Twenty More Waco Lawsuits

May 16, 2017

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Twenty More Waco Lawsuits

Another 20 men filed suit against Waco and McLennan County, Texas late yesterday afternoon.

All 20 men were members “of the Bandidos Motorcycle Club at the time of” the Waco Twin Peaks biker brawl two years ago. Their names are Marshall Mitchell, Blake Taylor, Christopher Rogers, Richard Benavides, Brian Brincks, Rene Cavazos, Juventino Montellano, Jason Cavazos, John Guerrero, Lindell Copeland, Rudy Mercado, Richard Smith, Lawrence Garcia, Anthony Shane Palmer, Phillip Sampson, Clayton Reed, James Gray, Cory McAlister, Tommy Jennings, and Larry Piña. All 20 have been indicted by a McLennan County grand jury.

In addition to Waco and the county that surrounds it the men are suing former Waco Police Chief Brent Stroman; Waco police detective Manuel Chavez; McLennan County prosecutor  Abelino “Abel” Reyna; Waco Assistant Police Chief Robert Lanning; former Waco Police detective of the year and local gang expert Jeffrey Rogers: Waco Police Public Information Officer Patrick Swanton; Texas Department of Public Safety Criminal Investigations Division Lieutenant Steven Schwartz; and Department of Public Safety Special Agent Christopher Frost.

Big Bill Coming

The 20 Bandidos are represented by Dallas lawyer Don Tittle and near its beginning the suit states: “It is not illegal to be a member of the Bandidos Motorcycle Club, and no law of the United States or the State of Texas is violated simply by membership in the Bandidos MC. Attendance at the COC meeting on May 17, 2015 was completely lawful, and did not violate any law of the United States or the State of Texas. The government wrongfully arrested each of these individuals claiming that two lawful activities added together somehow equals criminal conduct. No matter how fanciful a tale the Defendants attempt to weave, mere presence at Twin Peaks on that fateful day, without more, does not a crime make.”

Unlike some suits filed by other lawyers in this giant case, this suit does not state an amount of damages sought. But some of the people suing the same defendants are seeking as much as $350 million in compensation for their pain, suffering, humiliation and unlawful imprisonment.

The constitutional violations with which the defendants are charged are both unprecedented and ongoing. The ongoing nature of the offenses against all the complainants in all these lawsuits is what is likely to make the compensation they all eventually receive astronomically large. For example, New York City paid “The Central Park Five” $40 million in a settlement in 2014. Depending on who files suit today, Waco, McLennan County, Texas, Stroman, Chavez, Reyna, Lanning, Rogers, Swanton, Schwartz and Frost are very likely to be presented with a $1 Billion bill for their callous and irresponsible actions.

It seems farfetched to suppose any of the defendants has that much cash just lying around.

At some point, the state is going to have to keep Waco afloat. In 2015, the last year for which a number if available, the gross domestic product of Texas was $1.69 Trillion. Texas had total tax revenues of about $52 Billion and received about $37 Billion in federal aid.

These suits attack the investigation that followed the violence, the decision to arrest these complainants, their indictments and the tainted grand jury deliberations that made all those indictments perfectly legal.

Everybody Already Knows

These latest suits restate what everyone has known all along.

“Despite possessing video from numerous angles showing the complete lack of involvement of most of those arrested and hours and hours of interviews with the arrested individuals in which no evidence of a conspiracy was uncovered to support their ‘theory’ of pre-planned violence, Defendants willfully, intentionally, and recklessly charged 177 individuals with the identical first degree felony of Engaging in Organized Criminal Activity with the Intent to Commit or Conspire to Commit Murder, Capital Murder, or Aggravated Assault.”

“The decision to arrest and charge Plaintiffs and the other individuals with crimes despite video evidence, and statements from hundreds of witnesses, that directly contradict the existence of probable cause, or any reasonable belief thereof, can only be characterized as willful, intentional, and/or reckless.  Based on the very specific information known by Defendants at the time their decision was made to arrest, including CLEAR and UNAMBIGUOUS video evidence directly at odds with Defendants’ theory of a mass criminal enterprise engaging in organized crime, it is impossible to believe Defendants’ conduct and decisions were anything other than willful, intentional, and/or reckless. Defendants’ decision to ignore contrary and exculpatory evidence in favor of a theory unsupported by the facts or the law was consciously made and therefore willful, intentional, and/or reckless. Investigative reports and DPS witness summaries provide specific proof of the facts alleged herein.”

