Posted on Motorcycle Law Blog / Waco Biker Shootout Case
The afternoon of Sunday was not a good one for Texas. Waco, Texas, saw a massive brawl among many biker M/C clubs in the afternoon. The incident took place at Twin Peaks restaurant a few weeks back.
The members of various biker gangs had come to that spot to talk about some matters regarding past turf wars.
However, things didn’t go the way bikers had wanted, and a fight broke out among them. When the battle ended, nine people were dead.
You probably already know how bikers look. They have their style, big bodies, bandanas on their heads, frequently large muscles, sometimes with funny or Hessian style mustaches, tattoos on their arms, and of course. They are often riding bikes, or out having fun as a club, or attending “church.” Bikers are pretty notorious in Texas.
We do know one famous M/C was in the fight. The biker club called the Bandidos founded by a patriotic former US Marine vet, Donald Eugene Chambers. The lore is that Chambers had come fresh from the war in Nam, so the club modeled its patch after my favorite USMC colors. To date, they remain an outlaw biker group.
Having fought and having been wounded and decorated serving his country in war, Chambers wanted to experience the excitement and freedom of being with other rough men. And this is why we have this world-famous club today.
This particular group of rough and ready men has its branches not only in many states of the U.S. It remains a worldwide club. They are called “crime groups” by law enforcement, and they have direct relations with many drug dealers in Mexico.
Just like Bloods and Crips, these biker gangs can also be very dangerous. The government swears that these are organized crime groups, and there is always secure communication among their members back and forth worldwide.
One would not want to sympathize with such groups usually, but the situation in Waco is a bit different. What happened in Waco after the incident is probably not going to change people’s beliefs about biker groups but impact how people expect to receive justice in the country.
It is quite shocking that police took more than 170 bikers from the scene and put them behind bars. It is as if police were waiting for them to gather somewhere and take them to prison in one go.
However, the police might have taken too many people in custody after the incident. At the same time, the bail set for these prisoners remains enormous. Criminal justice in Waco will become a question mark for people who ride.
The police reached the scene where bikers were fighting and had already killed nine people. They arrested the bikers from the scene and took them into custody. How does it affect justice in any way? Not all the bikers were in the brawl. Furthermore, they were not even at the scene with any intention of causing harm.
Police officials say the dead brawlers were all gang members. Also, members of 5 gangs were present at the site, according to the police. Every person caught, arrested, and in the hospital was there for violence and not for eating. That’s not what the families of many arrested have to say.
One person injured was Jesus Delgado. His family asserts he was there to attend a meeting. Also, Jesus has a Purple Heart in his portfolio. He received that for his services in Vietnam.
The man also has a clean record. Plus, he had never been in jail before. Furthermore, another arrestee is a detective. He renders his services as a detective in the area of San Antonio.
Simultaneously, we must not forget that some people were there only for recreation and eating.
After capturing people from the scene, the police assumed they would find thousands of handguns. However, only 118 weapons found were handguns. The rest were knives, chains, brass knuckles, etc. Even if we consider them all guns, we have to see the status of their legality. Texas honors ALL of your Constitutional rights, not just the popular ones to the left.
Only certain types of knives are illegal in Texas. But keeping others would never be a problem for citizens. Some handguns aren’t necessarily illegal.
Concealed carry is allowed in Texas. And people had legal firearms in their possession when the incident took place. A 51% sign on any Texas premises means that no one can carry weapons on the premises. But that was not the case with Twin Peaks restaurant.
This law remains true even if they had firearms in their possession. The Public Information Act does not allow information about the licensee of any guns in possession of a Texas citizen. So this information remains confidential.
Bail remains fixed at $1 million. Some defendants are possibly in the position to pay the bond on this amount. But most of the others can’t afford that bail amount.
Coming up with $1 million in cash is not easy for most people in the country. So that means it would be tough to get a bail bonding company to cover such a risk. Justice Pete Peterson set the bail for the defendants. He said the high bail was to “teach” a lesson.
He said that most of the so-called gangsters involved in this fight had come invited outside the city. Nine people died in this battle. And one must teach them a lesson, so they avoid such brawls in the future.
A point that needs attention here is what the law says about this scenario. Does the law allow high bails to teach lessons? Bail in Texas comes from the Texas Code of Criminal Procedure 17.15.
When we look at the contents, we find out that the criteria for sending a message are very unfair in this regard. In its essence, bail obligates a defendant to return to court for case proceedings and hearings.
It seems that this high bail amount would only hurt justice. It would also tarnish the concept of justice in the minds of the people in two different ways. For defendants who were there to attend a meeting and are not active members of the clubs, this bail is probably unpayable.
They more than likely won’t have the financial backing of the M/C, so they probably won’t be able to muster up such a considerable amount. And if not, they will remain in jail forever at this rate. On the other hand, we have the ones who really could belong to gangs and cartels.
These people will only have to contact a few people here and there and ask for a favor. The helping hands of the land corrupting gangs will pay the $1 million amount. And they will take their people out of jail. The only ones who will remain in prison for years to come would probably be those who could not pay their bail amount.
First of all, we can expect most defendants to file their appeals and writs to get out of jail. Because they were for something they didn’t do, they can seek Habeus Corpus. At the same time, we might see many writs filed to reduce the amount of bail everyone must pay. Organized criminal activity is the charge.
And this particular activity paved the way for capital murder. While it might hold for some, most of the jail people will not fall under this category. Many people in jail will also have to rely on state-funded lawyers to fight their cases.
However, no murder charges were filed. We must also keep in mind that the government and states try to avoid capital murder cases. After all, they are exorbitantly expensive and challenging to prove in a case such as this.
We can conclude that the state might not charge any of the prisoners with capital murder. On the one hand, the court teaches a lesson to the people by using bail amounts. But we must say that the court needs to learn from the past capital punishment cases too.
There is also the whole guilty until proven innocent issue, which seems to be at play here. But the court may have created a problem by using bail to punish instead of its actual purpose. That being the prevention of a defendant from fleeing the jurisdiction.