There was another court hearing yesterday about how and why 177 mostly innocent people were arrested after a deadly brawl at the Twin Peaks restaurant in Waco, Texas on May 17, 2015.
Coincidentally, the hearing happened about the same time that the Texas Department of Public Safety announced “The Texas Rangers are working with the local prosecutor to conduct a preliminary investigation to determine if further action is warranted” in the Baylor scandal. Earlier in the day, State Representative Roland Gutierrez asked the Texas DPS to investigate “the obstruction of justice surrounding the sexual assault of young female students at Baylor University.” According to a lawsuit filed in January, 52 Baylor Baptist University coeds were raped over a five-year period at off campus parties hosted by Baylor football players.
The Rangers are now involved in this because ESPN exposed “the most violent and atrocious” period “in school history” to a national television audience. Although the rapes occurred outside the jurisdiction of Baylor’s campus cops neither the Waco Police, the McLennan County Sheriff’s nor Abel Reyna, the county district attorney officially noticed the violence and atrociousness. ESPN reported last May that an unnamed Waco police detective pulled “from a computer system” a report of a gang rape of a coed by Baylor football players “so that only persons who had a reason to inquire about the report would be able to access it.”
Waco, at least from far away and looking toward the southeast, appears to be a fundamentally corrupt polity in need of an intervention. Self-righteous and hypocritical Baylor both forbids alcohol and premarital sex and simultaneously asked black football recruits “Do you like white women?” Baylor officials, Baylor police, Waco police and county prosecutors were all blind to the costs of fielding a winning college football team. None of them demonstrated any interest in doing what people in cities that are less afflicted by boosterism might call the right thing. And the same moral microcephaly seems to have naturally infected the Twin Peaks case for the last 656 days. There hasn’t been a trial yet. According to reliable sources, about half the so-called “evidence’ against the 154 defendants now facing trial has not yet been released to defense attorneys.
There has never been any indication that McLennan County’s prosecutor, or his assistants, the County Sheriff, the Waco police or even the local paper have any interest in getting to the bottom of how and why the Twins Peaks bloodbath occurred. They all seem to be dedicated to covering up what happened. The federal police forces who are involved as a matter of national policy in every investigation of alleged motorcycle club criminality have been silent about Waco. Although 14 months ago the Drug Enforcement Administration and the Federal Bureau of Investigation did admit they were a year into an active investigation of the Bandidos Motorcycle Club when the Twin Peaks tragedy occurred. That case, as a matter of national security, remains mostly sealed.
So far nobody in Waco, Austin or Washington knows nothing.
It has been obvious since May 18, 2015 that a massive coverup was underway; that the architect of that coverup, or more likely the puppet of the architect of that coverup is Abel Reyna and that Reyna ordered the arrests in order to obfuscate the truth about what led to those nine deaths. In the light of what happened and didn’t happen during “the most violent and atrocious” period in Baylor University History it is not extravagant, or sensational, or fake, or irresponsible to state that Reyna has obviously done what he has done to cover up an even more sensational series of official crimes. There is a reason why Reyna has been stalling for two years and usually there are only two reasons prosecutors stall: Because they haven’t got a case in the first place and they are trying to invent one; or because they or their learned colleagues have something to hide – because something stinks of illegality or corruption in the underlying investigation. They don’t stall because they read very slowly. They don’t stall because it takes two years to crack a cell phone. They stall strategically
An informal coalition of defense attorneys in the Twin Peaks case think their clients may be cleared and that more than a dozen civil suits for false arrest may proceed if Reyna can be removed from the case and replaced with an “independent prosecutor.” The attorney on point in this symbolic, long range reconnaissance patrol is the boyish Clint Broden. Broden, from Dallas by way of the Ivy League, represents a defendant named Matthew Clendennen.
Recusing Abel Reyna
Broden formally asked Reyna’s old law partner, Waco Judge Matt Johnson, to recuse Reyna from the case because he overruled police who wanted to set most of the initial arrestees free, because he perjured himself and because he has a personal financial interest in the false arrests lawsuits that have been filed against him. Johnson – a Baylor graduate, just saying – told Broden to sit on his motion for recusal and rotate.
Broden thinks the law requires Reyna’s recusal so he sent a writ of mandamus to the Tenth Court of Appeals in Waco. The writ asks the appeals court to order Johnson to fire Reyna from the case. The three appeals judges – Tom Gray, Rex Davis and Al Scoggins who all went to Baylor Law School – listened to Broden and Assistant District Attorney Sterling Harmon argue the issue for about a half hour.
The Baylor alumni on the bench wanted to know why Broden thought there was a line between prosecutors and police. They asked Broden to site case law that defines that line. He couldn’t do it. He did tell the judges that there wasn’t any case law because what Reyna did was unprecedented.
It was unprecedented but none of the justices cared why Reyna arrested so many innocent people.
Former Waco Police Chief Brent Stroman, who was in Massachusetts on May 17, 2015, said it was his idea to arrest all the witnesses, not Reyna’s. Cops and prosecutors always lie for each other.
Harmon argued that Reyna only advised Stroman and that Broden was misinformed about what prosecutors actually do. “The DA has broad-sweeping authorities and powers,” Harmon explained. Right. Like the power to arrest hundreds of people the prosecutor knows are innocent so he can ruin their lives because he likes to see that look on their faces.
Then Broden managed to offend Chief Justice Gray, who told him to stop calling Reyna a “liar.” He also accused Broden of “creating a problem” by threatening to call Reyna as a witness.
Oh, and also Reyna is a Baylor graduate.
It could have been worse. At least Broden avoided being gang raped by the Baylor alumni.