The LIE That Caused 177 Arrests in Waco

Within hours of the tragedy in Waco law enforcement incorrectly reported that the gathering at Twin Peaks was a gang meeting intended to discuss issues over recruitment and turf.  This is simply not the truth. At best it is false statement based on sloppy and irresponsible conjecture and research. At worst, it is a lie that was used to justify arresting 177 bikers, charging them with participating in organized crime, and giving them each $1 million dollar bonds.

This mischaracterization was also used to describe and treat bikers showing up in Waco after the incident as a threat.  Responsible reporting would have revealed that the meeting was supposed to start at 1pm and the shooting incident occurred at approximately 12:15. So there was a reason hundreds of motorcyclists were heading to Waco. Motorcyclists were on their way to attend a regional political gathering, not participate in a gang war.  The mainstream media embraced this description and helped spread these irresponsible assertions.

The general fear being promoted based on these irresponsibly false statements must not go unanswered. They must be refuted logically, passionately, and by every motorcyclist and every American that believes in fighting discrimination and advancing their civil liberties.

So what was the real reason for the biker gathering in Waco on May 17th?

In reality it was a publicized and regularly scheduled political meeting intended to discuss legislative matters.  The Confederation of Clubs (C.O.C.) is part of a grassroots political movement of autonomous and loosely affiliated Confederations and Coalitions of motorcycle clubs across the country.   COC’s are solely focused on biker rights. There are Confederations in almost every state and they have been peacefully meeting and organizing for decades.  Many also participate in the US Defenders program, a Biker Communication Network connecting Confederations together. Confederations are comprised of a wide range of diversity, including military clubs, Christian clubs, clean and sober clubs, 1% clubs, firefighter clubs, bikers against child abuse clubs, vintage clubs, charity clubs, and plain old riding clubs.

To suggest, as some have, that COC’s are controlled by dominant or criminal organizations is patently false. COC’s have nothing to do with club to club issues.  COC’s are not used to fund and support dominant organizations. These assertions fly in the face of reality and the history of the COC.

What is the Confederation of Club’s agenda and what has the COC done for bikers?

The list of COC legal and legislative achievements, ranging from helmet choice to anti-profiling, have undeniably strengthened the rights base for all motorcyclists. There are literally hundreds of Confederation of Clubs meetings happening year round from coast-to-coast.  Almost every state has a biker day at the Capitol.  And for decades there have been no incidents at these united political gatherings.

A cornerstone of the Confederation of Clubs is unifying the motorcycle club and independent community for the purpose of protecting 1st Amendment rights, including the right to wear motorcycle club colors. The right to associate and peacefully assemble for political and legal activism is also protected. Confederations nationwide peacefully assemble solely to discuss strategies to protect these rights. There is an attorney present at every COC meeting to insure that the focus remains on legal and legislative matters.

Tragedy does not justify wholesale discrimination.

It is important that we not allow an isolated tragedy, regardless of how the story ultimately plays out, to justify discrimination or fear of an entire class of people defined by protected expression. That some are doing just that is both alarming and disturbing.  There are literally hundreds of thousands of club members and independents nationwide that participate in Confederations and Coalitions and to imply that an isolated tragedy makes all club members a potential threat is blatant discrimination based on appearance and not conduct.

Isolated incidents or the actions of the few do not define the whole. Postal workers are not considered dangerous and psychotic.  Every law enforcement officers is not a racist murderer. Every teenager in a trench coat is not a potential school shooter. Batman fans are not generally a threat in public theaters. Most Muslims are not jihadists or terrorists. Most black teenagers are not drug dealers or gang bangers. And the vast majority of motorcyclists and members of motorcycle clubs, even self-identified 1% clubs, are not criminals or gang members, do not have criminal records, and do not represent a threat to anyone.

Conclusions

To allow false statements to justify the obvious violations of Due Process that have occurred in Waco is unjust. Characterizing 177 individuals as gang members, instead of political activists present during a tragedy, was directly used to justify the mass arrests and promote a campaign of fear. The truth must be the unified response.

