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Tuesday, June 30, 2015

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Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Bandidos Motorcycle Club Attorney Speaks Out

WACO -- Stephen Stubbs, the attorney for the Bandidos Motorcycle club, released the following statement regarding the Twin Peaks Shooting investigation:
The Bandidos Motorcycle Club (hereafter, “Bandidos”) is saddened by the incident that took place at the Twin Peaks Restaurant in Waco, Texas on May 17, 2015. The violence was senseless, completely unnecessary, and wrong. 
    From the beginning, the Waco Police Department has freely spoken to the press and said many things that have since been proven untrue. This false narrative is damaging to everyone involved. Still, the Waco Police department continues to feed false information to the public, and at the same time is refusing to disclose important information/evidence (such as video evidence and autopsy reports) that would independently prove what really occurred. The Waco Police Department refuses to speak beyond their planned narrative, claiming that they do not want to “influence a potential jury pool” or “interfere with the investigation”. However, this is nonsense as nothing in the video and/or autopsy reports will alter or change any part of their investigation. The release of the video and/or autopsy reports would simply clear up rampant misinformation. If the Waco Police Department didn't want to interfere with the investigation or influence a potential jury pool, it should not have released its false narrative in the first place and instead should have stayed silent during the entirety of the investigation. They did not, and now, after the false information has been widely reported, the Waco Police Department is content to feed the false narrative and allow the public to believe falsehoods. Therefore, the Bandidos demand that all video evidence and autopsy reports be released immediately to clear up the damaging misinformation that is running wild. 
The following is true and correct: 
1) The Bandidos were at the Twin Peaks restaurant to attend an organized political meeting and nothing else. A regional meeting for the Texas Confederation of Clubs and Independents (a bona fide political organization centered on Constitutional rights) was scheduled, and a prominent member of the Bandidos was the key-note speaker at the meeting. This Bandido key-note speaker was to report on the National Coalition of Motorcyclist event that occurred weeks earlier. Because COCI members from across the state were expected to attend this special meeting, it was purposefully scheduled in Waco, TX, a central city between Austin and Dallas. 
2) The Bandidos have no knowledge of any other meeting. The Bandidos are aware that members of other motorcycle clubs are claiming that there were plans to meet with the Bandidos in Waco, TX on May 17, 2015. This claim is not true. 
3) All weapons in possession of members the Bandidos were legally owned and carried. 
4) Members of the Bandidos were not aggressors, did not start the altercation, did not strike first, were not the first to pull weapons, and were not the first to use weapons. The majority of the Bandidos took cover, and all involvement in the altercation by members of the Bandidos was in self-defense. Texas law allows people to defend themselves with the same amount of force that is exerted against them, and a few members of the Bandidos acted in accordance with these laws. In fact, members of the Bandidos involved in the incident did not even have time or opportunity to get off of their motorcycles before police came in.

Feds: We Don’t Need Facts To Declare You A Terrorist

A secret process determines whether you lose all your natural rights. What could go wrong?…/

A document titled “March 2013 Watchlisting Guidance,” states that the US government uses “a secret process that requires neither ‘concrete facts’ nor ‘irrefutable evidence’ to designate someone as a terrorist.”
“In determining whether a REASONABLE SUSPICION exists, due weight should be given to the specific reasonable inferences that a NOMINATOR is entitled to draw from the facts in light of his/her experience and not on unfounded suspicions or hunches. Although irrefutable evidence or concrete facts are not necessary, to be reasonable, suspicion should be as clear and as fully developed as circumstances permit,” one excerpt reads.
Click the link below for more information:

“Instead of a watchlist limited to actual, known terrorists, the government has built a vast system based on the unproven and flawed premise that it can predict if a person will commit a terrorist act in the future,” states Hina Shamsi of the American Civil Liberty’s National Security Project.
So the government has built a ‘Minority Report’ type of system that can ‘foresee’ if you are going to commit an act of terror in the future.
This ‘system’ is just a means of finding excuses to do away with anyone they feel will oppose them – no facts needed, just scare them enough that you are an independent thinker and away you go.
According to an excerpt of the lengthy but unclassified document, the guideline was “developed to help standardize the watchlisting community’s nomination and screening process,” which federal agencies implement when encountering persons that officials may believe are linked to terroristic activity.
The document suggests that those officials have a wide breadth with regards to evaluating suspects, however, and that one White House official even has the power to unilaterally place “entire categories” of people onto lists that may bar those individuals from traveling by air. The Obama administration, the journalists claim, “quietly approved a substantial expansion” of the list last year, allowing more individuals to be targeted than before with less evidence than before.
Elsewhere, the document contains verbiage which reveals that individuals may be targeted by the feds and placed on such lists without the government relying on any evidence to support claims that those persons present a serious risk.
In another part of the document, the journalists write, “uncorroborated” social media postings are considered fair game when it comes to deciding whether or not to place a person on such a watchlist.
“Single source information,” the guidelines state, “including but not limited to ‘walk-in,’ ‘write-in,’ or postings on social media sites, however, should not automatically be discounted … the NOMINATING AGENCY should evaluate the credibility of the source, as well as the nature and specificity of the information, and nominate even if that source is uncorroborated.”
Furthermore, in other instances federal agents may elect to nominate someone to be placed on a watchlist due to the contents of their pockets at the time of being searched, according to the report, and specifically requests that “any cards with an electronic strip on it (hotel cards, grocery cards, gift cards, frequent flyer cards)” by analyzed by officials.
Responding to The Intercept ahead of Wednesday’s publication, Hina Shamsi of the American Civil Liberty’s National Security Project said that “Instead of a watchlist limited to actual, known terrorists, the government has built a vast system based on the unproven and flawed premise that it can predict if a person will commit a terrorist act in the future.”
“On that dangerous theory, the government is secretly blacklisting people as suspected terrorists and giving them the impossible task of proving themselves innocent of a threat they haven’t carried out.” Shamsi said.“These criteria should never have been kept secret.”
And although the document is not classified as top-secret, US Attorney General Eric Holder wrote in an affidavit, according to The Intercept, that the Watchinglist Guidance “contains national security information that, if disclosed … could cause significant harm to national security.”