Waco Police department’s “intent to create a false picture of the event is most evident in the manner that guns and knives were displayed to the media following the incident. The majority of the knives confiscated would not be considered illegal under § 46.02 of the TEXAS PENAL CODE, and were voluntarily relinquished upon requests from law enforcement soon after the shootings. Notwithstanding an individual’s right to carry a legal knife, the knives were displayed to the media with blades extended in an effort to appear as menacing as possible.”

“A similar storyline emerged regarding the number of guns seized after the incident, which was grossly overstated in initial reports. Police representatives omitted the truth that many of these guns were found outside the restaurant following the incident, stored safely on motorcycles or in other vehicles, as permitted by Texas law.”

“In the hours and days immediately following the incident, Defendants Stroman, Chavez, Reyna, Lanning, Rogers, Swanton, Schwartz, and Frost entered into a conspiracy to deprive Plaintiff of his right to be free from unlawful seizure and incarceration in violation of his Fourth Amendment rights, or as stated above, and in the alternative, their Fourteenth Amendment rights.  Defendants acted in concert either to orchestrate or to carry out the illegal seizure and cause the illegal arrest and incarceration described in this Complaint when they knew there was no probable cause to arrest them or to charge them with the offenses of Engaging in Organized Criminal Activity.”

These 20 new suits have gone unreported except in the Waco Tribune-Herald. You can read how the local paper is covering these lawsuits here. 

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12 Responses to “Twenty More Waco Lawsuits”

  1. New England Rider Says:

    Sometimes the best way to get through to someone, or to get justice is to hit them in the wallet. This whole entire case has stunk from day one, I can’t imagine ant jury convicting anyone at this point. Such a waste and such a sham.

    LL&R

  2. Dirt Digler Says:

    Who do you believe, the “Raging Able”, or the “Aging Rebel”?

  3. Iron Rider Says:

    This is just going to continue, there were lawsuits filed early, there were these lawsuits filed in the last week and there will be more coming down the road in the future.

    Reyna and co will be putting the good folks of Waco, McLennan County and the state of Texas in debt even after their young children have grown up and passed on in debt to pay for all the out of court settlements that are to come and rightly so.

  4. just tom Says:

    Thanks Rebel for keeping this case in the spot light. You try to be as accurate as possible and we all appreciate your efforts.

  5. Abishai Says:

    You can’t help but believe the feds are backing up Waco and the clowns. Who in their right mind don’t see how this is gona end for Waco ? I BILLION DOLLARS ? Waco ain’t got it. There’s no way Waco can win this, let alone get any convictions. When I’m looking down the barrel at 6 with my name on it, it’s time to pray and die. Somebody in Waco better wake up.

  6. Bbally Says:

    Thanks for staying on it Rebel!

  7. Gareth Says:

    I believe that If anyone else wants to file suit then today is the last day :) quite surprised no one has filed suit that the incident at Waco has put them in fear of wearing their cuts or standing near a full patch in case they get arrested, put on 1 million dollar bail, has their bike confiscated and their life ruined. Mmmmm where can I find a good lawyer :) :)

  8. Dutchboy Says:

    Austin, the Rebel already covered the bar fight story a while back but being a nice guy I’ll recap what happened for you. Drunk comes into a bar, starts harassing a woman patron. A biker politely asks him​ to stop. Drunk pulls a gun. Biker slaps the drunk like the bitch he is and takes his gun away. Drunk runs like a whipped dog and the bikers roll out shortly their after. PD finds out about it and SPINS a yarn

  9. Gandalf Says:

    Imagine for a second The Crips and Bloods had a Shoot out at the Apollo Theater. Police knew ahead of time and set up a camera that morning. Set up Snipers (Cops with rifles and scopes) When the C&B’s start fighting Cops start shooting killing ? (we still don’t know…Balistics not in after 2 years). Then arrest every black man with blue or red in the Theater. Set 1Mil bail for everyone. Call them ALL part of a Criminal Gang. Go figure.

  10. Filburt Says:

    I smell pork smoking!

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