JP Peterson Gets A Pass

February 24, 2016

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JP Peterson Gets A Pass

The Texas State Commission on Judicial Conduct gave McLennan County Justice of the Peace Walter H. “Pete” Peterson a pass Monday.

Peterson, whose resume includes a stint as a Copperas Cove police officer, 32 years as a highway patrolman and a brief tenure as an instructor at the McLennan Community College Law Enforcement Academy, rubber stamped the arrests of 173 men and four women last May after a violent altercation in the parking lot outside the Twin Peaks restaurant. Nine men died. Twenty were wounded. Peterson, who probably has a woman and a dog someplace who love him because that is what is most touching about women and dogs, seems not to have spent a moment in his life considering law, history or civics. His legal record substantiates that.

All of the people who were arrested were initially held as witnesses. The Texas Rangers, who were closest to the “intelligence” that motivated the police presence at the Twin Peaks that day, planned to bus the witnesses to two separate locations: One location for the Cossacks, Scimitars and Bogatyrs Motorcycle Club members and a second location for everybody else.

Heartless Whim

Hours after the shooting stopped, as W. Patrick Swanton’s first press conference was being televised live in the convention center where the witnesses were being debriefed, McLennan County District Attorney Abelino Reyna decided to screw them all and let God sort it out. Maybe he did it because he is prone to heartless whims. Maybe he was pressured from above.

Stop and consider that for a moment. Who might pressure the district attorney to arrest everybody and hold them incommunicado?

A Waco police detective named Manuel Chavez, who knew nothing about any of the detainees except their names, presented a pile of photocopied arrest warrants to Peterson. The name of each defendant was scrawled in. There was little probable cause to charge anybody because the most obviously violent of the Waco brawlers were already dead. Most of the 173 men and four women were already provably innocent. Reyna had seen the proof. Peterson played the part of the righteous cop and rubber stamped the warrants. Then, apparently, because somebody told Reyna to keep a lid on this Mongolian cluster orgy, Reyna passed on the instructions to Peterson. So Peterson slapped all the defendants with a bail of $1 million each. It was a summary punishment, It subjected every defendant to false imprisonment and compelled them to pay rapacious fees to the local, bloodsucking bail bondsmen.

And, it gave local authorities time to implant an alternative narrative in the public imagination. Lives had been saved not taken. Militarized Bandidos were about to converge on Waco. All of the arrested were gang members.

Afterward, Peterson made it clear that he had intended to punish the defendants. “I think it is important to send a message,” he said on the record. “We had nine people killed in our community. These people just came in, and most of them were from out of town. Very few of them were from in town.”

Fruitless Protest

In June three defense attorneys, John Hirsch, John Moore and Clint Broden, thought Peterson had behaved reprehensibly and complained to the State Commission on Judicial Conduct, the state agency that is responsible for investigating allegations of judicial misconduct or judicial disability, and for disciplining judges.

This week, after a mere eight months, the Commission issued a tone deaf, 266 word ruling. The 13 commissioners said, in part:

“We appreciate the allegations raised in your complaint regarding the judge’s failure to set appropriate and individualized bail amounts for over 170 co-defendants, and his improper public comments to the media regarding matters that were pending or impending before him. The Commission reviewed the facts and evidence obtained in the course of its investigation, which included interviewing individuals with knowledge of the matters addressed in the information you provided, reviewing relevant court documents, and conducting legal research regarding the issues raised by your complaint. In its discretion, the Commission determined that the judge’s conduct in this particular instance, while not necessarily appropriate, did not rise to the level of sanctionable misconduct. In conformity with the specific constitutional provisions, statutes and canons, which control the Commission’s actions in this matter, the Commission voted to dismiss your complaint, but has made the judge aware of the concerns.”

The local newspaper, the lead journal in covering this extraordinary case, the Waco Tribune-Herald defended Peterson in an editorial today titled “State judicial commission wisely balanced the law and hard realities.”

The paper believes there is “some justification” to the easy observation that the Waco defendants might have gotten a fairer shake in Somalia.

“Then again,” Bill Whitaker, the Tribune-Herald’s opinionator writes, “ hindsight is 20/20. It’s critical to remember that Peterson, who is not a lawyer (but almost as good — a retired highway trooper), was working through an avalanche of arrests in the immediate wake of a chaotic situation that left several bodies in the parking lot of a shopping center and Waco police sorting out the surviving bikers, many of them sporting “colors” associated with criminal motorcycle gangs. Like it or not, state law says that’s credible evidence for police to consider in making arrests.”


23 Responses to “JP Peterson Gets A Pass”

  1. XYZ Says:

    Mr. Whittaker wrote a few months ago –

    “…the May 17 affair is an oozing aberration…”

    “In short, this affair is not like other cases of crime. It has the power to blacken for decades the reputation of American justice in Waco. It may already be too late.”

    He was right back then.

    And the Judicial Conduct Commission just made the stench worse.

  2. Sieg Says:

    What a shock.


    And when that day comes, the dance will be far more interesting.


  3. zero Says:

    Everybody needs to stop and think I could have been there. You or your friends could have been there. If you ride this is serious business, not to be taken lightly. There’s a war against bikers and we all ride in the crosshairs. Between the actual law and the vigilante Iron Order we need to watch our ass. I don’t see it getting better before it gets worse. The courts have a set of scales for their symbol but ATF, FBI, State Police and the Sheriff all have their thumbs on the scales. WACO’s not that far away. If they get by with it who’s next?

  4. ak rack Says:

    “the Commission determined that the judge’s conduct in this particular instance, while not necessarily appropriate, did not rise to the level of sanctionable misconduct.”