Monday, June 22, 2015

USA - National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) issues a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) issues a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking to amend Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) No. 218, which concerns motorcycle safety helmets. NHTSA proposes to modify the existing performance requirements of the standard by adding construction requirements. The reasoning behind this is to aid state and local law enforcement officers in enforcing FMVSS No. 218, allowing an officer to visually determine whether a helmet meets the safety standard. NHTSA is currently accepting public comments on this proposal, and will continue to do so until July 20, 2015.
The Motorcycle Riders Foundation opposes NHTSA’s proposal. The proposal fails to take into consideration the rapid pace of technological change in this area. By adopting arbitrary dimension and compression requirements, NHTSA will effectively be shutting out manufacturers who utilize technology to construct helmets which, while failing to meet NHTSA's construction requirements, may very well exceed their performance requirements. It is conceivable that, by the time the new proposals were adopted, they would already be obsolete. To compound that problem, if such a situation did arise—and it almost certainly will—the process of amending the safety standard is so long and complicated that it is not feasible to make periodic changes in order to include technological advancements in motorcycle helmet construction. FMVSS No. 218 should remain primarily a performance standard, not a construction standard.
NHTSA's answer to this problem is to create a list of motorcycle helmets that will be exempt from the proposed construction requirements. The helmets on this list will comply with the performance requirements of FMVSS No. 218, but while they fail to meet its proposed construction requirements, they will nonetheless be deemed to have met the proposed safety standard. This confusing strategy ignores the fact that the law enforcement officer on the street will not have immediate access to such a list. At best, the officer would not know that the motorcyclist's helmet meets FMVSS No. 218 until after the motorcyclist has been deprived of his or her liberty by being detained and subjected to an inspection of their helmet. At worst, the fact that the motorcyclist's helmet meets the standard would not come to light until after the motorcyclist was forced to come to court.
Finally, NHTSA has not fully taken into consideration the very nature of motorcycle helmet enforcement in the United States. Such enforcement is not done federally; it is done at the state and local level according to state laws which may or may not have adopted FMVSS No. 218. Not every state has adopted the federal safety standard. Many that have done so have also adopted alternative safety standards, while others require only that a helmet meet the performance requirements set out in FMVSS No. 218 and not the labeling requirements.
The Motorcycle Riders Foundation believes that motorcycle helmet enforcement is a state issue and not a federal issue. This is evidenced by the fact that motorcycle helmet laws vary greatly from state to state. If a particular state is having an issue enforcing its own motorcycle helmet law, that problem is best addressed by that state's elected officials. It does not make sense to address the enforcement of a state statute on the federal level, but that is what the proposed amendments to FMVSS NO. 218 attempt to do.
The Motorcycle Riders Foundation urges all riders and rider organizations to comment upon this proposal and to point out the legitimate concerns raised by it. You may submit comments to the proposal by any of the following methods:
You may utilize the Federal e-Rulemaking Portal:
Go to Follow the online instructions for submitting comments.
You may mail comments to the Docket Management Facility:
U.S. Department of Transportation, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., West Building Ground Floor, Room W12-140, Washington, DC 20590-0001.
You may also fax comments to the Docket Management Facility:
U.S. Department of Transportation at (202) 493-2251
When submitting comments, make sure to reference Docket No. NHTSA–2015–0045.
If you wish to view the entire proposal you may do so at the following link:…/pkg/FR-2015-05-21/pdf/2015-11756.pdf

Sunday, June 21, 2015

“We walked out to the parking lot to find a cop writing a parking ticket. We walked up to him and said…


