Whether the truth about what part police played in encouraging the biker brawl in the parking lot of the Waco Twin Peaks restaurant will ever be known or not now depends on the wisdom or foolishness, the cynicism or idealism and the intelligence or stupidity of an elected Dallas judge named Jim Jordan.
Jordan is the distinguished looking fellow in the photo above. He was previously, briefly famous for allowing the Boston Red Sox to buy the Liverpool Football Club over the objections of a Dallas gazillionaire who also hoped to own a professional soccer team in an exotic foreign land called England. Like so many American politicians, Jordan’s passions include being photographed next to an American flag.
What Is Truth
For the last month, various parties involved in the lawsuit against the Waco Twin Peaks franchise have been arguing that the Waco Police Department and the Texas Department of Public Safety should be compelled to produce law enforcement records pertinent to the incident; including records that would reveal the police “intelligence” that prompted cops to quarantine the parking lot and install video cameras to memorialize what might happen. The parties trying to get access to the police records include the Twin Peaks and the estates of Jesus Delgado Rodriguez and Matthew Mark Smith who were both killed that day.
According to Waco Police documents, police expected a confrontation between about 55 Cossacks and members of a Bandidos support club named Los Caballeros at the Twin Peaks a full month before the deadly brawl. An official account of that night states: “…on this night, the McLennan County Sheriffs Office had a large force here with jail vans, game wardens, constables, and the Sheriff himself. No conflicts happened this night.”
After the tragedy, Waco police “gang intelligence officer” Jeff Rogers, who was Waco’s “detective of the year” in 2014, wrote: “We thought there was potential for possibly fights, but nothing like what took place…. In my mind I expected some tension, some arguing, pushing and shoving, fights, I didn’t expect that.”
So far, the police have refused to tell the truth about what they knew, when they knew it and what they did. They are represented by a shyster named Charles D. Olson, who is the same blowhard who represents a defendant named Abel Reyna in the various, federal, false arrests lawsuits that are now on hiatus in a federal court in Austin. Federal District Judge Sam Sparks decided a week ago to stay further proceedings on those lawsuits until Reyna, the McLennan County District Attorney, gets around to trying the more than 150 defendants he had arrested for criminally conspiring to eat brunch at the Twin Peaks on the day of the brawl.
The result of Sparks’ stay is to conceal the identity of “John Doe,” who is the state or federal agent or agency who instigated the confrontation at the Twin Peaks. Sparks, who is now a candidate for the hotly contested Stupid Texas Judge of the Year Award, fatuously told the complainants’ attorneys “Plaintiff’s counsel, at this point, should have had sufficient knowledge to determine who to sue.”
Yes, judge. Good judge. That’s exactly right. Here’s a pig’s ear to gnaw on. Except, the reason why they don’t know who to sue is because Waco and the Texas Department of Public Safety have been lying to everybody and stonewalling everybody for the last 475 days as if nine deaths and 175 ruined lives was just another, everyday rape at Baylor Baptist University.
$500 An Hour Lawyer
Late last month, in a motion asking that Judge Jordan put his stamp of approval on the continued, official omerta, Olson argued that the law “does not require a court to compel discovery of law enforcement records if a showing of relevance and specific need is made; rather it provides that the court may do so. The language of (the law) itself shows that the Legislature left the decision to the discretion of the courts, but only if the party seeking the discovery first shows relevance and specific need.”
“Disregarding the word ‘may,’ and asserting that all one has to do to overcome the privilege is show relevance and special need, would be contrary to the language of the statute.”
“Therefore, a proper reading of the statute is that the party seeking discovery must show relevance and specific need before a court even has to exercise its discretion (mandatory part of the determination); and if a showing of relevance and specific need is made, the court then decides whether to compel production (discretionary part of the determination).”
Of course, it is possible that Olson just has a very odd sense of humor. Maybe he is channeling Bill Clinton. But beyond this potential hilarity, it might be less absurdly argued that it is impossible for the parties in this lawsuit to prove what Waco is hiding without opening the big box Waco likes to hide stuff in first.
Olsen laughs that off with: “Apparently Peaktastic’s (the Twin Peaks) position is that, in an ongoing complex criminal case involving well over 150 suspects, reams of information, and sensitive information; all it has to do is request essentially everything, as to every: suspect; witness; officer; item of evidence; item of communication; item of intelligence; investigatory product; etc., and the burden shifts to WPD to comb through everything, and identify as to each and practically every specific item in the whole case why the law enforcement privilege is applicable. That is illogical and unreasonable.”
Of course. All those reams of information. All that investigatory product. It would be illogical and unreasonable to search through all of that. Because the best place to hide a leaf is in a forest. And, it is almost autumn in America.