    Kind of makes you wonder just how extreme judicial misconduct has to get in Texas for it to rise to the level of “sanctionable”. Did Whitaker really argue that since Peterson isn’t a lawyer, was rattled and only sort of knew what he was doing it’s cool he got a pass for screwing the pooch on setting bail?

  5. Parsifal Says:

    I’ve been hearing a whistling sound every since wacko happened?…. I would believe it is the wind blowing through JP Petersons head. This would be funny if it wasn’t so warped and sick.

    The puppet masters are smart, but not wise. No justice here. Bizarre! Absolutely Bizarre. {Complete charlatans?}

  6. Lost Cause Says:

    Just solidifies why I’ll never ride through Texass. R.I.P. Constitution, you will be sorely missed.

  7. Maven Says:

    Saying this is a travesty of justice doesn’t even begin to describe how bad this is. I’m without words. These people just have to sit there and take having their lives ruined while the pigs smirk and slap each other on the back.

  8. BD Says:

    That’s Texas. (I grew up there) you get the right lawyer, and as long as you didn’t kill anybody white you will get by. And they don’t get excited when cops kill a few motherfuckers. (them damn hippys had it comin)

  9. Mama G Says:

    Zero I have been thinking the same thing since day one. I have been to numerous COC meetings and would have been swept up had I been in attendance. Especially knowing what I would have been wearing. It is scary to think about when and where this will happen next.

  10. Thunderbird Says:

    Smells like Germany 1933 where the essence of human rights were increasingly taken away while the people watched in apathy until their government became full blown fascism. The German people let it happen to them. Looks like the same thing is happening in the USA. In Germany the justice system became the mechanism that murdered thousands and locked up thousands more that were considered enemies of the State. Looks like the same thing is happening here in the US with WACO as one example.

  11. ghost Says:

    for any judge, cop, security guard, or any other law enforcement type to actually be punished for anything is almost unheard of. the fuckers are professional spin masters, even at the lowest level. remember Rodney king. what happened to those fucking cops? nothing, other than after they got off scot free, and that caused one of the worst riots in LA history. for any cop, on any level to be punished for anything one of two things has to happen. 1. you would have to have video of said douche bag actually doing something horrible, and they might still get off. 2. they get hammered by their own for political reasons. that’s it. fuck cops, judges, lawyers, feds, locals, whatever.

  12. Steel Says:

    The Waco paper all for saying someone wearing their colors is enough probable cause for arrest. Never will the public be convinced at how dangerous it is to allow law enforcement this much power. The public can’t seem to grasp the idea once LE grabs this much power they don’t give it back and tend to extend it. Apparently, Constitution be damned. This whole Waco situation is such an abuse of power and I believe it is being done to cover up what LE did that fateful day.

    Respects to the deserving,


  13. NOS4A2 Says:

    “The Texas State Commission on Judicial Conduct gave McLennan County Justice of the Peace Walter H. “Pete” Peterson a pass Monday.”

    and you really expected any other outcome? Silly little citizens.

  14. popeye Says:

    Theres a new bill in the house to eliminate bail as it is against “innocent until proven guilty ” and is a means of punishment. 3 democrat reps have introduced it. Someone should make them aware of this extreme case of bail as punishment. It might bring more support to our cause.

  15. molasses Says:

    It’s Texas if you don’t wear a pale yellow long sleeved, button down shirt, and a Stetson you are a criminal.

  16. david Says:

    Of course, EIGHT months ago the TX Judicial Commissars could have stated the same bull-shit, since the members actually investigated nothing.

    Austin DPS, and retired DPS pension-receiving Peterson, are in over its’ Directors’ head. More gov. can do no wrong, at any time, bull.

  17. Phuquehed Says:

    Rope. Tree. JP Petersen, Texas State Commission on Judicial Conduct, pigs/fedtards of Waco, Reyna the fag and any of his henchman dick suckers.

  18. Meh Says:

    Bail bondsmen don’t work for free. If the total punishment by commission were made public it might fuel some outrage since most citizens don’t understand bail math.

    A shitload of money was lost paying to bail people who will never be convicted, not to mention thousands each in legal fees.

    I wonder what the average cost of this “financial non-judicial punishment” is per innocent biker?

  19. Mad Dog Says:

    Like ak rack, I would be curious to know what the Texas State Commission on Judicial Conduct has ever sanctioned. Evidently, in Texas a travesty of justice only rises to the level of “not necessarily appropriate,” which I guess amounts to “annoying, but no big deal.”

  20. rw Says:

    So far I’m out a little more than $15,000.00
    Not to mention a very expensive scooter I haven’t seen in almost a year. Would of been more than that if not for a bondsperson sympathetic to the situation willing to take considerably less than normal.

  21. stroker Says:

    A good friend of mine, lawyer, now deceased, told me years ago, as he was helping me thru a court case, that the legal system is just that. A system. The system is designed to be self-perpetuating. That is, even if someone is arrested, then found not guilty, he is going to support that system. Bail, lawyer, court costs, maybe a rehab program, maybe jail…..all of which provides income to the “system.” Doesn’t matter if you’re innocent or guilty. The “system” (or legal circus, as I like to call it) is going to make all involved, money. So…..while this whole debacle in Waco may ultimately come out as a “win” for those poor souls going thru the shit-storm, for those that are part of the circus, it’s also a win.

    Is this a great country, or what?

    CTL (click the links for Rebel)

  22. Lone Wolf Says:

    I have always wanted to vacation in Texas….see the Alamo etc. After this incident and being a patcher I wouldn’t set foot there ifn it was paid for…..God wont bless TYexas..

    LW Canada

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