SAN DIEGO,CA - Body Cameras for Law Enforcement Officers

by ndking
Well this is sort of related to photography… cameras are involved…  I met with two in-service training officers from the San Diego Police Department to discuss some issues related to the use of body cameras by police officers. I was specifically asked to address issues of human perception compared to what may or may not be captured by a small video camera worn by a police officer.  It is a timely and important topic; and because of my very pleasant memories working for a number of years with the training division of the Denver Police Department I readily agreed.
Because the issues involved effect both law enforcement and the public, both those directly (and actually) interfacing with law enforcement and those who think they know enough to comment on the actions involved because of what you read on Facebook or some partisan screed, I want to pass on some of my findings, comments, and conclusions about the topic.  The meeting lasted over 2½ hours and covered an incredibly wide range of topics both in general and in specific, so I will need to do some high level condensation to make this even marginally manageable in length.  I would not normally put this very long entry on this blog, but I think this is all incredibly important stuff… and as I said, it is sort of related to photography.
First a disclaimer:  It is unfortunate and sad, but in this current politically charged climate, what is intended to simply be an objective view into an attempt to resolve issues vis-à-vis the public (or some segments of it) and those sworn to serve and protect them, has instead become a political hot potato and part of the current dysfunctional partisan wrangling.  That virulent and brain dead activity serves no one, protects no one, and has not a drop of productivity associated with it.   So when I agreed to meet with the officers I resolved to do my own research and hope, by being as objective as possible, I might, as with the Denver PD, make a small contribution to the goal of saving lives on both sides of the badge.  It is important therefore for the reader to understand clearly that this post contains my own thinking, research, experience, opinions, and conclusions… and onlymine.
This post neither attempts nor pretends to speak for the San Diego Police Department (or ANY law enforcement agency), nor, certainly, for the school or district. Nor does it address ALL of the potential issues raised by this topic.  We only had a couple of hours to hit the more obvious items of specific interest to the training officers.  More may come out in subsequent meetings.  I look forward to that.  However, if you take issue with any of this then address it to me… but do something uncommon these days: read the whole thing first before going off half-cocked.
OK, on to the topic at hand.  The officers described several incidences involving an “officer involved shooting” or a "Use of Force" issue.  Against that backdrop, the underlying question then was, what effect would body cameras have on the investigation into the events or perhaps even on the event itself?  Would, for example, the captured video be dispositive in accurately depicting all of the events sufficient to determine if the officer acted properly or not?  That question is critical since it is THAT question that most of the public activists seem to believe is answered with a clear, “Yes!” by the body cameras.
If only it were that simple or that clear, or even that quantifiable.  But in my opinion it is not.  In order to help explain why it is not, and why this is a far more complex question than it might seem on the surface, you need some background information, especially relative to the experiences, expectations, and mind set of a typical law enforcement officer, especially one answering a potentially dangerous call.
Simple minded people seek simple and simplistic answers to all issues but the world is, unfortunately for them and their objectives, a far more complex place.  Any time humans interact under stress the complexity of issues skyrockets.  To get a real understanding of “Whys” and “wherefors” you then also need some background on the psychology and physiology of human perception because those two disciplines are inextricably woven into the answer of the question. Only then does adding data about the cameras themselves yield a reasonably complete picture.
Here, therefore, to start setting the foundation in place, are some data points police officers learn early on…
  • The National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund (NLEOMF) reports that a total of 1,501 law-enforcement officers died in the line of duty during the past ten years, an average of one death every 58 hours, or 150 per year. In the same period there were over 58,000 assaults on police officers with over 15,000 serious injuries.
  • Most officers who were killed with firearms were shot at a distance of 5 ft. or less meaning the killer or killers simply pulled a gun and fired. Others were assassinated sniper-style. Only a very few were casualties of what TV tells us is a typical gun battle since such events happen very, very rarely.
  • Action always beats reaction for the human neuro-musculature system. It takes roughly ½ second for the average CALM human brain to recognize the need for action before ANY physical reaction even starts.  While someone into the old western sport of fast draw can, with a custom rig, tricked out gun, and no pressure, draw and fire in slightly less than 1/3 of a second, drawing and firing a duty weapon from a regulation holster takes an absolute minimum of a half second for a competitive shooter and in reality often a second – or more – often more like 2-3 seconds.Most range shooting I experienced when qualifying with DPD was based on three second drills and the shooting generally takes place in the last second or two. It takes the first second or two to acquire and present the weapon.  Drawing from under a jacket takes even longer.Movies and TV notwithstanding, the human body and nervous system is incapable of responding faster than someone can fire if they have already initiated the action.  The reverse is also true.  Even if you are holding a cocked pistol at someone, if they are reasonably fast, they can draw and fire before you can react if – IF – they initiate the action.  Action beats reaction every time.  Before you question this based on your vast gun fighting experience watching TV, I can tell you from personal experience this has been tested over and over and over and the results are ALWAYS as I have just stated.
  • Reaction time is so critical in its limitations that experiment after experiment has also proven that a trained man with a knife, starting as far away as about 15 feet, can attack and fatally stab someone before they can realize what is happening and then draw and fire in defense IF the attacker initiates the action.
  • At the same time, an experienced fighter, even if unarmed but within an arm’s length, or within touching distance, can kill or incapacitate you before you know what is happening much less react -- if they initiate the action.
  • When your automatic “fight or flight” response to a life threatening situation kicks in and dumps a lifetime supply of adrenaline into your system, all fine motor skills evaporate in a heartbeat. No matter how fine a target or even trick or competitive shooter someone is, during the initial adrenaline rush it would be dumb luck for them to hit a house at ten paces if they relied on precision shooting skills.  Endless practice and what we used to call “Muscle patterning” are all that will come through for you when you are high on adrenaline.  If you have to stop to think about it you will likely be killed.  There are no second place winners in a gun fight.
  • Statistically speaking, if a person disobeys an officer’s command to stop – unless they are deaf – you will likely have a chase and/or a serious fight on your hands against someone determined to resist at all costs… or they would not resist at all.  Exceptions are extremely rare and cannot be counted on as a reference if a situation might become dangerous.
  • I don’t care how many times the Lone Ranger or John Wayne did it, neither the service weapons nor the humans under intense stress are capable of shooting the gun or other weapon out of the rapidly moving hand of someone trying to draw and kill them. And even if they could, where would the now deformed bullet go?
Cops know these things.  And because of that knowledge, they approach dangerous situations just a little bit scared.  No, of course, they will not admit it and don’t much like that characterization.  Perhaps a more acceptable term is “apprehensive.”  But given the physiological autonomous responses to the body’s chemical imbalance when the adrenaline hits home, the term “afraid” is more accurate even if less ego-satisfying.  It is also important because without the awareness of the underlying physiologically induced psychological issues the behavioral results may make little or no sense.   No one wants to be shot or stabbed.  I’ve been both and I can tell you there is nothing in either experience to recommend it to someone else much less to want to do it again.
And yet, in spite of the powerful psychological conflict with a direct instinctive survival imperative, a sworn officer has a duty to wade into harm’s way in the service of his or her citizens; the operative word there being “HARM.”  It is a potential harm of which they (and their family’s) are acutely aware.  Courage is all about overcoming and moving through fear; being truly fearless is also being truly foolhardy.  But again it is not that easy or clear cut because the mind, i.e. the brain, will respond in ways that have occupied neuro-biologists and psychologists for a long time.
Indeed because a bullet or blade can hurt you all the way up to dead there is every reason to do everything in your power to keep it from happening at all.  Here is a little secret about deadly combat.  Very quickly it stops being about trying to apprehend or even kill the other guy and becomes all about trying to make sure he does not kill you.  And the hard core bottom line is, the only way to have a serious chance of survival if the situation is truly about to become deadly… is to act first and decisively.  This is not a game, it is not a movie, it is not a TV show. In real life-and-death combat the fighter who fights fair, who waits for the other person to make the first move is almost always the fighter who dies.  When playing with the big boys and the bad guys, hesitation is deadly – to you.
Then, into this mind set comes the issues of human perception and how the stress of traumatic events impacts that perception.  You cannot react or respond to an action until your brain "perceives" it and then formulates a responsive behavior.  For our discussion it would be easier if vision were the key component of perception since, after all, we are addressing an issue involving cameras.  But in fact vision is but one component influencing perception.  The major organ of influence is not the eyes but the brain.
This is probably the most important thing to accept and understand.  The brain controls what we perceive and consequently what we believe.  Aldous Huxley wrote that humans, "... tend to believe what they tend to prefer."  As we will see, those preferences, or "biases" act as powerful, almost inescapable filters through which the brain interprets and constructs the images we think we are seeing.  (As an aside, new inquiries in the field of quantum physics, in an interesting twist on Heizenberg's Uncertaincy Principles" is now positing that "reality," as we think we experience it, actually does not even existuntil it is observed.)