The Confederation of Clubs has had an extremely positive effect on peace and unification among motorcycle clubs and motorcyclists of all walks of life. The achievements of an important political constituency must not be tarnished by overzealous discrimination justified by fear. The Confederation of Clubs is a grassroots effort that epitomizes participation in the democratic process and deserves to be recognized as such.

David “Double D” Devereaux  is the Chairman & Spokesperson for the Washington State Confederation of Clubs and US Defenders, The Motorcycle Profiling Project, and works with Confederations and Coalitions nationwide. Contact: doubled@motorcycleprofilingproject.com, motorcycleprofilingproject.com

48 thoughts on “The LIE That Caused 177 Arrests in Waco

  1. Same shit, different day. I see a lot of problem identification, but no action. Some say this, some say that. Some say that ” this” is wrong and that is the truth. Where is Greg Abbott? I think this is divide and conquer job to sweep it under the rug, . If it is not race, gay, terrorist, animal rights, abortion, or religion related, it ain’t human interest, sorry to say. That is what this world is coming to, but I won’t give in.
    Instead of “they” should hire an attorney or “they” this and that, “WE” should do what the religious right, gays ( not picking on anyone, just stating facts) and other groups that bitch about things but can’t get along together long enough to put up a strong front physically and financially. If we could find a trustworthy organization, and find a competent, honest ( I know ) attorney, I would sure donate time and money for my brothers. Lord knows, It could have been me there, dead or in jail.

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  2. true the violation of these bikers 1st amendment rights and the false imprisonment are terribly disturbing to say the least. But the deaths of 9 human beings and the wounding of 17 more is what really what we should be focusing on.The COC needs to get a good attorney or contact the ACLU to see if they will take the case and maybe the City of Waco will change the higher ups in their PD and retrain their police officers when they are charged with manslaughter and have to pay out their noses or bankrupt the city.

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  3. This was so wrong. I feel like the whole matter is being swept under the table. The truth needs to come out and if it bankrupts Waco, so be it. They shouldn’t have such irresponsible idiots in charge.

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  4. Pingback: Despicable Murders – Disposable Bikers – When do they come for you? | LadyRaven's Whisky In A Jar – OH!

  5. Certainly there was a violent solution sought by someone at the COC gathering. However, what was the problem? When a few individuals gather to create bedlam, it’s a sure thing when the pool of participants are motorcyclists. When and if ever the real causes and effects are brought to light, the report will be masterfully shaded to indite the many responsible and law abiding who were there also. This pattern has been used elsewhere in history to incite and anger the general population. As a political tool, this incitement serves to isolate and exclude groups that might otherwise present solutions to what the politicians see as their political objectives. Thus creating false conclusions among the general population.

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    • Motorcycle clubs do not handle their disagreements in public – that is done somewhere else out of sight of the public eye. The COC’s have been meeting since the mid 80’s – peacefully. They are “neutral territory” meaning any disagreements between clubs is left at the door. The meetings also serve as a round table for clubs to resolve differences before they get out of hand. What happened in Waco was a set-up intended to cause a division among clubs. It has backfired across the nation, as the clubs are standing together even closer, and the COC meetings, even in Texas, have continued as they always have – with no altercations or problems. What happened in Waco was a set-up by the Waco police or other factions of law enforcement who have not been identified; and it is unraveling around them.

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  6. I am a patched member of a international organization and since this incident occurred and the negative publicity towards motorcyclists has been spread throughout the media, I have been treated differently from the public without cause because of the media and I believe that we need to file a class action lawsuit against those responsible for the defamation of character of motorcyclists world wide. We are being judged as a whole based on the media and that’s not the way it should be!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I would sign my name on such a lawsuit.. as a Mom, a Christian, a rider and a wife of a rider, I support all who ride… this brother/sisterhood, the wind, and a greasy wrench saved my life…. God Bless Bikers!

