Four weeks after the deadly May 17th shooting incident outside a Waco Twin Peaks restaurant, more details have come out concerning the incident, but significant questions still remain about the actions taken by law enforcement and the police’s account of what transpired.
Although the national mainstream media has largely moved on from the Waco story, if critics of the police are correct, the incident represents an unprecedented civil rights violation and media cover-up campaign by the Waco authorities.
Police in Waco still have yet to state how many bikers, if any, were killed by the police, or to explain why the police showed up in force at all prior to the meeting on May 17th.
In a statement on Friday, the police said that of 16 officers that were in the parking lot, only three fired a total of 12 shots. However, the statement still didn’t clarify how many of the bikers were killed by police. Authorities say they have not recieved final autopsy results that would clarify ballistics.
Then there’s the issue of the vague charges and mass arrests: if innocent people were arrested, held for weeks, and publicly accused of heinous crimes, it’s a nightmare scenario for dozens of people, impacting their work, family and personal reputations.
There are mounting reasons to believe that’s what happened. As the AP reported on May 22nd, over 115 of the men taken into custody had no criminal record but were still held on $1,000,000 bond, for what have been called ‘fill in the name” charges of engaging in organized criminal activity:
Waco police have said that all those arrested after the shooting belonged to criminal motorcycle gangs. Most of them were being held on $1 million bonds Thursday, charged with engaging in criminal enterprise. Nine people were killed in Sunday’s shootout.
Although dozens of those arrested do have criminal records, 117 did not have any convictions listed under their names and birthdates in a database maintained by the Texas Department of Public Safety. The database also shows five of the people killed had convictions in Texas.
One example of how the police seem to have ignored the line between biker groups with known criminal connections, and non-criminal motorcyclists, involves four men from the Austin area who were part of a motorcycle club called the Grim Guardians: Juan Garcia, Drew King, Jim Harris and Bonar Crump.
There is nothing at all to indicate the Grim Guardians are anything more than what they claim to be: a group of Christian motorcyclists committed to helping children. Austin police do not have the Grim Guardians listed as a criminal biker gang.
The Grim Guardians motorcycle club is an offshoot from a group called Guardians of Children that Garcia, King, Harris and Crump all belonged to. The Guardians are focused on helping victims of child abuse, often visiting children and conducting charity rides.
A February 2014 article in the Seguin Gazette shows Crump posing with other Guardians of Children as they gathered to help abuse victims in Guadalupe County.
Nor do the Grim Guardians’ backgrounds indicate criminality. Garcia has an engineering degree and worked for the city of Austin. Crump graduated from Baylor University with a degree in English, and from Oklahoma Baptist University with a history degree, and he owns his own business.
However, since the four were arrested, the incident has cast a shadow over their lives, because the Waco authorities immediately took a “Guilty Until Proven Innocent” attitude.
Grim Guardians members King, Harris and Garcia were featured in a previous Breitbart Texas story because they were arrested near the Twin Peaks scene, but hadn’t actually been there. They were given a smaller bond and then released, but once Waco officials realized they had been released, they ordered the trio re-arrested… before they were eventually released again.
In the initial press conference after the shooting, Waco Police described “three men” on their way to Twin Peaks who had been arrested, making it sound as though the three were en route to take part in a planned biker brawl.
However, now that a police incident report has surfaced, it appears King, Harris and Garcia were arrested for being at the scene, and wearing leather jackets with Grim Guardians patches. There’s no indication that the police officer actually knew who the Grim Guardians are, or what they do.
The police report says:
While speaking with all three men as they sat in the grassy area, noticed tall three were wearing a black leather vest with several patches indicating they were a motorcycle club member. All three had on a black leather vest and on the back of it had the name GRIM GUARDIAN, ROCKER on the top patch and in the center of the black leather vest had a round patch with the symbol of half of a skull on one side and half of a Viking helmet on the other. Also a small patch MC standing for motorcycle club and a bottom rocker patch stating the words SLAUGHTER CREEK, representing the part of the city they were from.
The smearing of criminal and non-criminal bikers doesn’t just extend to groups like the Grim Guardians. It may apply to individuals with connections to the two biker groups that have been identified as outlaw gangs involved in the Twin Peaks shootings: the Cossacks and the Bandidos.
After reports saying that one of the nine people killed – 65 year old decorated vet Jessie Delgado – had no criminal ties or club affiliation, a piece in the Dallas Morning News two weeks ago Friday raised new questions about another man killed. The article says that Cossacks member Richard “Bear” Kirschner of Richardson had no criminal record, and that he drove to the Waco event with his wife, in their family car.
The Morning News piece quotes friends of Kirschner who praise him as a gentle family man, but also includes a quote from “Lori,” a friend of Kirschner, who echoed some of the rumors swirling as more doubts are raised about the police account of the Twin Peaks incident.
In fact, Lori said, the biker community is rife with reports about witnesses who heard the discharge of lots of high-powered weaponry after a few initial pop-pop sounds of handguns. The reports sounded like they came from “muzzled or suppressed high-powered weapons,” said Lori, though she wasn’t there. The theory is that the heavy fire came from tactical police officers.
Isn’t it hard to identify supressed high-powered gunfire? Not for the biker community, many of whom are ex-military and have been around firearms a lot, Lori said. Speaking of that day in Waco, she said, “The Leatherneck Club was there. Different mom and pop groups. The Foreign Legion riders group. Many of them were veterans. You learn to differentiate.”
The Waco police press release on Friday confirmed the use of suppressors.