Scientists have known and written about the brain’s incredible influence on our perception for a long time.  The problem is that it is not capable of inputting and analyzing every possible scrap of data from all of our senses.  Visual, auditory, olfactory, basically ALL sensory data is being “felt” by the body and channeled toward the brain for analysis leading to a conclusion and decision about a proper response.  But it is massive overload so the brain adopts a more manageable process.
In the interests of brevity and simplicity, let me use a computer analogy: the brain first takes selected chunks of the incoming data and compares them to known data points in its database of experiences.  Those chunks are far more than we are used to processing in calmer moments.  Under high stress all the senses truly come alive and are feeding the brain huge chunks of all kinds of data.  This incoming data stream is so overwhelming and unusual it sometimes makes time itself seem to slow down in an effect we used to call “psychotachia.”
If the brain finds a match it then proceeds to the analysis and decision phase based on previous experiences and outcomes.  If it does not, it researches the database again, this time looking for similarities and if it finds some it tries to decide if there are enough similarities to declare a match.  If it cannot then declare a match it might look at a different set of chunks of incoming data to find a match.
This takes time: not a lot of time to be sure.  But we are talking about fractions of a second which can result in a fatal delay in a close encounter of the deadly kind.  But, worse, if the brain can find no basis for a decision then it often simply freezes: a paralysis of sorts familiar to combat veterans both in the military and police departments.  That paralysis may be momentary but it is enough to be deadly.
An obvious and important question is how does the brain select the initial (and following) chunks of incoming data to compare?  It selects them on the basis of expectations surrounding the event coupled with an event-specific degree of focus on selected elements in the event.  If the focus is sufficiently strong, usually fueled by emotional overload and stress, the influence of those expectations is so powerful it can make the brain experience elements of the event that do not actually exist or, conversely, fail to experience elements that in fact are happening in front of them.  If you don't believe the brain can do this you need to attend a performance by a stage hypnotist... or, for that matter, a good stage magician.
An now legendary example of this phenomenon is a video of a basketball game shown to study participants.  They are told that their task, for which they will be rewarded if they are correct, is to count the number of baskets scored in a fairly short period of time.  Participants are so focused on the players and the basket that nearly all of them completely fail to see a person in a gorilla suit walk – walk, mind you – through the scene.  Their failure to observe this complete and highly visible activity is so great and so problematic to them that most will claim it didn’t really happen and that the study administrators are lying to them or even that the replay of the video where now they can see the gorilla clearly when looking for it, is a different piece of tape.  It is as if one part of our brain doesn't like that another part tricked us and tries to cover it up.
The phenomenon is so well known to researchers that it is known as a form of selective perception called “inattentional blindness.”  But it works the other way too.  Humans are hard wired to try to make sense of their environment and situation; they seek closure and completeness (Gestalt) and will perceive it even if it is not really there based on their situational expectations.  I’ve had students say they saw me somewhere with a camera when either I was not there at all (simple mis-identification) or it was me but I did not have a camera with me.  They “saw” it because they expected to see it.
There is anecdotal evidence that when the Spanish explorers were first visiting the new world, the natives often did not see their ships as vessels, often drawing them as islands, and sometimes acted as if they did not see them AT ALL because they were so far removed from any point of reference the tribesmen could have.
What is critical to understand is that none of those viewers or witnesses were lying, they were honestly relaying what their brain perceived and convinced them was there, or not there, based totally on their focus and expectations.  The resulting perception is so strong it is imbedded as a real memory even though it is not accurate.  There is a reason for the cliché that “perception IS reality.”
Study after study, experiment after experiment, has demonstrated conclusively that individual eyewitness accounts of extremely traumatic events, even ruling out so-called “eye-witnesses” that are lying on purpose for some agenda, tend to be statistically worthless unless there are enough of them that investigators can piece together narrative overlaps and start to create a more or less accurate description.  Yet the public continues to believe, especially when it suits their own biases, that an eye witness account is the best chance for accuracy when in fact it may be among the worst.
Still don’t believe it?  Start watching a TV show called “Brain Games” and prepare yourself for a shock.
Nevertheless, despite the clear experiential evidence to the contrary, in the public mind it is vision that is primary to perception.  So what about the human eye, what can it really see and how does it compare with the body cameras being adopted by law enforcement agencies around the country?
The human eyeball is at once a marvel of biological engineering and at the same time a fairly mediocre optical device.  It doesn’t have to be that good because, at least in some of us, it is connected to a brain to make sense of the electrical impulses it sends, via the optic nerve, to the brain.  The brain does not “see” pictures – it constructs pictures.
Thinking of the eye as an optical device, i.e. a lens, humans, using both eyes -- both lenses -- can “see” a field of view of approximately 180 - 200 degrees including peripheral vision.  But a lot of that is unfocused and distorted and lacks any real sense of dimension.
Like nearly all predators our eyes are facing forward to give us stereo vision.  The overlap from our binocular vision covers about 120 degrees and in that field of view our eyes, offset by 3-4 inches, can perceive real spatial dimensions (3D) out to between 50 and 100 feet.  Beyond that we really do not see depth but our brain uses standard perspective issues to let us know when things we know are the same size are farther away (they are smaller) or one thing is behind another (due to overlap), etc.  This depth perception allowed us to determine where the prey was in space and how far to jump to seize it or throw something at it.  (By comparison, nearly all prey animals have their eyes on the sides of their heads where they have nearly 360 degrees of view so they can see us predators coming.)
However, that 120 degree binocular view is also largely useless since we can only obtain sharp focus in the central 50-60 degrees of view.  Movement and low light patterns are best sensed peripherally but detail in good light is best sensed straight ahead.  That worked well for a hunter-gatherer in the forest, it works less well for a police officer at night looking for a suspect in a dark alley or building.  And when adrenaline is dumped into the system, that range of view is constricted down to maybe 10 degrees or less with the well known phenomenon of stress induced tunnel vision.  The brain forces the optical system to concentrate on what it thinks is the most important, most threatening portion of the scene so it can focus all of its analytical ability on that.  The participant literally CANNOT see outside of that tunnel.
The resolution of the human eye is also a mixed bag since it varies widely with distance and vision.  For those with roughly 20:20 vision, they can resolve detail that is approximately one to two (usually closer to two) arc minutes in width (one arc-minute subtends about .35 millimeters at about 60 centimeters which is roughly the thickness of the paper used to make a greeting card).  But that drops off rapidly with distance.  People think their vision is great since they can see way down the highway, but try reading a sign at ¼ mile and tell me how good your vision is.  It is in anticipation of this that road signs have different colors and shapes which we CAN see.
So where does that leave our human participants in some traumatic event?  It leaves them at the mercy of a limited visual system that is being mixed with other sensory input and interpreted by a brain operating based on expectations as all of that is influenced by its focus and attention and varying with the degree of hormonal overload.  Surely by now you are beginning to see a problem developing and it impacts ALL of the “witnesses” and participants in our traumatic event… but it impacts them all differently because they all have different experiential databases and therefore different expectations as to what is or is not about to happen, not to mention different apprehensions of the danger.
The machine-based answer that would be of value, both in the field and in the courtroom, would be an optically accurate, emotionally dispassionate recorder of all of the occurring elements impacting a human sensory system and influencing their emotionally charged perception(s).  Are you aware of any device on the planet that can do that?  And if not, is the answer found in the new body camera technology?  That is what we met to find out.
It is time to add the issues of the camera and its capabilities and limitations and how it might have an effect on a situation and/or on the post-incident investigation/analysis of what happened.  Remember, however, if it is to do what we all want it to do, it must be capable of recording, in fine detail and undistorted optics, the whole sensory universe of the event, not just a brief snippet of it.  And it must be capable of providing a narrative of the various perceptions of the participants and their causes; plus it must view all of that vis-à-vis the applicable laws and statutes at play if it is to fairly, ethically, and legally assign responsibility.  That is a very tall order better suited to science fiction than reality, at least for today's technology.
There are several manufacturers of body cameras for law enforcement/military use and several types of attachments ranging from pencil cams on goggles to shoulder cams to those mounted more or less in the middle of the chest.  Each has pros and cons but none of them do all of the things we just listed as necessary.  All of them simply provide a video/visual record OF WHAT THE CAMERA SEES and in some cases of what the tiny camera microphone picks up.  There is no synaptic connection to the officer’s brain to factor in other sensory input, much less is there any ability to capture the officer’s real state of mind or even physiological state as the event unfolds.  It does not record blood pressure, respiration, etc., it does not record changes in hormonal/chemistry states, and it is clueless about the specifics of that officer's prior experiences good or bad that help inform their specific expectations.