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  7. really ? really??? coc peacefull ? then why is it that the coc is shutting down all the little clubs or the mom & pop clubs as they call them & telling us that we will wear only the cut that they approve ? and we will join the coc or will not be allowed to ride in the state of arkansas. we live in america people!!! the coc is run by 1% clubs , and you will join or not ride ….that is the truth

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    • Actually Tony you are mistaken. I have experience with COC’s across the country and there are, unfortunately, far more clubs that do NOT participate in the COC and ride peacefully. Including Arkansas. In Maryland there are far more Non-COC clubs then member Clubs. Maybe you should join the COC, as Waco PD mentioned, they can’t tell the difference between criminal bikers and upstanding bikers. So an organization that is built SOLELY to protect YOUR rights is very much needed. The point of all these articles is to point out that despite any criminal activity, there were MORE innocents jailed and charged for simply their appearance. If you ride a motorcycle, next time we may be writing about you or anyone else that attends any event with other bikers. Our rights, primarily 1st Amendment, are being trampled on, no community is perfect, and none deserve to judged by the actions of a few.

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    • Not ride? Really? I’m sure that is not true. We ride all over the country. We have never been stopped, treated badly or had one problem. You can stop an American citizen from riding on tax payer highways. If they try call me. I will take the case.

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      • Are you law enforcement on here to stir up trouble with more government lies? I can think of no other reason for you to say what you have commented here. What you said is not true.

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      • In NY they do check points for motorcycles only ! They post a sign on the interstate saying motorcycles exit now! And if you don’t they Chase you down and you go to jail.

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    • Maybe that’s the truth where you live but not in Texas. And for some reason I’m just not believing it. My husband and I both are independent riders and have been to plenty of coc meetings. I have never seen anyone, including members of 1% clubs be anything but friendly to all who attended. You may live in a backwards state but in Austin,Texas we all get along thanks to a very special man in a 1% club. Jeez what you said ranks right up there with people thinking all bikers are horrible.

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    • That’s the biggest croc of shit I’ve heard in a while.. The COC is really the COC and I for independents. It has one function and only one and that’s to discuss issues facing bikers. It has no power or control over anyone or any group. Without them legislation affecting bikers would not have a unified voice and likely impact bikers in negative ways. All clubs are invited and all independents are welcome but for the sake of order it has rules that all must follow. No secret society or conspiracy involved at all..

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    • You really have no clue on the COC. It is an independant oraganization run by avid Riders. Due your research before you sound stupid to America

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    • That’s not correct i have been a coc and Texas defender patch holder for 8 years now my kids atend these meetings regular basis coc. is our friends not foe talk to your state rep at coc Im sure they will be more than willing to help you iron out this problem

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    • SIR this is said with all respect but most C.O.C. Members are VETS not CRIMINALS and I understand you being upset by the rule being told you have to but this organization changes and creates good rules and laws in America to protect BIKERS and are mediators to solve problems among different groups but I respect your feelings on this matter their are many feeling everywhere on this matter
      you have a blessed day and ride safe

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    • Your information is false. You need to do more homework before you spew bullshit lies. Educate yourself then speak. The COC has never tried to shut the Mom and Pop club I’m in and I joined the CoC on my on terms. Nobody forces us to do anything. But just like in the military we have protocol.

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  8. Well I just wished real honest judges and DA would release the innocent because my family member is still stuck in the mist of this ludicrous situation and has now developed health issues and as per lieutenant Sullivan well he has over600 inmates and can make sure meds are
    Given when some are heavy sleepers and can’t hear med call well seems to me that Waco DA complainting of how much it’s costing city to in house the bikers then release them and start really working with lawyers for example our relative has court appoint lawyer and he’s been going by book and their excuse is we can’t release anything because still having on going investigation yet other lawyers get evidence and get their clients out and reduced bonds without hearings and there is nothing on our relative has clean record comes from mostly higher law enforcement relatives one even worked at White House but does this matter no DA thinks he and cronies can play God with these people and destroy lives, characters, and families. Wish someone had educated them better this is America and Making Waco look like a Suburb of Mexico really shows world how untrained unskilled and poor governmental management exist and is being provided to people in WACO. We will continue to pray in hopes that our relative doesn’t die at the hands of idiots.

