Blue Crack Addict
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Washington, DC
Local Time: 07:31 AM
MORE white violence. where are the fathers? where are the white leaders speaking out against this kind of violence that plagues middle aged, moderately overweight white men?
WACO, Tex. — The police charged about 170 people on Monday in the shootout among rival motorcycle gangs at a busy shopping plaza in this Central Texas city on Sunday that left at least nine bikers dead and 18 others wounded.
Law enforcement officials said the midday gun battle was primarily between the Bandidos and Cossacks gangs, a continuation of a long-running feud between the two groups, though members of the Scimitars — a gang affiliated with the Cossacks — and two other motorcycle clubs were also involved.
The people arrested after the shootout at the Twin Peaks restaurant, in south Waco, were charged with engaging in organized crime linked to capital murder, said Sgt. Patrick Swanton, a Waco Police Department spokesman. It will be up to prosecutors and a grand jury to decide what charges they will ultimately face, but capital murder charges can carry the death penalty.
The episode, which left the restaurant and its parking lot littered with bullet shell casings and blood spatters, was so large and chaotic that for several hours the police were not sure how many people they had detained. Sergeant Swanton said Monday morning that the figure was 192 but he later revised it to 170, warning that it might change again, and said that rather than overwhelm the jail, the police used Waco’s Convention Center as a staging area overnight to hold those arrested.
The gang members were appearing before two magistrates, who were setting bond at $1 million each, said Sue Tweedle, the McLennan County booking supervisor. None of the gang members had posted bond as of yet.
With hundreds of bikers gathered at the restaurant, at the Central Texas Marketplace shopping plaza just off Interstate 35, the police anticipated trouble and were out in force before the confrontation. There were 18 Waco officers and four Texas Department of Public Safety officers there, and they closed in “within 30, 45 seconds” of the start of shooting, Sergeant Swanton said.
“There were multiple people on the scene firing weapons at each other,” Sergeant Swanton said. “They then turned on our officers. Our officers returned gunfire, wounding and possibly killing several.”
“The number of shots, who shot who and all of that will be part of our investigative process and won’t be released right away,” he added.
The Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission suspended the restaurant’s liquor license for at least a week while it investigates the shootout. A spokesman for the Twin Peaks restaurant chain said on Monday that it was revoking the franchise agreement with the operators of the Waco restaurant.
The gunfire erupted about 12:15 p.m. on Sunday. Sergeant Swanton said the violence began in a restaurant restroom, and then spilled into the parking lot, initially involving just fists and feet, but escalating quickly to chains, knives, clubs and firearms. He said shots were fired both inside and outside.
Law enforcement officials said the shootout was the worst violence in the Waco area since the siege on the Branch Davidian compound in 1993 that left 86 people dead. On Sunday, eight members of motorcycle clubs were killed at the scene and another died at a hospital, Sergeant Swanton said. The injured were taken to hospitals with gunshot and stab wounds.
No officers, shoppers or bystanders were hurt. The authorities said their decision to place officers outside the restaurant before the gunfire erupted most likely saved lives.
Both the Bandidos and the Cossacks originated in Texas in the 1960s, according to law enforcement officials and gang historians. Last year, two members of the Bandidos, including the president of the Abilene chapter, were indicted on charges of stabbing two other men, in what the police said was a conflict with the Cossacks.
“The view of the Bandidos is that Texas is their state,” said Terry Katz, vice president of the International Association of Outlaw Motorcycle Gang Investigators, a group of about 600 analysts, investigators, police officers and prosecutors. The Bandidos “are the big dogs of Texas,” he said, but the smaller Cossacks gang was “not going to bow down,” and there has been a series of violent confrontations between them.
Bikers were gathering at the Twin Peaks restaurant for a regional meeting of the Confederation of Clubs and Independents, an umbrella group for rival gangs and other motorcyclists to discuss matters of mutual interest. The Bandidos are part of the confederation, but the Cossacks are not, said Gimmi Jimmy, national ambassador for the Bandidos and chairman of a statewide coalition of motorcycle clubs in Texas.
