Today the Dallas Morning News published an editorial under a headline that read in part, “biker gangs earning more trust than prosecutors.”
“Right after the May 17 motorcycle-gang shootout in Waco,” the editorial squeaks, “this newspaper’s inclination was to believe law enforcers’ account that the nine deaths and 22 injuries were the result of hardened criminal thugs waging a deadly turf battle. But the longer this bizarre case plays out, the more credible the bikers look, and the more it appears that McLennan County officials have something to hide.”
If you think you get through the Morning News’ obvious insights without falling down laughing you can read the complete editorial here.
Yes, officials in Waco have something to hide. Consider the polecam that went up at seven that morning. The camera surveyed the entire patio area and the adjacent parking lot. The video it recorded has still not been released because “McLennan County officials” are hiding it.
McLennan County Criminal District Attorney Abelino “Abel” Reyna saw the video 164 days ago – about three hours after the shooting stopped. That was the moment Reyna decided not to charge anybody with murder but to charge 182 people with being members of a gangster conspiracy instead. Maybe in another 164 days the Dallas Morning News will belt down a couple of doubles and muster the courage to wonder out loud what the polecam video shows. It certainly doesn’t show “Bandidos executing Cossacks” because if it did somebody would have been charged with murder about 161 days ago.
This was obviously a contrived confrontation. During his bond hearing, Cossacks McLennan County chapter president John Wilson, told a judge named Ralph Strother, “Waco PD had come to my motorcycle shop several times in the month prior telling me that there had been threats towards us.”
Wilson’s attorney, Mike White, told Strother he had learned that Waco police “actually advised him to begin a dialogue to try to lower the tension that had been preceding this event (the May 17 Confederation of Clubs and Independents meeting) for numerous weeks…They suggested that he either go to this meeting or start some dialogue or start having sit-downs with opposing motorcycle clubs.” It is obvious the Cossacks had no idea of how to do that. Someplace, somehow, somewhere the Cossacks senior members, or “Nomads” thought it would be a good idea to get there early and claim all the chairs and parking spaces. Most established clubs would have been more subtle.
Where’s The Story
There are still multiple, valid lines of journalistic investigation left to this story. One is, “Who set this up and how?” Waco police and Department of Public Safety officers obviously anticipated a confrontation and it is plausible that they, and whoever advises them about how to handle biker cases, thought it would go something like the brawl between members of the Hells Angels and Vagos Motorcycle Clubs in Sparks, Nevada in September 2011. Combatants there were charged with “Invitation to an Affray.” There are multiple reasons to suspect that the police invited the Cossacks to this affray. And police hoped to memorialize the event which was why they installed a pole camera that morning.
The video from that camera would answer a second, common sense question, “How many people did the police kill?” The answer to that partly depends on what the meaning of “kill” is. Police shot some of the dead. Some of them they shot and then let bleed out. Some of them may have been shot by somebody other than the police and then the police let them bleed to death.
Another related question is, “What is the point of the gag order” that prevents everyone involved in this massacre, hypothetically including Abel Reyna, from talking about what happened that day. There are multiple civil cases unfolding and as long as the gag order is in place none of the public officials who have controlled the case so far can be deposed.
However, those civil cases continue to shed light on the Twin Peaks Massacre.
At almost the same hour Abel Reyna discovered he did not have video evidence that would have enabled him to charge any Cossacks or Bandidos with murder, fledgling politician W. Patrick Swanton began vilifying the Twin Peaks restaurant. “What happened today could have been avoided if we would have had management at a local establishment listen to their police department and assist us,” Swanton lied. “They failed to do that, and this is the event that happened.”
It can be inferred that Swanton was lying because he had already seen the polecam video and he had already learned that most of the detainees would be charged with Engaging in Organized Crime rather than something like murder or conspiracy to commit murder. On May 21 Swanton bragged he couldn’t wait to show the public and press “what truly happened.”
“You will eventually see what happened at Twin Peaks,” he promised. “I’ve seen it…. It was horrible.”
Twin Peaks Motion
Now the Twin Peaks is starting to fight back. In a motion filed October 21, in the Don Carlos restaurant lawsuit against the Waco Twin Peaks, the Twin Peaks argued “The criminal conduct of third parties is the cause of any harm that Plaintiff (Don Carlos) claims in this case.”
What the Twin Peaks is asking the court to do is to assign a portion of the blame for what happened that day to identifiable third parties. Those third parties would include everyone who was there that day who might be found guilty of a crime. The motion also specifically asks the court to name “the Texas Department of Public Safety and the Waco Police Department (collectively ‘Law Enforcement’) as responsible third parties.”
Of course nobody can talk about what happened that day because Abel Reyna’s old law partner has decreed that nobody can talk. So the public has no right to know.
Here’s the news. After 164 days official Waco isn’t just covering up anymore. Waco officials are now burying their heads in the sand. And, sooner or later one of them is going to have to come up for air. Probably.