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  9. I was reading a story on the civil forfeiture from the Waco Trib and am wondering, if everyone was meeting to fight it out, why so many that drove left their weapons in the car? Doesn’t make sense to me.

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    • Simply because what has been said by the Waco police regarding the reason for the meeting is FALSE. Notice the varying claims on the number of weapons “recovered” at the scene. The claim that the bikers were armed with “chains and knives, baseball bats and clubs” is bogus. Wallet chains do not constitute dangerous or deadly weapons, unless someone is wanting to loose the contents of their wallet swinging it around on a 8-10″ chain. Knives – pocket knives, or perhaps a Buck 110 folding knife. Baseball bats and clubs? Fabrications of the Waco PD to further intimidate and arouse emotions in the population – all which have backfired on them, and will continue to show how inept they are as the case moves forward.

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  10. Statement and wuestion.
    All of a sudden there are 2 or 3
    hundred folks gathered somewhere,
    matbe for any reason.
    All of a sudden gunfire erupts all over the place and folks are being killed every which way.
    You are the police. What do you do? Turn them all loose and then try to track down the bad ones who did the shooting or caused it.
    Or do you round them all up, hold them, then try and figure out who is who? You tell me.

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    • Actually a reasonable and well thought out question. Certainly it is reasonable to detain potential witnesses in the short term in order to gather statements and figure out “who is who.” But that is a far cry from arresting 177 individuals and giving them $1 million dollar punitive bonds because, according to the Waco PD, bikers were not “cooperating”.

      An arrest requires specific and individualized probable cause. I agree that there was “reasonable suspicion” to justify detaining for questioning. But this is a lower legal standard than probable cause, which is REQUIRED for an arrest to be constitutional.

      The video evidence was immediately available, the same evidence being used to justify seizures and oppose bond reductions to those involved, and could easily have provided the evidence they needed to pinpoint shooters involved.

      It sounds as if you may not realize that the probable cause used to justify the arrests for the majority of individuals involved was merely expressing their membership in a motorcycle club. That is not probable cause. That is unconstitutional retaliation against the 1st amendment.

      The rights of the innocent outweigh the public interest in punishing the guilty. That is the difference between totalitarianism and democracy. “It is better for ten guilty to escape than for one innocent to suffer.”

      Double D

      Liked by 1 person

    • The way I have read things, the police are the ones that began and ended the firing of weapons. Gunfire erupted because that is what law enforcement wanted to happen… they set this whole fiasco up. I semi-regularly attend the COC meetings in Orange County, CA… we are continually asked by the Board not to load up the meeting with members… in fact, they have requested that only two (2) members be present from each club… not chapter, club! Why were there over 200 members from one of the clubs that reportedly started the altercation? I have read that the police set this whole thing up with the cooperation of one of the clubs… I hope that is not proven to be true… but if it is, let the heads roll!

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    • Even if it is wise to round them all up, question them and try to figure it out… it IS NOT wise to arrest every single witness and then some just because you don’t like what they are wearing! All these people attending that meeting were just that, witnesses and maybe not even that, yet herded up, charged and jailed for several weeks on a set bail of more than even the most murderous Texan has even been accounted. There is nothing rational about your thinking if you let true common sense into the mix… or if you place yourself in their shoes.. imagine for a moment your story, then being rounded up , arrested and jailed for numerous weeks on end as your family tries to figure out where to get 100,000 dollars plus rent and groceries for the kids…..

