The Bandidos Motorcycle Club released a statement Monday responding to police and other accounts of the May 17 shootout at Twin Peaks that killed nine people, injured another 20 and landed 177 people in jail.
Las Vegas attorney Stephen Stubbs, who said he is representing the national club solely for the purpose of constructing and distributing the release, called the violence “senseless, completely unnecessary and wrong.”
Stubbs described statements made by the Waco Police Department as “untrue,” citing the list of weapons, which now totals 488 and could still increase, as misleadingly high.
Police have said the list of weapons found on the scene includes 151 firearms — 12 of which were long guns — knives, brass knuckles, batons, tomahawks, weighted weapons, a hatchet, stun guns, bats, clubs, a machete, a pipe, an ax, pepper spray and a chain.
Stubbs argued that police have intentionally left out that the reason bikers were present that day was a regional meeting for the Texas Confederation of Clubs and Independents, which he said was scheduled in Waco so that various chapters of Texas clubs could conveniently access the location.
Legal documents filed in the case say the meeting of the Region 1 Confederation of Clubs and Independents was moved from Austin to the Twin Peaks in Waco, and that nearly all of the recent Region 1 COC&I meetings had been held in Austin. The documents allege it is not common for members of any of the other 11 COC&I regions in Texas to attend a regional meeting of another area of the Texas COC&I. Many of the 177 bikers arrested in the Twin Peaks shootout were from outside Region 1.
But Stubbs contends that was specifically the purpose of holding the meeting in Waco. He added that specific speakers were invited to the meeting so that multiple regions could discuss biker-related political issues in one forum. He said that because COC&I members from across the state were expected to attend this special meeting, it was purposefully scheduled in Waco because it’s a central city between Austin and Dallas.
Stubbs said police have consistently released information that denigrates the Bandidos and that their “false narrative is damaging to everyone involved.”
Waco police Sgt. W. Patrick Swanton has said the number and variety of weapons “indicates to the public that these are not (motorcycle) clubs, these are criminal gangs that came here with the intent or anticipation of violence.” The Texas Department of Public Safety has classified the Bandidos as a criminal street gang.
Calls for video release
Stubbs disputes the idea Bandidos members anticipated violence that day and called on the department to release video evidence and autopsy reports so the public can see what happened for themselves.
The preliminary autopsy reports were released days after the shooting and are publicly available, but the final written reports have not been completed, officials have said.
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