One of the wildest episodes in modern-day biker mythology has taken yet another turn, with the prosecution nuking all the charges remaining in the 2015 Waco Twin Peaks shootout.
In case you don’t remember, the 2015 Waco shootout saw nine people killed, another 20 seriously injured, and 177 arrested when a meeting of several clubs (more than 200 attended) at a Twin Peaks restaurant went seriously sideways.
What happened? While many of the attendees at the club meet-up were not associated with any criminal activity, seven of the dead were members of outlaw biker clubs. The shooting allegedly started when the one-percenters at the meeting took offence to their counterparts’ presence. Things deteriorated further when police started shooting, said witnesses. In 2016, a grand jury found that two of the dead had only been hit by police gunfire, and two other dead riders had been hit by police gunfire as well as shots from other bikers.
The 2016 grand jury cleared the three officers who fired at the brawl of any wrongdoing.
The mop-up found 320 weapons confiscated, according to police, who catalogued such diverse weaponry as an AK-47 and Swiss Army knives in their sweep.
The dozens of arrested bikers ranged from full-patch outlaw gang members to supposedly unaffiliated riders who were simply caught in the wrong place at the wrong time. Although bail was set at $1 million apiece, some made it, while others were stuck in jail for weeks awaiting trial or release. But as the investigation carried on, more and more charges started to drop, with only one biker ever standing trial. The head of the Dallas Bandidos was tried, but was freed after a mistrial, when he testified he’d only been defending himself.
While the immediate fallout was massive, with dozens of vehicles, including many motorcycles, impounded and almost 200 riders in jail, this whole episode is far from over, despite the dropped charges. Waco’s newly-elected district attorney dropped all the remaining charges this week; only a handful of people at the riot were still facing charges, as most of the initial charges were dropped in early 2016.
The new DA said his predecessor had botched the investigation by just charging almost everyone at the restaurant, instead of nailing the actual miscreants once his office had collected more evidence. But now another spectre is looming for the city of Waco: given the failure of the initial investigation, the city is now facing a truckload of multi-million dollar lawsuits, says Austin’s Statesman newspaper.