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Dustlawyer

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Member since: Wed Jan 9, 2008, 11:31 AM
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NY Times on the 2015 Waco biker shootout.


Moments after the Bandidos arrived at Twin Peaks, a fistfight broke out, followed by gunfire, then utter havoc. One Waco police officer described the aftermath as looking like something “out of a video game.” Bloodstained concrete. Guns, knives, brass knuckles and batons scattered across the scene. Nine dead, 20 wounded. “In 34 years of law enforcement,” a spokesperson for the Waco Police Department told reporters, it was “the most violent crime scene I have ever been involved in.” The police ended up arresting 177 bikers, an event described in this newspaper as “what appears to be the largest roundup and mass arrest of bikers in recent American history.”

Snip

Lanning later said that he found Reyna and his first assistant D.A., Michael Jarrett, walking around the crime scene. Reyna, he said, initially told him that “he felt all of the bikers wearing colors should be charged,” then later narrowed that to Bandidos, Cossacks and their affiliates. (Reyna has disputed the first part of that account.) Lanning didn’t think that would be appropriate, and neither did two other assistant chiefs and a sergeant he consulted. He called Stroman, the chief, in Boston and told him, as Stroman would later recall, something “to the effect that he” — Reyna — “was wanting everyone arrested.” Stroman said it was Lanning’s call. “But I told him I was not going to make that decision,” Lanning said. “Or, if I did make that decision, it would be not to arrest.”

So Stroman called Reyna, who assured him there was probable cause for a mass arrest and that “he could stand in front of a jury and prosecute everyone that we arrested.” (Reyna disputes this portion of Stroman’s account.) Stroman told Lanning to make the arrests.

This is a long article with lots of detail but it gets a lot wrong. The article makes it seem like the cops didn’t know this was coming. In fact LE knew two months before. They set up an ambush with 15 hidden cops armed with semi-automatic rifles and cameras. Almost all of the bikers there that day ran when the fighting broke out. They were there for a regular meeting on legislative updates on a police motorcycle profiling bill and knew nothing of the pending violence. The police could have stopped this but chose the ambush route to make arrests putting the innocent bikers and restaurant staff and other patrons at risk. Seven years later the civil cases are just being allowed to move forward.
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