So what DOES it do?  Well, except for areas of the scene blocked by the officer’s arms or clothing, the manufacturer claims it captures (typically) a more or less 115 - 130 degree view of the scene directly in front of the camera. (One manufacturer has a model that captures about 75 degrees.) That 115-130 degree view is roughly the equivalent view of a full frame fish-eye lens on a DSLR.  That means that the only undistorted part of the scene is right in the middle.  That is also the only area of acceptable sharpness.  You photographers understand the difference between focus/depth of field issues and sharpness as defined by how much detail can the lens render.  Most of the public does not.  This type of lens will have enormous depth of field; but optically it will have some major distortion and aberration issues that limit its best sharpness to the center of the image.
This is not an indictment of these cameras, it is the case with ALL ultra-wide-angle lenses; but the shorter the lens’ focal length,  the more noticeable the effect.  The smaller the capture format, film or digital chip, the shorter the focal length of the lens must be to see the same field of view.
Further, due to the perspective that renders items on the edges farther away from the lens than what is directly in front of the camera, those items at the edges appear much smaller than they would in the middle because they are farther away.  This will not give a later viewer, especially a viewer lacking photo-editing expertise and sophistication, any real sense of spatial relationships or closing speeds and distances.  Think of the similar issue with a passenger side rear view mirror and the warning label in it.
How about detail and resolution?  These cameras can be switched or set to operate on several formats and capture modes as well as several compression routines.  Some lesser expensive models only function at one setting.  At their highest they can operate at the latest so-called 4K resolution but the prices is enormous bandwidth consumption and huge storage needs.   Most can be also set as low as so-called VGA standards.  This is early computer monitor resolution (640 x 480 pixels at 72ppi) that somewhat matches the standard NTSC TV format of 525 (horizontal) lines PER SCREEN.
The result of that low format is a single frame that takes about one megabyte of space.  That VGA resolution may be OK for store surveillance cameras (which is what you typically see) but it has nowhere near the detail to allow arm-chair quarterbacks to properly analyze complex and emotion-laden events after the event.  Standard “High Definition” video is double the potential resolution OF THE MEDIA, 4K is a lot more still, but the final quality is utterly dependent on, and only as good as, the actual resolution capabilities of the lens/sensor combination.  The built-in lens in a $400 body cam is simply not of the same quality as even a budget priced DSLR lens that alone will cost more.
But there are other constraints: good or bad, all that footage must be stored… let’s look at the smallest storage problem – storing VGA footage.
There are 30 video frames per second, meaning, at VGA resolution, roughly 30 megabytes per second of data needing to be stored.  A ten minute sequence at this LOWEST resolution of about 640x480x72 per frame would require 30 X 60 X 10 = 18 gigabytes of storage.  Body cameras are turned on an average of 2.5 hours per shift.  That means they need to record and store 150 minutes or 270 gigabytes of data at low resolution. That means a single uncompressed camera at low resolution would capture 1.350 terrabytes per 5-day week.
Remember, we are not talking $30,000 and up broadcast quality cameras and lenses, we are talking about quality at or sometimes lower than a cheap camcorder or iPhone.  It has no trouble capturing large detail and gross movements; they are perfect for vacation photos or Facebook rendering or viewing on the tiny phone monitor.  They are perfect for military operations to keep track of the action. But when the tiny details involve whether or not a gun or knife or other weapon was in play, whether a fist was open or closed during some very fast movement, how comfortable would you be betting your career and maybe legal future on it? But wait, it gets more complicated due to compression.
In order to handle the enormous storage issues we just mentioned, most video codecs offer some form of compression, the most common being MPEG (in its latest iteration). I’m assuming my photographer followers are all aware of the quality issues of JPEG compression for still images which often are captured at very high resolution to begin with, and of JPEG’s detail destroying compression artifacts.  And that is at 4:1 compression at its best.
For such low resolution output needs as social media or phone display, no one notices the dynamic range/tonal compression going from a 12 or 14 bit capture down to the 8-bit transfer format so that shadow detail and highlight detail are lost.  Again, not a problem for Facebook or email or a blog, but for an investigation into a life or death matter different criteria do, or should, apply.
But MPEG as used for video is vastly more aggressive in its compression routines since it has to work with files that are so much larger.  It has to spread the compression out over multiple frames.  The Axon camera made by Taser (the model selected by the SDPD) claims a final 13.5:1 compression.  And that is on 8-bit capture in the first place.  Whoa.  You likely won’t notice it normally because of the distracting motion happening, especially viewed on a small screen or in a small window.  But slow it down to a single frame to be enlarged on a big monitor and take a look.  I don’t think you will be all that happy with it as a dispositive visual aid in a trial.
So does that mean these cameras are useless?  No, of course not.  It means that their capabilities AND limitations need to be clearly understood by both the officers wearing them and the investigators reviewing the footage after an incident… and the public.  Clearly the cameras can capture major events and gross movements easily.  For a huge proportion of incidences, that is probably just fine.  It will most likely show who pushed whom first, it will capture (with audio) who said what to whom.  It will easily resolve the baseball bat sized bludgeon, a service pistol, and things like that.  The fact of a camera on the officer’s body is likely to dissuade a belligerent individual from creating a problem or blaming the officer for a problem when he or she knows the camera will tell a different story.
The mere fact of the camera being worn can also potentially go a long way to mollify the increasing number of civilians who think police are simply the city’s major street gang no longer out to protect citizens but to shake them down or view them as a gang of street thugs that make Quantrill's Raiders look like Boy Scouts.  That positive effect alone, if implemented along with a solid community outreach program, would likely make it more than worth the cost.
The cameras for most incidences can also verify whether or not policy and procedures were followed properly and that can be a good thing for a department really trying to get it right.  There are, therefore, some very good results possible from the use of body cams.
But for those who see the cameras as a stand in for an objective human observer – even if there were such a thing – I think they should prepare themselves for a disappointment.   The camera is an abject failure at putting the later viewer in the calm luxury of an editing booth into the shoes and mindset of the officer undergoing high stress.  The camera's use also provides a major potential privacy issue when visual and often audio data is being collected constantly and picking up not only potential bad guys but also innocent bystanders at the wrong place at the wrong time and now branded by that location association.  Remember the outcry over speed and red light cameras?  The outcry over NSA collecting phone call records is still buzzing in the media.
People want authorities to listen and watch the bad guys… but not them, as if the real bad guys always came with a day-glo label tag so they could be easily identified and selected for surveillance leaving the good guys’ rights completely untrammeled.  But of course at the same time they are completely opposed to profiling...
Bottom line for me is I see this equipment as a real double edged sword that can help or hurt both officer and civilian.  The reality, however, is that it is the wave of the future andwill happen until respect is re-earned and returned to the police agencies.
We as a people seem hard wired to always gravitate to a simplistic solution to complex problems; we seek a magic pill to remedy our societal ills, a simple vaccination against what we see as problems.  And now, rightly or wrongly, the public sees the police less as friend and protector and more as enemy and they believe these cameras will prove their case for police over-reaction or help protect against it.  Many activists who see footage that does not confirm their own perceptual expectations will simply accuse the cops of editing the footage that is in their control.
I believe that we – cops and public alike – are asking something of the cameras they cannot deliver.  And if I am correct, that means they will not, certainly not by themselves, resolve the increasing animosity towards law enforcement agencies and individuals.  And that means it will be up to those agencies to reach out to their communities to explain both the capabilities and especially the limitations of this equipment because people who ought to know better will assume whatever is seen on video is not only accurate but is the whole story.
And the agencies need to also get honest with the public about the statistics they face every day that make theirs a hazardous occupation but without which we would be subject to chaos and mayhem on the streets.  The public deserves and NEEDS to understand the world of the law enforcement officer. They cannot do that so long as officers deny the psychological impact that brings these perceptual problems into play since they otherwise do not make sense as exculpatory claims.
Are there bad officers?  Of course.  Are there bad departments?  Yes.  Do those bad actors need to be changed or eliminated?  Yes.  But I believe the truth remains that the large majority of law enforcement officers are seriously trying to serve their public.  Knowing and accepting the risk most cops put on their badge everyday to try to help make their communities a better and safer place to live.
And yet there is a growing groundswell of not just disrespect but downright enmity against the police who are seen, increasingly, as bad guys working against instead of forthe public.  That cannot be ignored or wished away, the societal stakes are too high.  But the hard truth is that it will be up to the police agencies to turn that view around; they will have to show the public they are implementing some serious housecleaning and not just circling the wagons.  The public does not seem to be in a mood to even meet them halfway.
Federal and State leadership, and even some local leadership has simply added to the problem by spending far more time commiserating over and drawing attention to events where police use of force seems questionable and virtually no time talking about events where police are attacked and even assassinated.  That, unfortunately, leaves the impression that leadership itself does not respect the police, and if the leaders don;t respect the police why should the average citizen?  The result leaves the law enforcement agencies spinning in the wind and the only ones left to rise to their own defense.
Body cameras may be an element in that effort, perhaps an important element from a PR standpoint.  But in the end they are only a part and perhaps a small part of the full equation.  Resolution and regaining of respect needs a more personal and highly positive interaction to change hearts and minds.  Fair or not, the Police work for us, so the ball is in their court.  But the public needs to give them that chance to do something with it.  And leadership needs to recognize and support it.


