Civil Liberties

Likely Grand Jury Investigating Waco Biker Club Massacre Headed by Waco Police Officer

One almost suspects the system doesn't want the real story of what happened during Waco biker club massacre to come out.


I've blogged quite a bit about how the action of the Waco police department and county court system don't seem designed to publicly reveal the truth about what happened during May's highly publicized shootout that killed nine and wounded 18 at a political meeting of biker clubs at the Twin Peaks restaurant. See here, here, and here.

Today the news comes out that the grand jury that will likely be considering the crimes associated with the incident has a foreman who is a Waco police detective. From the Waco Tribune:

James Head, a 34-year police veteran who has spent 26 years with Waco PD, was among the first 14 on the panel qualified to serve on the grand jury and, beyond that, 19th State District Judge Ralph Strother selected Head to serve as the foreman…..Head, wearing his police badge and service pistol, entered the grand jury chambers with the others to begin considering about 100 criminal cases presented by the McLennan County District Attorney's Office.

This panel, which will meet twice a month for the next three months, could consider indictments against the 177 bikers arrested in the wake of the May 17 Twin Peaks shootout that left nine dead and 20 wounded. A grand jury, at some point, also will review Waco police officers' actions in response to the melee that broke out between rival biker groups that day.

"That's the way it turned out," Strother said after Head was selected, noting Texas law says the first 12 people who are qualified are selected for the grand jury….

When asked if he had any involvement in the massive Twin Peaks investigation, Head said, "Not really." He would not elaborate on that answer and deferred additional questions about the Twin Peaks incident to the Waco City Attorney's Office….

"If something comes up that I have worked on or something like that that involved any type of apparent conflict, I am not going to vote on it," Head said.

Details on the Texas grand jury selection process, which shows a judge has a voir dire discretion in the selection process about who is actually qualified, one that was not wisely used in this case. If you are concerned with the full truth of what happened, including any possibility of police misconduct, coming out, that is.