As the Texas shootout that killed 9 motorcyclists fades from national headlines, local newspapers and a few larger media organizations have broken a series of small stories that prompted one alert Houston Press journalist to predict,“in the coming years, the Waco authorities' handling of the Twin Peaks biker gang shootout will become a textbook example of how not to handle an emergency situation.”
Two weeks later, Waco authorities still aren’t telling how many of the dead bikers were shot by police officers, how many cops fired their weapons, or how many total rounds they discharged.
Yahoo News filed public records requests to try to learn more, but reported last night that Waco authorities have asked state officials for permission to withhold documents.
Police haven’t released any video of the shoot-out to the public.
But a few news outlets have seen footage from one security camera. The New York Daily News sums it part of it: “Most of the leather-clad patrons ran away from the shooting or ducked under tables to dodge violence, video showed. Some bikers tried to direct other people to safety. One camera angle showed people piling into the men’s bathroom for cover. When there was no more room left, the bikers dashed toward the kitchen.” That doesn’t much sound like everyone present was conspiring to fight.
And Brian Doherty argues that the AP’s coverage of the video it saw raises questions about police behavior. “Despite police reports that the fighting and shooting began inside the restaurant and spilled out, closed-circuit footage of the restaurant seen by AP and reports from the restaurateurs indicate the shooting began outside, which is where the police already were,” he writes. “Police were already surrounding the restaurant in force, ready for action. How and why they began firing on the bikers and what happened before then should not necessarily be trusted merely from their mouths.”