In an editorial published in today’s Waco Tribune-Herald, the paper found a cause for the simmering discontent over the continued, illegal incarceration of more than 120 people who were rounded up in the mass arrests that followed the Waco Massacre on May 17.
“Who’s to blame,” the paper wondered. “Certainly some of the bikers who, while possibly innocent, were foolish enough to wear colors specifically linking them with motorcycle gangs such as the Bandidos and the Cossacks, identified by the FBI and Texas Department of Public Safety with crime, organized and otherwise.”
The Tribune-Herald also opined about demonstrators at last Sunday’s demonstration outside the county courthouse. “We believe many of these same bikers way too conveniently look the other way concerning those who mingle with them and yet are involved in drug-trafficking and prostitution,” the paper said.
The Waco paper characterized criticism of police spokesman W. Patrick Swanton as “unfair.”
“So know this,” the paper lectured. “Initial reports on any event of this scope and complexity are almost always open to correction as police execute search warrants, discern relevant facts from irrelevant facts and turn up other pieces of evidence such as, say, weapons hidden in toilets and bags of tortilla chips. The fact that Swanton continually revised information – and in a crisis situation – speaks of his integrity.”
Fast Food Justice
News from today’s Tribune-Herald suggests that those who are still being held on excessive bails may be able to attend bond reduction hearings real soon now. Third Administrative Judicial Region Presiding Judge Billy Ray Stubblefield, who had not noticed the mass arrests in Waco for more than two weeks, has apparently awakened alert, rested and ready to “basically brainstorm.”
After meeting with the two judges who have so far refused to lower the excessive bail leveled against defendants, Stubblefield enthused, “I had indicated that if there is anything we could do to help, we stand ready to do that, basically by appointing as many visiting judges as needed to carry out hearings that need to be held,” Stubblefield said. “We are planning to meet on Tuesday and hopefully discuss the current status of all the cases and see if there is anything we can do to speed the process along.”
“When you have 170 arrested at the same time, it is just a sudden rush, like if you were in a fast-food restaurant and three buses pulled up and all the kids want their food just as fast as they normally do. It is a nightmarish situation for everyone involved,” Stubblefield explained to a reporter named Tommy Witherspoon. “It is a very complicated process and unprecedented, as far as my experience is concerned.”