Of course if this were Ferguson or Baltimore there would be riots and looting pillaging burning and so on.
We'd have a state's attorney calling for the heads of all the SWAT and police in Waco. Barack Obama saying if he had a biker he would look like these bikers.
I mean we have 9 dead. Not 1 but 9 dead, by some (not all) accounts all by police bullets.
But it's not. It's bikers. Some of whom were no doubt bad actors. But by and large I'm betting most weren't and were not expecting what ensued.
Of course if all the bikers decided to act like those in Ferguson or Baltimore did protesting for fair treatment of their fellow bikers etc. then there would be real problems.
New York Times:
© Cooper Neill for The New York Times Matthew A. Clendennen, 30, was one of nearly 180 bikers jailed after a deadly shootout in Waco, Tex., on May 17. "So much for innocent until proven guilty," he said
WACO, Tex. — Matthew A. Clendennen, one of the nearly 180 bikers who were jailed
after the deadly shootout here last month between rival biker gangs and the police, said he had one weapon on him during the melee — a pocketknife with a two-inch blade that was a Christmas gift from his parents and that he uses as a screwdriver and box cutter at work.
Mr. Clendennen, 30, said he never pulled it out. When gunfire broke out in the parking lot of the Twin Peaks restaurant where hundreds of bikers had gathered, Mr. Clendennen said, he rushed from the restaurant’s patio area to a hallway inside. He said that he crouched as gunshots echoed and that he never left the hallway.
“They just collectively labeled everybody there as a vicious gang member,” Mr. Clendennen, a Baylor University graduate who owns a landscaping business in the Waco area, said on Monday, days after his release from jail. “They arrested us because of what we were wearing and where we were at. Because I was wearing a certain color vest, automatically in their eyes I was guilty. So much for innocent until proven guilty.”
Three weeks after the shootout on May 17
that left nine bikers dead and 18 wounded, much remains unclear, including who was responsible for the deaths and the exact composition of the crowd, which included self-described outlaw bikers as well as others who were more hobbyists than gang members.
What is clear is that some of the men and women caught up in the largest mass arrest of bikers in recent decades believe the justice system broke down
in Waco and officials delayed and mishandled their cases. The authorities have defended their response but have declined to discuss the details of individual cases or when there would be an accounting of how the nine people were killed.
Police officials say there is no doubt that the gathering attracted many armed, dangerous gang members. The officials recovered more than 300 weapons in and around the restaurant, including more than 100 handguns and an AK-47 assault rifle, and some of them were so well hidden that investigators only found them with metal detectors.
“We don’t have a reaction to the opinion of people who we believe we have probable cause to arrest,” said Sgt. W. Patrick Swanton, a spokesman for the Waco Police Department. “It’s commonplace for arrestees to complain about being arrested. Our investigation is ongoing and continuing, and the justice system is working in the way that it should.”
A former volunteer firefighter with no criminal record, Mr. Clendennen was arrested and charged with engaging in organized criminal activity. His bond was set at $1 million, as it was for dozens of other bikers, until his lawyer helped lower it to $100,000 and got him released.
He said he was arrested because of his clothes and his membership in a biker club — the Scimitars Motorcycle Club. He was wearing bluejeans, a black T-shirt and a leather vest with the group’s insignia on the back.
Mr. Clendennen’s lawyer, F. Clinton Broden, filed a lawsuit in federal court against officials in Waco and McLennan County, one of several suits filed in the case. They say the Waco Police Department used a “fill in the blank” criminal complaint to charge all 177 suspects, arrested several unarmed men and women who were “recreational motorcyclists,” and determined whom to take into custody based on whether they were wearing motorcycle-club jackets or had ties to any biker groups.
And they said judicial officials had been slow to hear the cases, forcing defendants to remain in jail for weeks while waiting for bond-reduction hearings, routine proceedings that are typically heard within seven to 10 days of an arrest.
More than three weeks after their arrest, dozens of the 177 bikers remain in jail, many of them unable to afford even a small percentage of their $1 million bonds to get out of jail. As of Saturday, 75 had been released. Many of those who are still in jail do not have lawyers, and many of those who have been released were freed only because their lawyers negotiated a lower bond.
Paul Looney, a lawyer for three of those arrested, said that two of them — a couple, William and Morgan Jane English — were close enough to the shooting to only hear it, but that they had seen, and done, nothing illegal.
“They had barely gotten onto the property,” Mr. Looney said. “In this country, we have constitutional protections against that kind of a sweep. It’s the most un-American activity I’ve seen on American soil.”
Seargent Swanton said that although the restaurant was no longer considered a crime scene, the autopsies of the nine dead were not yet complete and the investigation was continuing.
He played down the significance of the complaints from the arrested bikers and their supporters, a few hundred of whom rode their motorcycles around the jail and parked outside the courthouse in a protest on Sunday.
A spokeswoman for Abel Reyna, the McLennan County district attorney, declined to comment.
In recent days, the 177 cases have been handled primarily by two judges. Leaders of the Texas Criminal Defense Lawyers Association sent a letter to judicial officials last week, calling for additional judges to assist those two.
Two defense lawyers, Keith S. Hampton and Walter M. Reaves Jr., filed a petition with the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals, asking it to order that additional judges be assigned to hold bond-reduction hearings. They said that at the current pace, scores of people could wait weeks or months for their bond hearings.
In response, the presiding judge of the state judicial administrative district that includes McLennan County, Judge Billy Ray Stubblefield, was scheduled to meet with the two judges handling the bikers’ cases on Tuesday to determine ways to move the cases through the court system faster.
Police officials have described a chaotic, bloody scene inside and outside the Twin Peaks restaurant, where a regional coalition of motorcycle clubs had planned to hold a meeting.
Members of two biker gangs that have had continuing conflicts — the Bandidos and the Cossacks — got into an altercation. The authorities said that members and associates of the two groups had assaulted one another with firearms, knives and other weapons, and that they had fired on police officers who were posted outside the restaurant in anticipation of problems.
The authorities have said the arsenal the bikers took to the meeting illustrated their expectation of violence and showed they were part of “a gang-oriented criminal element” at the gathering.
“We don’t know what their intentions were when they were hiding weapons between bags of flour, hiding them under the dirt,” Sergeant Swanton said. “We don’t know what their intentions were, but we can tell you they went to some pretty elaborate lengths to hide numerous weapons.”