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Twin Peaks

Four years later: Twin Peaks survivor hopes to change biker profiling

By General Posts

A Twin Peaks shooting survivor says he trying to rebuild his reputation after he was one of the bikers arrested at the Waco restaurant in 2015.

Friday marks four years since the deadly shootout at the Waco Twin Peaks.

“This was a scheduled meeting,” said Paul Landers.

Landers said he got to the restaurant early that day to set up for a meeting about biker profiling, recent biker legislation and their rights on the road. “That day was different because there were people there that never participated at all in what we do,” he said.

He said he was hanging a banner when he heard the first shots. “Some automatic fire broke out, obviously not small arms fire broke out,” he said.

Nine people were killed and at least 20 were critically injured. If you were there as a biker, chances are you were arrested by Waco Police.

Landers was one of them. “That incident happened 12:30, one o’clock. We were on the hot concrete in 97-degree weather until five that evening. People (were) looking for a restroom. It was total chaos. You don’t know what’s going on, who’s involved. Then we sat on the bus until midnight. I was in handcuff until midnight, plastic cuffs,” he said.

Landers said he spent the next 23 day in jail. He along with 177 others faced felony charges — engaging in organized criminal activity, resulting in murder and aggravated assault.

Charges for Landers were dropped three years after his arrest. In early April, the remaining charges were dropped after a new DA took office.

Landers said his life still hasn’t been the same since his arrest. “I’m not a criminal,” he said.

Before the shooting, Landers said he worked for a well-paying company but was terminated within a week after his arrest. He said the reputation he built as an advocate for biker safety with policy makers at the state Capitol started to diminish. “If you want to single out the bad deed of a couple, but don’t indict the whole group on the actions of few,” he said.

Landers is now part of a civil suit suing the former McLennan County District Attorney, Waco Police and the detective that signed off on the affidavit. He said he’s not suing for financial gain but to prevent bikers from being profiled like he feels they were on May 17, 2015 in Waco.

“Never let this happen again,” he said.

Prosecutors drop all charges in deadly Waco biker shootout

By General Posts

Prosecutors drop all charges in deadly Waco biker shootout case that left nine dead, 20 injured and 177 arrested

  • Nine bikers from rival gangs died and 20 were wounded in the deadly shootout when rival Cossacks and Bandidos clashed inside and outside Twin Peaks, Waco
  • The deadly shooting happend outside a Twin Peaks in Waco on May 17, 2015
  • Police took away 12 long guns, 133 handguns and found 44 shell casings
  • Some 177 were arrested and 155 charged engaging in organized criminal activity
  • Police officers monitoring the group also fired on the bikers, killing at least two
  • Prosecutors announced today that no one will be convicted for the shootout

No one will be convicted for the 2015 shootout between rival biker gangs in Waco restaurant parking lot that left nine people dead and at least 20 injured, prosecutors in Texas said Tuesday.

In a statement announcing all charges will be dropped in the deadliest biker shooting in U.S. history, McLennan County District Attorney Barry Johnson said any further effort to prosecute the case would be a ‘waste of time, effort and resources.’

‘In my opinion, had this action been taken in a timely manner, it would have, and should have, resulted in numerous convictions and prison sentences against many of those who participated in the Twin Peaks brawl,’ Johnson said.

‘Over the next three years the prior district attorney failed to take that action, for reasons that I do not know to this day.’

The shooting outside a Twin Peaks restaurant in Waco on May 17, 2015, involved rival biker gangs, the Bandidos and Cossacks, and occurred as bikers from various groups were gathering to talk over matters of concern.

Fights and gunfire broke out. Waco police officers monitoring the gathering also fired on the bikers, killing at least two.

Surveillance footage showed many bikers running from the scene and ducking for cover after gunshots rang out.

A smaller number could be seen pointing and firing weapons, slinging a chain or participating in fistfights.

Law enforcement officers recovered dozens of firearms, knives and other weapons from the restaurant and adjacent parking lot, many of which officers organized indiscriminately into piles on the pavement and in the back of a police vehicle, dash-cam video showed.

Law enforcement officials took the extraordinary step of arresting 177 bikers after the shooting, then charged 155 of them with engaging in organized criminal activity. Many were held on a $1 million bond.

Former District Attorney Abel Reyna ultimately dropped charges against all but 24 and re-indicted them on riot charges. Those were the cases that came to an end Tuesday.

Only one case was prosecuted in court and that ended in a mistrial.

More than 100 bikers have filed civil rights lawsuits alleging McLennan County, the city and others violated the plaintiffs’ civil rights by arresting them without probable cause after the shooting,

‘It’s a travesty that so many people were rounded up and then investigated, instead of vice versa,’ Mark Snodgrass, president of the Texas Criminal Defense Lawyers Association, said Tuesday. ‘A lot of these people’s lives were put on hold for four years.’

In a statement, Reyna said he disagrees ‘with the overall result as well as several statements and accusations within Mr. Johnson’s press release; however, it is solely his decision on how to proceed with any case in the District Attorney’s Office.’