Friday, June 19, 2015

TEXAS - Vehicle forfeiture documents reveal new details about deadly biker shootout

Documents supporting the seizure of 27 vehicles from those reportedly involved in the May 17 Twin Peaks shootout reveal new details of the escalating turf war between rival biker gangs and their support groups that clashed with deadly results after a motorcycle association meeting was moved from Austin to Waco. Prosecutors filed notices Tuesday of their intent to seize and forfeit 17 motorcycles, eight pickup trucks and two SUVs, alleging the vehicles are contraband used during the commission of the noon-hour incident that left nine bikers dead, 20 wounded and 177 jailed on engaging in organized criminal activity charges. Of those arrested, 131 have been released from jail and many were able to get their motorcycles and vehicles back from impound after posting reduced bonds.
According to affidavits filed by prosecutors and Waco police in the civil forfeiture cases, tensions between the Bandidos and Cossacks had been increasing since the Cossacks began wearing a bottom rocker, or patch, with Texas on it rather than specific counties or towns.
According to police intelligence reports, groups wanting to wear Texas rockers must get permission from the Bandidos.
The affidavits list six incidents dating to November 2013 that foreshadowed the collision course on which the Cossacks and Bandidos motorcycle clubs, which law enforcement identify as criminal street gangs, and their support groups were traveling.
The documents detail an incident in 2013 in Abilene outside a Logan’s Roadhouse restaurant in which several Bandidos and Cossacks fought after the Bandidos damaged some Cossacks’ bikes in the parking lot. One of the Cossacks stabbed was Timothy Shane Satterwhite, 47, who was among those arrested in Waco after the Twin Peaks incident.
Two others Cossacks involved in the Abilene incident, including another who was stabbed, also were in Waco that day.
On March 22, several members of a Bandidos support group attacked a lone Cossack who was getting gas in Palo Pinto County. The Bandidos support members demanded he remove the bottom rocker patch on his jacket. When he refused, the others beat him with a hammer and took his jacket, according to the affidavits.
That same day, about seven Cossacks blocked in a Bandido riding in heavy traffic on Interstate 35 in Lorena and beat him, causing blunt-force trauma to his head, the documents show.
A week later, a Waco police gang-intelligence officer got word that there were Bandidos at the Flying J Truck Stop and a large number of Cossacks at the nearby Legends Cycles on the I-35 access road.
A Waco police commander talked to Legends owner John Wilson, the president of the local Cossacks chapter, and saw an assault rifle inside the business.
“Wilson stated that they knew trouble was possible between the two groups and that they (Cossacks) were prepared,” the document states.
Wilson and his son, Jake, the local Cossacks sergeant-at-arms, both were arrested at Twin Peaks on May 17.
On April 16, Twin Peaks hosted a Bike Night attended by 55 Cossacks and members of the Los Caballeros, a Bandidos support group. Nothing happened that night, but there was a large police presence there from at least five agencies.
The following week, a Cossacks member was arrested in a parking lot near Twin Peaks with a gun, a knife and a bandana with a padlock tied to it and said he was waiting for other Cossacks to arrive. The same man was arrested after the May 17 incident at Twin Peaks, the affidavits say.
Meeting moved
The incident erupted in Waco, according to the documents, after the meeting of the Region 1 Confederation of Clubs and Independents was moved from Austin to the Twin Peaks in Waco. Nearly all of the recent Region 1 COC&I meetings had been held in Austin, and 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, the affidavits say. Many of the 177 bikers arrested in the Twin Peaks shootout were from outside Region 1.
The Cossacks are not members of the local COC&I and the Bandidos are. However, the Cossacks consider Waco “their territory and made the decision to take a stand and attend the meeting uninvited,” according to the court documents.
“Cossacks threatened that Waco was a ‘Cossacks town’ and nobody else could ride there,” the records state. “The large number of Bandidos and their supporters showed up to the Region 1 COC&I meeting because the Bandidos wanted to have a show of force and make a statement that Waco was not the Cossacks’ town.”
On May 17, several members of the Cossacks and their support groups, the Bogatyrs and Scimitars, arrived an hour or more before the scheduled 1 p.m. meeting. They took over the patio area, which had been reserved for the COC&I meeting.
They also had members inside the restaurant and along the perimeter of the parking lot, the affidavits say, adding that members appeared to be posted as sentries.
Viewing videos from Twin Peaks and Don Carlos, police say they were able to see several Cossacks reach under their vests and appear to adjust their weapons or check their weapons. They had handguns and knives as they walked around the patio, and officers said they also could see Bandidos, Machateros and Caballeros members standing along the perimeter of the parking lot.
As another group of Bandidos arrived in the Twin Peaks parking lot, several Cossacks, Bogatyrs and Scimitars climbed over the patio railing and went toward the Bandidos.
“Several of the Cossacks pulled their weapons, including handguns, as they stood on the patio and exited the patio,” the affidavits say.
Scimitars moved to the front entrance of the patio, appearing to take a “rear guard” position for the Cossacks, the documents allege.
A Bandido nearly struck a Cossack with his motorcycle in the parking lot. Members of both groups converged and a Bandido punched a Cossack in the face.
“Several Bandidos and Cossacks pulled out guns and knives, and shot and stabbed each other,” the records show.
The court documents say 20 were hospitalized after the fight, two more than initially reported by police. More than 488 weapons were recovered from the crime scene, including 151 firearms. Of the 239 people who were detained after the shootout, 177 were ultimately arrested.
The 27 forfeiture petitions include the following bikers and their vehicles:
David Martinez

David Martinez

2015 Harley-Davidson motorcycle
Martinez, of Terrell, listed as the Dallas County Bandidos president, was one of only three jailed to post a $1 million bond before prosecutors and attorneys for bikers began negotiating reduced bonds.
Waco police dash cam video shows Martinez shooting a handgun while standing behind a brown SUV, according to court documents. Officers found a .32-caliber pistol in the hatchback area of the vehicle. During the video, Martinez is seen shooting and the hatchback glass is shot out. Martinez is then seen on video placing an object inside the vehicle, records state.
Martinez’s Harley had Bandidos logos on it, including stickers that said, “1%er” and “BFFB.” Police found a .40-caliber pistol, a box of ammunition and a knife on his motorcycle, the documents state.
Michael Thomas
Michael Thomas

Michael Thomas

2006 Harley-Davidson motorcycle
Thomas, of Mesquite, is identified as the vice preident of the Kaufman County Vaqueros, a Bandidos support group. His bike had stickers that read, “Support The Fat Mexican” and “Support Your Local Bandidos MC.”
When he was arrested, he was wearing an empty black gun holster and an empty knife case, according to the court documents.
Thomas’ criminal history includes convictions for robbery, four counts of aggravated robbery and carrying a prohibited weapon. He has arrests for dangerous drugs, narcotic equipment possession and possession of marijuana.
He was released from jail on $125,000 bond.
Diego Obledo

Diego Obledo

2009 Toyota Venza
Obledo, of San Antonio, told police he is a “hang around” for the Valerosos Motorcycle Club, a Bandidos support group.
Police found a 9mm pistol, a red Valerosos T-shirt and camo body armor with a bulletproof plate in his Toyota, according to court records.
He has been previously arrested for resisting arrest and was freed after posting $100,000 bond for the engaging in organized criminal activity charge.
John Guerrero

John Guerrero

2006 Chevrolet Avalanche
Guerrero, of San Antonio, is identified as a member of the Bandidos and was wearing a T-shirt with a Bandidos insignia that said “Bandido Big George.” Guerrero was photographed after the incident with scratches on his left elbow, according to court documents.
Policle found a 9mm pistol in the Avalanche glove box along with two Bandidos vests, a Bandidos shirt marked “1%” and other Bandidos clothing.
Guerrero has a conviction for aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and arrests for assault, auto theft, manufacturing and delivery of a controlled substance and DWI, court records show.
He was freed on $250,000 bond.
Tommy Jennings

Tommy Jennings

2003 GMC Sierra
Jennings, of North Richland Hills, is identified as a member of the Bandidos. Police found three loaded pistols, Bandidos vests and patches in the truck. When he was arrested, he was carrying a 9mm pistol and a folding knife, police said.
His criminal history includes convictions for four thefts, two DWIs and two driving with invalid license. He has been arrested for sexual assault of a child, harboring a runaway child and two thefts.
He was released on $30,000 bond.
Reginald Weathers
Reginald Weathers

Reginald Weathers

2004 Midway motorcycle
Weathers, of Forney, was arrested at the hospital after being treated. He is a member of the Bandidos and his motorcycle was found parked in the middle of the driving lane of the Twin Peaks parking lot with other Bandidos bikes. That area is where the confrontation started and where at least three of the Bandidos who were shot, or were seen on video shooting a gun, had parked their motorcycles, police said.
Weathers was freed on $250,000 bond.
Josh Martin

