WACO, Texas — Bikers and supporters of riders and the Constitution came from all over Texas to gather on the steps of the McLennan County courthouse in Waco, Texas. They were there to protest the injustices that have occurred on, and continued after, the May 17th shootings at the Twin Peaks restaurant. The armless goddess of divine law and justice stands atop the courthouse, her scales of justice removed by a bolt of lightning. This missing icon of justice says it all.
Over one hundred bikers, supporters, and patriots, arrived at the “All for 1 Rally and Protest” to protest what the organizer of the event, Mel Moss, says is the abuse of innocent people by the Waco Police Department and the McLennan County District Attorney. The motorcycle riders there included veterans, individuals from “Mom and Pop” clubs, Christian rider groups, and liberty groups such as the “Sons of Liberty RC.” Members of the Cossacks and Bandidos were not at the rally.
Organizers were there to protest the broad-brush used by the Waco Police Department in painting all bikers right after the arrests. They say this was a ploy to use the media to hide the real issue — the unconstitutional arrests of innocent bikers. As reported by Breitbart Texas, one organizer sent cease and desist letters to demand a stop to the defamation. Although the police department retracted claims about the number of weapons collected and the criminal records of some of those arrested, they have not retracted other statements.
Bikers warn that the constitutional injustices suffered by them could be suffered by all Americans if this treading on due process, liberty, and other constitutional rights is ignored.
A non-biker, John Moltzer sported a Serapis flag on the bag of his truck. Captain John Paul Jones hastily had the flag designed after he captured a British frigate named the Serapis during the Revolutionary War. Jones was a member of the Continental Navy. His ship was sunk by enemy fire but he is famously said, “I have not yet begun to fight.”
Other non-riders held “Free the Innocent” signs.
There were folks with signs that said “I am not a biker, but I am an American choosing to stand with bikers! Standing and fighting for freedom from tyranny, oppression, persecution, and injustice. Fighting for due process and constitutional rights.”
Rose and Bob Holden came from Willis, Texas. Bob Holden is a Vietnam War veteran. He told Breitbart Texas, “The price for freedom is great.” He asked, “Why don’t the American people care?”
Biker Richard Curry told Breitbart Texas, “Thousands of people have been lost and wounded and fought for the freedoms that these people lost in Waco.”
A silver-haired biker in his 60s, Henry Beaver told Breitbart Texas, the justice system is broke as it relates to the City of Waco Police Department and the judicial system in the county. He says the “justice system needs to be torn down.” He and the other riders at the rally have no complaints with McLennan County Sheriff Parnell McNamara and they expressly said so.
Sweeping arrests were made on the day of the Twin Peaks biker shootings In all, 177 were arrested as a result of being at a “COC&I” meeting. This was just one of the many regularly-scheduled meetings by riders to discuss biker safety, motorcycle legislation, and other issues. The motorcycle riders also get together to just fellowship with one another.
“COC&I” stands for Confederation of Clubs and Independents and Texas has a chapter. They include “Mom and Pop” clubs, and clubs where Christians and veterans ride together. There are riding clubs (“RC”) and motorcycle clubs (“MC”). Members of all of these groups were in attendance.
Many of these COC&I meetings have come and gone over many years, and all without violence. Breitbart Texas talked to one biker – they have attended over 40 meetings and none of them have involved violence.
So many have lost their jobs, their homes, and some have even lost their children as a result of the arrests and the broad-brush condemnation and defamation of all bikers at that meeting.
A pro-law enforcement, pro-military, ex-judge and ex-federal prosecutor with 39 years of public service said he has “looked at the facts” and “there are many, many, red-flags.” As reported by Breitbart Texas, he has filed a civil rights lawsuit for one of the bikers, Matthew Clendennen.
The likelihood that all 177 riders arrested went to lunch at the restaurant with criminal intent is unlikely. The crime they have all been charged with – engaging in criminal activity.
The motorcycle riders were arrested under the same “fill-in-the-blank” probable cause arrest warrants, and they were all placed under $1 million bonds. The bonds, in the words of Waco Justice of the Peace Walter H. “Pete” Peterson, were to “send a message.” Bonds are intended to guarantee the appearance of someone in court, not to punish them – but punish them they did.
Million dollar bonds cost $100,000, or 10 percent of the $1 million bond. Riders who work as construction workers, business owners, plumbers, chefs, city employees, airport employees, truck drivers, and retired military, lost their jobs and businesses as they sat in jail for weeks and even months. Even when some bonds were reduced, 10 percent of $25,000 is still a lot of money. And then there is the retainer and fees for criminal defense lawyers. Justice without representation cannot occur generally, much less within the realities of what has happened thus-far in Waco.
Most recently, one of the two criminal district court judges in the county, Judge Ralph Strother, named a Waco Police Department detective as a foreman of a new grand jury. As reported by Breitbart Texas, the Texas Criminal Defense Lawyers Association (TCDLA) came out with an official statement against the detective sitting on a grand jury that would decide any of these cases.
Megan Anderau and Shonna Watson spoke to the crowd about their mother and aunt, father and uncle, who were arrested. They said Sandra and Michael Lynch are not criminals, they are hard-working people who just got caught up in the rest of the arrests. It has destroyed their lives because their father’s plumbing contracts have now been cancelled. They are from a little town of 2,000 outside of Waco and they can’t go anywhere without having folks stare at them in the grocery store.
Mel Moss, a 67-year-old rider who is the President of the Sons of Liberty RC told Breitbart Texas that he hopes to bring national attention to this tragic situation. He called City of Waco officials “psychotic.” He called this second rally in Waco the “second wave.” He says that “we are not done by a long shot.” Moss has been politically active for many years and is frequently seen talking to Texas legislators at the Texas State Capitol.
Another politically active rider, Steven Cochran from Waco, spoke at the rally and said he was going to work to replace the City of Waco Mayor, District Attorney Abel Reyna, and the three judges who have been involved in these cases. Getting a new Mayor would be part-and-parcel of getting a new police chief.
There are three statues atop the McLennan County courthouse – Themis, the Greek goddess of justice; Lady Justice, the Roman goddess of justice; and Lady Liberty, the American symbol of liberty.
The riders and supporters of the riders, and those who are concerned about constitutional liberties who met at the rally, are calling for justice to be done in McLennan County, Texas. They are hoping that these symbols, placed on the courthouse when it was built in the early 1900’s, will come to mean something today.
Lana Shadwick is a contributing writer and legal analyst for Breitbart Texas. She has served as a prosecutor and an associate judge. Follow her on Twitter@LanaShadwick2