Law Enforcement Response to Waco Shooting Raises Constitutional Questions

The Associated Press
Photo: Rod Aydelotte/Waco Tribune Herald via AP

Serious constitutional and civil rights questions have been raised regarding the blanket fill-in-the-blank arrests of 170 bikers in the wake of the Waco Twin Peaks shooting and the subsequent excessive bail that was set. Breitbart Texas investigative reporter Lee Stranahan and KTSA radio talkshow host Trey Ware recently discussed some of these issues on Ware’s morning show.

Ware, a self-admitted motorcycle enthusiast, opened the segment saying, “I have probably a greater interest in this story than most. But, it extends beyond motorcycles. My interest in this goes into civil rights. Now, I have no clue how many of those men and women who were arrested and held on a million dollar bond were actually involved in any kind of crime.”

“But, the point is, neither do the officials,” Ware continued. “And the way we don’t do things in America is cast this net and ‘haul them in and then we’ll just sort it out later’ after they’ve lost their jobs and everything else.”

Ware explained the proper procedure of identifying the individuals where reasonable suspicion suggests criminal activity. We then investigate what, if any, crimes they may have committed, and then obtaining an arrest warrant for those actually involved in crimes. “This has worked completely the opposite way, in this case,” he concluded. “That should be of concern to everyone, not just bikers.”

Entire audio of radio interview:

Lee Stranahan was then introduced to the show. Stranahan laid out the background of Breitbart Texas as a conservative pro-law enforcement news group that would normally support the police in their actions. “But then, when I started to look into it, when the names came out on the people who had been arrested,” Stranahan explained, “I just did due diligence as a reporter and I started to look them up.”

He explained that you have to look past the pictures of the biker’s mugshots. “I’ve gotta tell you, anybody looks bad in an orange jumpsuit,” he said. “When I started to look up these people, some of these guys are clearly ‘One Percenter’ outlaw bikers. Some of these Cossacks for instance, they’re real clear about who they are. They’re proud of it.”

“Then I started looking up people,” Stranahan continued. “Then I started finding people who clearly weren’t Cossacks, outlaws, or anything. They’re bikers like you and your wife (referring to Ware). I started talking to people who knew them and they said ‘oh no, they wouldn’t be doing that.’ Then I started looking at the meeting itself, that they attended.”

As Breitbart Texas previously reported, the police had reported the meeting as “violent bikers getting together to discuss turf.’ “It was actually a legislative political meeting,” he explained. “It’s gone on for twenty years and there’s never been an incident.”

Stranahan explained how the police official version of the story began to unravel after a Twin Peaks security camera video was shown to the Associated Press. He said the video showed the exact opposite of what the police were saying and that the police had that video all along.

“Here’s the other thing,” Stranahan continued. “They’ve done the autopsies on the nine people who were killed and we don’t know how many were killed by the police and how many were killed by other bikers.”

“The police played this smart,” Stranahan said. “My friend, Andrew Breitbart, used to describe the media as the ‘drive by media.’ The drive by media just means, this isn’t even a matter of bias, they just hit the story and move on.”

He explained that the police, by keeping everybody in on this million dollar bond, have been able to control the narrative. “We haven’t heard from any of the eyewitnesses,” he said. He continued about the lack of statements from waitresses and that none of the dashcam videos have been released.

Ware wrapped up the segment by promising to stay on top of the story because of the appearance of possible civil rights violations.

Lee Stranahan is an investigative reporter for Breitbart Texas. Follow him on Twitter: @Stranahan

Bob Price is a senior political news contributor for Breitbart Texas and a member of the original Breitbart Texas team. Follow him on Twitter @BobPriceBBTX.


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