltimore or Watts. And he wouldn’t be in particular danger in either of those ghettos. As a rule, Americans don’t kill cops. Cops kill Americans.
Wednesday, Swanton announced, “We’ve found up to 1,000 weapons inside the establishment. We believe those weapons were discarded either during or after the melee. We found weapons hidden under bags of flour, in bags of chips. We found a handgun stuffed inside a toilet. We found an AK-47 in a vehicle in the parking lot. And, even so much, as far, as found body armor. This isn’t your church going crowd that came out to have a dinner with the family. This is a gang oriented criminal element that was in our city to conduct criminal activity.”
The statement is typical of the inflammatory and obfuscatory nonsense Swanton has been spouting for days. And also typically, no reporter bothered to ask Swanton how many of those weapons found inside the steak house were steak knives.