Joshua Martin

2008 Chevrolet Silverado
Martin is a vice president of the Cossacks’ Titus County chapter from Pittsburg.
When he was arrested, he was wearing a black Cossacks vest with a vice president patch and patches that said, “Living on Cossack Time” and “CFFC,” which police said stands for “Cossacks Forever, Forever Cossacks.”
Police found a BB gun, a knife, two bats and a sledgehammer handle in his truck.
Martin was freed on $40,000 bond.
James Stallings
James Stallings

James Stallings

2009 Harley-Davidson motorcycle
Stallings is a member of the Bandidos and lives in Corsicana and had a “Bandidos Forever” sticker on his helmet, according to court documents.
He has an arrest for dangerous drugs and a “1%er” tattoo on his left forearm, the documents state.
He was freed on $50,000 bond.
John Wilson

John Wilson

2013 Harley-Davidson motorcycle
Wilson, president of the McLennan County Cossacks chapter, owns Legends Cycles in Waco.
He told police he and his son, Jacob, both were carrying pistols that day but left the pistols in the saddlebags of their motorcycles because they don’t have permits to carry them.
Police said Wilson knew there could be trouble between the Cossacks and Bandidos that day and that the Cossacks “were prepared for it,” court records show.
He was freed after posting $100,000 bond.
Jacob Wilson

Jacob Wilson

2012 Harley-Davidson motorcycle
John Wilson said he appointed his son sergeant-at-arms of the six-member McLennan County Cossacks chapter. A patch on his vest also identified him as a “2nd Generation” Cossack.
Jacob Wilson, of Hewitt, was wearing a black T-shirt that said, “Legends Cycles” and a black cap that read “CFFC” on it.
He remains jailed under a $1 million bond.

Ray A. Nelson Jr.

2005 Harley-Davidson motorcycle
Documents supporting the seizure of Ray A. Nelson Jr.’s 2005 Harley Davidson tell this Cossack’s version of how the bloody battle at Twin Peaks began. Nelson was shot in the incident and was not arrested.
According to the documents, officers went to speak to Nelson in the hospital to explain that he would not be detained and Nelson told them what he saw.
Nelson told the officers he was standing on the front patio of Twin Peaks while a prospect was standing in the parking lot watching over the motorcycles. Nelson told officers he saw two Bandidos drive into the parking lot, intentionally steering too close to the parked bikes. The first Bandido drove over the foot of the prospect, knocking him to the ground, according to the document.
Nelson told officers he left the patio area to check on his prospect and got into a verbal argument with the Bandidos. One punched Nelson in the eye. At that moment, he saw another Bandido walk up and pull out a gun, the document states. The Bandido shot Nelson in the neck and the bullet exited his shoulder.
On a subsequent phone call with officers, Nelson told them when things got heated, he went to his bike and retrieved a handgun. He said he never fired the gun but tossed it in the parking lot after he was shot.
The records supporting the seizure of his bike state that Twin Peaks security video shows Nelson “with a pistol in his hand on the patio.” The gun was given to Nelson by another Cossack on the patio, but Nelson left the pistol on the patio.
Greg Corrales

Gregory Corrales

2003 Chevrolet Silverado 1500
Documents supporting the seizure of Gregory Corrales’ 2003 Chevy pickup indicate that Corrales is a member of the Valerosos Motorcycle Club, identified as a Bandidos support group.
Corrales drove from his home in San Antonio, which is in Region 7 of the Texas COC&I, to attend the Region 1 meeting on May 17.
“It is not common for members of one COC&I region to attend a regional meeting of another area of the Texas COC&I,” the documents state.
The truck had “very identifiable markings on the vehicle showing support for the Bandidos,” according to the documents.
Corrales has previous arrests for assault causing physical injury and theft of a vehicle, the records state.
He was freed on $25,000 bond.
Christopher Carrizal

Christopher Carrizal Sr.

2003 Harley-Davidson motorcycle
Documents supporting the seizure of a 2003 Harley-Davidson motorcycle ridden by Christopher Carrizal Sr., of Garland, indicate the bike had markings that read “1%,” “Bandido Property,” and “I Do Gang Things.”
The bike is registered to Eustolia Carrizal, who is his mother and who lives at his same address in Garland, according to court records.
The documents also note Carrizal Sr. is a Bandido who has previous arrests for possession of marijuana and driving under the influence.
He was freed after posting a $200,000 bond.
Ricky Wycough
Ricky Wycough

Ricky Wycough

2011 Harley-Davidson motorcycle
Ricky Wycough, 56, of Richardson is president of Dallas County chapter of the Vaqueros, a Bandido support group, according to court documents.
The documents note that Wycough’s chapter belongs to Texas COC&I Region 2, but he and others traveled to the Region 1 meeting that day at Twin Peaks.
His bike bears identifiable markings showing membership in the Dallas County chapter of Vaqueros and support for the Bandidos. His motorcycle sports a sticker in the Bandido colors of red and yellow that says, “We are not charming,” the documents state.
He remains free on $50,000 bond.
Richard Benavides

Richard Benavides

2003 Mazda MPV
According to documents filed to seize San Antonio resident Benavides’ 2003 Mazda MPV, Benavides told officers he is a 37-year member of the Bandidos.
Inside the Mazda, officials found an SOG-brand ax and “Support Your Local Bandidos” stickers.
Benavides told officers he brought another person up from Region 7 of the COC&I for the Region 1 meeting, but he claims he only knew the man as Joseph and didn’t know his full name.
Benavides has prior convictions for driving while intoxicated and driving under the influence, and has been arrested on previous charges of theft, marijuana possession, resisting arrest, carrying a prohibited weapon.
He was freed on $300,000 bond.
Billy McRee

Billy McRee

2008 Harley-Davidson motorcycle
Documents to support the seizure of McRee’s 2008 Harley-Davidson state that McRee told a Department of Public Safety officer that he had a Glock .40-caliber pistol drawn during the melee and was using it as a way of covering other wounded Cossacks on the ground.
McRee said he did not fire the weapon. A review of Twin Peaks video shows McRee on the patio with a weapon drawn, the documents state.
McRee, of Seagoville, is secretary/treasurer of the Mid Cities Cossacks in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. The seizure documents state he drove the Harley with identifiable markings as belonging to a Cossack to the Waco meeting of the COC&I “even though the Cossacks are not members of Region 1 or any region of the COC&I.”
He was freed on a $150,000 bond.
Michael Moore

Michael Moore

1999 GMC 3500 pickup truck
Documents supporting the seizure of a 1999 GMC 3500 pickup truck belonging to Michael Moore, a member of the Scimitars from Richland Hills, say that he and the president of the Parker County chapter of the Scimitars rode together to Twin Peaks on May 17. The Scimitars are a support group of the Cossacks.
The documents do not detail Moore’s involvement in the Twin Peaks melee other than to say that Moore told an officer during an interview that he had a Sig Sauer .380-caliber handgun unloaded in his left vest pocket and a loaded magazine in the right vest pocket, but dropped the gun and magazine in the restaurant’s “bread room.”
Moore was freed after posting $25,000 bond.
Timothy Satterwhite

