May 20, 2015

#TwinPeaksShooting — not a set-up

A McLennan County sheriff’s deputy stands guard near a group
of bikers in the parking lot of Twin Peaks Restaurant just after
a deadly shootout between rival biker gangs Sunday.
Authorities arrested about 170 suspects on a charge
of engaging in organized criminal activity.
In my initial post about the fatal shooting of nine bikers at Waco's Twin Peaks Restaurant on May 17, part of my focus was on racist or racist-leaning whites who have, in previous weeks and months, called black protesters in Baltimore and Ferguson "thugs" and worse.

Well, it's become apparent that would-be racists aren't the only people drawing the wrong lessons from Twin Peaks.

One is people who are bikers themselves, whether full-blown gang bikers or not.

The second is people who are some type of hardcore libertarians, to the point of being anti-police, or anti-authoritarian in general. A common thread for many of them is that this was a set-up by police, a deliberate "turkey shoot."

Wrong. It was between two outlaw biker gangs, one of which, the Bandidos, is notorious enough to have its own Wiki page. Police had been checking on the biker recruitment situation at the restaurant for months.

UPDATE: It WAS apparently a setup after all. Details here.

Here's the reality, per Waco Tribune reports, which are mirrored by local TV, etc.

The Bandidos, a self-avowedly outlaw and even 1-percenter biker gang serious enough to have its own Wiki page, and the Cossacks, had both been recruiting for members during get-togethers at Twin Peaks for months. Waco PD says that management of the Twin Peaks remained uncooperative in addressing this.

Plus, they weren't just armed with clubs and brass knuckles.

They weren't armed with just that plus "a few guns."

The police haul of weaponry, so far, includes an AK-47, body armor and more. The total includes more than 500 weapons.

Here's a good profile of the Bandidos in the Washington Post, which links to an even better, longer Texas Monthly piece by Skip Hollandsworth eight years ago.

Second, the cops botched nothing. The gang members had started the fight inside, then taken it outside, and refused to lay down arms. Less than 20 cops versus the 170 arrested plus the 9 dead? When bikers refused to stop, and the fight, with guns, was outside, police did what they needed to do.

Indeed, Texas DPS had warned on May 1 about possible Bandido-Cossack violence. The FBI reportedly also had information about a possible "war" between the two gangs. (All 9 dead were from the two.)
The bulletin said the FBI had received information that Bandidos had discussed "going to war with Cossacks." It also outlined several recent incidents between the two groups, including one instance in March when about 10 Cossacks forced a Bandido to pull over along Interstate 35 near Waco and attacked him with "chains, batons and metal pipes before stealing his motorcycle," WFAA reported. 
 That same day, a group of Bandidos confronted a Cossack member fueling up at a truck stop in Palo Pinto County, west of Fort Worth, the bulletin said. When the Cossack member refused to remove the Texas patch from his vest, the Bandidos hit him in the head with a hammer and stole it. 
 There are other documented instances of violence between the groups. 
 Last March, two members of the Bandidos were indicted in connection with the stabbing of two Cossacks at an Abilene steakhouse in March 2014. 
 And in December, three Bandidos were arrested for a shooting at a Fort Worth motorcycle bar that left one dead and two others wounded. Fort Worth police said the victims were known members of a criminal motorcycle gang. 
Add in that the Cossacks reportedly have some type of affiliation with Hell's Angels, and you have a recipe for ongoing trouble.

The Cossacks are not members of a confederation of biker gangs and groups that had a scheduled meeting at Twin Peaks on Sunday. The Cossacks apparently tried to crash the meeting, and somebody ran over somebody else's foot in the parking lot.

The officers believed to have actually fired at the bikers are being investigated, as is normal. Because of the biker worries, in what's not normal, but understandable, they're staying on duty during the investigation.

Understandable that they fired, as police report bikers had 30 or so guns. And, the nine killed, by whoever's guns, have now been identified.

If this had really been a "turkey shoot," don't you think Waco PD would have had 40-50 officers, not 15 or so? And some of them with much heavier firepower than they actually had?

As for alleged "transparancy" problems??

As soon as verifiable information has come in, like how many officers fired their guns, Waco PD has reported it.

Speaking of, here's the Waco Trib's latest update.

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