“The only reason I am not in jail is that I got there late,” Mr. Jimmy said. “We have been doing this for 18 years and we never had a problem.”
He said about 200 bikers were there for the meeting, and about 50 to 60 from rival groups like the Cossacks and Scimitars. One of those killed was a Bandido, he said, and the rest were their opponents.
The Bandidos are one of the few major biker gangs in the United States and the world; a 2013 national gang report produced by federal law enforcement agencies identified the Bandidos as one of five motorcycle groups — in addition to the Hells Angels, Pagans, Outlaws and Iron Horsemen — that posed the most significant gang threat around the country. Members of the Bandidos, whose motto is “We are the people our parents warned us about,” have been arrested in several states on drug, weapons and racketeering charges and have been involved in deadly feuds around the world.
Randy McBee, an associate professor of history at Texas Tech University who studies motorcycle culture, said recent biker violence at casinos in Laughlin and Sparks, Nev., and now in Waco, suggests that the gangs have grown more willing to take their feuds to crowded places where others can get hurt.
“I am starting to think that the violence is getting worse than in the ‘60s and ‘70s,” he said. “It seems more brazen: people pulling out guns and knives in the middle of a casino or a strip mall — very public places with lots of bystanders.”
In the 1990s, a turf war broke out between gangs aligned with the Bandidos and the Hells Angels Motorcycle Club in Finland, Sweden, Denmark and Norway. Several members of the Bandidos and the Hells Angels were killed or wounded in the Nordic feud. In 1996, a shoulder-launched antitank grenade was fired at a Hells Angels headquarters in Copenhagen, Denmark, killing two people and injuring 15 others. The next year, a bombing destroyed the Norwegian headquarters of the Bandidos gang, killing a passer-by.
During the feud, one Bandidos slogan was displayed on signs carried by the mourners attending the funeral for a slain Bandidos member in Denmark: “God forgives. Bandidos don’t.”
And yet the Bandidos group has at times sought to portray itself as a legitimate organization of nonconformists that had been unfairly targeted by law enforcement. A gang report by the Texas Department of Public Safety issued last year noted that the Bandidos “seek to turn public sentiment in their favor by organizing frequent charity runs.” In 2001, Jan Christensen, who is known as “The Man” and was vice president of the Bandidos’ Northwest Houston chapter at the time, told The Houston Chronicle, “Mainstream America should be more like us. We’re all very honorable men.”
The Twin Peaks Restaurant had hosted motorcycle gang members in the past, the police said. The authorities made little effort on Sunday to conceal their frustration with the restaurant’s managers, who they said had previously been uncooperative in dealing with the Police Department’s security concerns about biker gatherings there.
“We’ve been here over the past two months because of the problems we’ve had with biker gangs here at Twin Peaks,” Sergeant Swanton said. “We have attempted to work with the local management of Twin Peaks to no avail. They have continued to allow these bikers to gather here, and this is the culmination of what has occurred.”
He added: “What happened here today could have been avoided if we had had management at a local establishment listen to their police department and assist us. They failed to do that.”
The gangs know they are under surveillance in such a public place, Mr. Katz said, “but once it goes down, the thinking is, ‘I don’t care if I get arrested or killed — I have to stand and fight because the club requires me to represent.’ ” The Bandidos and other biker gangs reward members with patches and pins for fighting.
Jay Patel, operating partner of the Twin Peaks franchise in Waco, issued a statement Sunday night defending the restaurant’s dealings with the police and saying that the managers “share in the community’s trauma.”
“Our priority is to provide a safe and enjoyable environment for our customers and employees, and we consider the police our partners in doing so,” Mr. Patel’s statement read. “Our management team has had ongoing and positive communications with the police, and we will continue to work with them as we all want to keep violent crime out of our businesses and community.”
also, YAY GUNS.