Timothy Satterwhite

2003 Harley-Davidson motorcycle
Satterwhite, 47, of Mingus, is a Cossack whose involvement in the Bandido-Cossack altercations goes all the way back to November 2013, when he was stabbed during a fight with Bandidos at a Logan’s Roadhouse restaurant in Abilene.
In documents supporting the seizure of Satterwhite’s 2003 Harley-Davidson, Satterwhite told a Waco police detective during an interview the night of the May 17 melee that a Cossack who went by the name of “Rattlecan” had come to Satterwhite a week before and said they needed to attend the COC&I meeting in Waco.
“Rattlecan also told Satterwhite to bring as many of their guys to go just in case things went bad,” the documents state.
Satterwhite, president of the Mingus chapter of the Cossacks, rode his bike to Waco along with eight other members to be at the COC&I meeting that “he knew would be attended by Bandidos and Bandido support clubs even after being stabbed by a Bandido” in 2013, the documents state.
“Rattlecan” was killed during the shootout. The court documents do not list Rattlecan’s real name.
Satterwhite remains jailed under $1 million bond.
Jason Moreno

Jason Moreno

2008 Chevrolet pickup
Moreno, is a vice president of the Central San Antonio chapter of the Valerosos Motorcycle Club, which are identified by the Texas Department of Public Safety as an organized street gang and a Bandidos support club.
Moreno drove his Chevrolet Silverado to the Region 1 COC&I meeting, though he lives in Region 7 of the COC&I. Court documents state that “it is not common for members of one COC&I region to attend a regional meeting of another area of the Texas COC&I.”
When police searched Moreno’s truck, they found a Glock .45-caliber handgun and an Armscor .45-caliber handgun. An ATF gun trace found that Moreno purchased at least one of the guns, according to court documents.
Prosecutors are looking to seize Moreno’s truck because it was used to “transport himself . . . and/or transport weapons from San Antonio, TX to the Twin Peaks Restaurant in Waco, TX to participate as a member of the Valerosos criminal street gang” in the events of May 17.
He remains free on $100,000 bond.
Clayton Reed

Clayton Reed

2009 Harley-Davidson motorcycle
Reed, a member of the Burleson chapter of the Bandidos Motorcycle Club, was wearing Bandido clothing and had a black knife sheath without a knife when he was arrested at Twin Peaks.
Court documents do not specify Reed’s involvement in the Twin Peaks shootout, other than to say that he rode to the restaurant with Bandidos nicknamed “Snapshot,” “Double Tap,” Rudy,” “Fat Boy,” “James,” and “Radar.” Reed brought with him weapons “to participate as a member of the Bandidos criminal street gang at the Twin Peaks Restaurant,” the documents state.
He remains free on $150,000 bond.
Kristoffer Rhyne

Kristoffer Rhyne

2009 Harley-Davidson motorcycle
Rhyne, a road captain of the Bell County chapter of the Cossacks Motorcycle Club, rode to Twin Peaks with Bell County Cossacks President John Craft.
Court documents state that his motorcycle was found after the shootout with a bullet hole in the front flaring. The documents also say that Rhyne was arrested in Bellmead in October on an aggravated assault with a deadly weapon charge, and was arrested in December in Robinson on a possession of marijuana charge.
Specifics of Rhyne’s alleged involvement in the Twin Peaks melee were not detailed in the documents, other than to state that he rode to Waco from Temple “to participate as a member of the Cossacks criminal street gang.”
Rhyne remains free on $125,000 bond.
James Ensey
James Ensey

James Ensey

2004 Harley-Davidson motorcycle
Ensey, of Fort Worth, is a member of the Cossacks Motorcycle Club. Court documents state that he was arrested at Twin Peaks wearing his Cossacks vest with patches reading “Hitman,” and “Talk S--- Get hit,” among others.
Ensey had a brown leather gun holster and several Cossacks items when he was arrested. The documents refer to prior arrests for unlawfully carrying a weapon, possession of marijuana, and driving while intoxicated, but don’t mention specific acts he allegedly engaged in at the Twin Peaks shootout.
Ensey remains jailed under $100,000 bond.
Ronald Atterbury

Ronald Atterbury

2003 Harley-Davidson motorcycle
Atterbury, who lives in Gatesville, is a member of the Coryell County chapter of the Cossacks Motorcycle Club.
When Atterbury was arrested at Twin Peaks, he was wearing Cossacks clothing, and his motorcycle had paintings and stickers which read “God Forgives, Cossacks Don’t,” among other things, and his helmet read “Eat S---,” according to court documents.
Atterbury’s specific involvement in the May 17 melee was not detailed in the documents other than to state that Atterbury used his motorcycle to “transport himself . . . and/or weapons described above from Gatesville” to Twin Peaks “to participate as a member of the Cossacks criminal street gang.”
Atterbury remains jailed under $1 million bond.

Jeffrey Veillon

2000 Ford F-250 pickup
Veillon, who was wearing a Cossacks vest at the Twin Peaks shootout, was shot in the arm during the melee and treated at Baylor Scott & White Hillcrest Medical Center, according to court documents.
Veillon drove his pickup to Twin Peaks and was seen on video talking with other Cossacks on the patio prior to the shootout. When the Bandidos arrived, Veillon put his hand in a vest pocket and went out the front patio gate toward the parking lot, the documents state.
Veillon was shot, but continued to fight with Bandidos. He is seen on video picking something up off the ground and hitting a Bandido with it, according to the documents.
After the shootout ended, Veillon walked over to police officers “holding his left arm across his chest,” the documents state.
A later search of Veillon’s truck uncovered two Glock .45-caliber handguns, a .12-gauge sawed-off shotgun, a Cobra .45-caliber pistol and various Cossacks gear.
There are no records that Veillon was arrested.
Jeff Battey

Jeff Battey

2004 Harley-Davidson motorcycle
Battey, of Ponder, which is in Region 2 of the Texas COC&I, was arrested on May 18 at Baylor Scott & White Hillcrest Medical Center, according to court documents. Markings on his motorcycle identify him as a member of the Bandidos Motorcycle Club, and bore stickers that read “1%er,” and “Bandidos Forever.”
The documents state that when officers approached Twin Peaks during the shootout, a Waco police officer saw Battey and Ray Allen standing behind the restaurant “in a triangulated position” to Mathew Smith, who was lying on the ground about five yards away and was “gasping for air.” Both Battey and Allen were wearing Bandidos vests.
The officer noticed that Allen had a silver handgun in his hand and said it looked like Battey had been shot in his upper right shoulder, according to the documents.
Battey was arrested upon his release from the hospital the next day. He was the first of the 177 arrested bikers to be released after he posted the full $1 million bond.
Anthony Palmer

Anthony Shane Palmer

2002 Ford F-250 pickup
Palmer, of Longview, which is in Region 9 of the COC&I, is identified in court documents as a secretary-treasurer of the Bandidos. He rode to Twin Peaks with three other Bandidos, according to the documents.
When Palmer’s truck was searched, officers found “Zap-950 K5 Tazing Knuckles,” and several Bandidos-related items, the documents state.
Palmer’s specific involvement in the May 17 shootout is not detailed in the documents. He was released from jail after posting $110,000 bond.
John Craft

John Franklin Craft

2006 Harley-Davidson motorcycle
Craft, of Temple, is identified in court documents as the president of the Bell County chapter of the Cossacks Motorcycle Club. He rode to Twin Peaks on May 17 from Temple with Rhyne and two other men, according to the documents.
Craft has previous arrests for carrying a prohibited weapon in Andrews County, driving while intoxicated in Bell County, and unlawfully carrying a weapon in Bruceville- Eddy.
The documents do not specify Craft’s alleged involvement in the Twin Peaks shootout, other than to state that he rode his motorcycle to Twin Peaks “to participate as a member of the Cossacks criminal street gang.”
He was freed after posting $75,000 bond.
Bikers protest Twin Peaks arrests at McLennan County Courthouse
Waco Tribune Herald

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