This morning, CNN released edited video taken on the patio and other interior locations of the Twin Peaks restaurant in Waco during a confrontation last May 17 between members and friends of the Bandidos Motorcycle Club and members and friends of the Cossacks Motorcycle Club. It was almost immediately taken down from most news outlets. The CNN report includes the same video The Associated Press described on May 20.
The video report opens with footage of Cossacks watching the beginning of a fight between members of the two clubs. The video shows that the Cossacks had commandeered almost all of the Twin Peaks patio area which had been reserved for use that day by the Texas Confederation of Clubs and Independents.
The video also shows Cossacks running and crawling for cover and drawing guns. One biker wearing a cut without clearly identifiable indicia, is photographed firing a large, automatic pistol toward the back of the parking lot, away from the main area of the fight. The video also offers a fleeting glimpse of another biker in a t-shirt bear hugging a Cossack and throwing him to the ground.
The CNN report also includes video and still photographs of the aftermath of the massacre.
Waco Police Department
The video is clearly marked with a caption that reads “Waco Police Department” in the upper right corner. The narration that accompanies the edited video says:
“After it was all over, crime scene photos capture the nightmarish scene: Bodies left in the parking lot by toppled motorcycles; hundreds of weapons all over the place; handguns even left hidden in the restaurant toilets. CNN has obtained more than 2,000 pages of documents, crime scene photos, many too graphic to show, and surveillance video giving us the most detailed accounts of what unfolded last May. Waco police and prosecutors have consistently defended the mass arrest of the 177 bikers that day, all charged with organized criminal activity.”
“These are just some of the videos investigators are using to piece together what happened that day five months ago. A shootout that one witness said looked like the gunfight at the O.K. Corral.”
The Waco Tribune-Herald, which has been an apologist for local officials for the last six months, reported the CNN video release at 1:01 p.m. Waco time. The paper did not run the footage but reporter Olivia Messer told readers, “The footage is consistent with early police descriptions of weapons hidden between sacks of flour and bags of tortilla chips. They were allegedly in vehicles, tucked in benches, strewn across the floor, in kitchen stoves, thrown into trashcans and stuffed in toilets.”
Messer also reported the following exchange with Waco police spokesman Patrick Swanton:
“‘It does appear to be crime scene photos and video from Twin Peaks, but we did not release it,’ said Waco police Sgt. W. Patrick Swanton.
“‘Why they put Waco Police Department on there, we don’t know,’ he added, referring to a strip of writing along the top right corner of the footage that appears to attribute the video to the department.
“Swanton noted, ‘I can speculate that it was released by an attorney who got it through discovery.’”
For at least the next few minutes, until either CNN or the thought police take it down you can view the CNN report below.