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    • It has been acknowledged and reported that those killed were shot by law enforcement……..so rounding up EVERYONE wearing any kind of motorcycling attire and keeping them out of sight and out of communications with the press, their families, etc., eliminates all but one side of the equation – that of the Waco police. If there are no witnesses to what really happened available to talk to the media, then what the Waco cops say is what the citizens, the media, and the world will hear. The “tactical SWAT” team with their AR-15’s or M-4’s with suppressors should be charged with pre-meditated murder, and the City of Waco should be bankrupt when all the cards are laid on the table.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Not to mention that rifles were out and loaded beforehand and why was the ATF there beforehand and did they fire any shots? The ATF being involved tells a different story, their history of violence and lawbreaking is legion.

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    • as law enforcément, you react like any other crime scene. You get the names and addresses of everyone there, and unless you have a specific reason you release them

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    • It is illegal to hold them without cause. They’ve filed charges against 177 ppl and they could not have possibly all been involved, yet here we are with over 120 still being held on BS charges. That is false inprosonment! I am all for “good” police. They need all the backing they can get and I call several my brothers, but this is BS! They could’ve cuffed everyone and sat them down, dribbled the chem splat on hands and found out who fired a gun in under an hour. If that wouldn’t have sufficed, they could’ve rolled the video in under 6 hours with positive id’s. I do it everyday of my life. There are laws to be followed for a reason!

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    • That wasn’t the case asshole, stick to the subject at hand Rodney. Those bikers were given a raw deal, they deserve a fare shake. Hopefully there’s a lawyer out there who’s willing to stand up and fight for them.

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    • Well now, considering that pretty much all of the shots came from the police across the street… I would think that waiting for the autopsy and ballistic reports before running your mouth might be the smart and prudent thing!

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  11. Remember Waco !!! They could have arrested David Koresh peacefully years ago at any time while he was alone in the city. Instead we all remember what hundreds of innocent women and children were murdered. Waco has some seriously flawed law enforcement officers.

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  12. What Chaps my ass is a few weeks after this incident after another Region 3 COC Meeting the local media ran a headline “Bikers from all over gather today peacefully at local bar”. This is news?? We have been gathering peacefully for 3 decades…GTFO…The media really needs to get a grip on what they are reporting and start gathering REAL facts from people that were there that weren’t wearing a badge IMO.

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  13. Yep I’ve been to many meetings myself. Sorry to say I’ve missed a few good way to catch up on what’s going on & where it’s gonna take place.

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  14. Here is a typical May Central Texas Confederation and Clubs and Independents (COC&I) agenda:

    1. Opening Prayer (a pastor of a church from the Austin area who is the COC&I chaplain would have prayed).
    2. Pledge of allegiance to the American flag.
    3. Reports from the chairman from the recent meeting at the National Coalition of Motorcyclist annual convention.
    4. Reports from the Legislative Task Force regarding current legislation affecting motorcyclist.
    5. Reports from Safety and Awareness committee.
    (May is Motorcycle Safety and Awareness month, so there would have been extensive talk about upcoming meeting with City officials around the area for Motorcycle Safety and Awareness Proclamations)
    6. Report from the COC&I AIM Lawyer
    7. Closing remarks
    8. Closing devotional remarks and prayer by the COC&I chaplain

    That is about it. That is what would have happened at 1:00 pm if this other unrelated incident had not happened.

    No talk about club business or issues are conducted at a COC&I meeting. In fact, it is common for there to be an announcement that if anyone has issues with anyone another club, this is not the place for that, so take it elsewhere.

    All clubs as well as those who ride, but do not wear a patch, are invited to attend.

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    • Prayers ……… so not only are COC’s affiliated with motorcycle enthusiasts now there is a Christian element as well …….. The 21st century sure has a strange definition for undesirables

      In the city I live you are far more likely to be assaulted by law enforcement than any other group of people. In the last couple of years the local PD has had multiple officers arrested for sexually abusing children, theft, wrongful prosecution, fraudulent complaints, citizen deaths ….. the list of Convictions is long ….. and unfortunately my city is the typical …… 20% of the uniformed officers have no business being LEO ….. yet that blue wall of silence backs them. Fortunately the PD tends to target the average citizen and not the clubs …. of course the high % of combat vets driving the new clubs may have something to do with it.

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