A picture or two...or more are worth more than a thousand words. Take a look at the picture of multiple biker gang members detained after the Waco, Texas shoot out at the Twin Peaks restaurant taken by Rod Aydelotte of AP.
Nothing to see here. Just a few detained white guys keeping themselves occupied with their smart phones. Detained after shooting at each other, fighting with each other with about 100 guns plus multiple chains, clubs and brass knuckles. Looks kinda cozy, doesn't it? Do you like the image of the officer casually holding his rifle with his back turned to the detained bikers?
Contrast this with Ferguson, Missouri or Baltimore on April 29th, a few days into the protests. I would credit the Gawker photo, but Gawker didn't list the photographer, so I can't either.
Twice as many police as unarmed protesters. True, no guns drawn or held casually, but a billy club was at the ready. The Ferguson photos are spectacular in their callous brutality. In Baltimore, it seemed the police could not tell the difference between the protesters and the press
. It's hard to see the photographer J.M. Giordano underneath that mass of inhumanity, but you can read and watch the full video of what happened to him before and after the picture below here
These are two different types of issues. Different jurisdictions. One was an out and out shoot out between confirmed gang members that started over a parking dispute
and escalated into mayhem caused by brandished chains, guns, knives and brass knuckles. The other a mostly peaceful protest against police brutality with mostly unarmed protesters. The difference in police presence is jarring. You would think in Waco, that after eight killed and one more who died at the hospital plus 19 more injured via guns, clubs, knives, brass knuckles and such; that perhaps the alleged violent suspects should be zip tied? forced to sit on the ground or maybe forced to lay on their stomachs? I'd think the broken glass, bullet holes and broken bodies would be proof enough that prudent restraints would be warranted in this situation.
No, no zip ties and uncomfortable waiting positions are reserved for protesters against unnecessary violence in Baltimore, Ferguson, and supportive protests in New York, but not at a full blown shoot out and violence with callous disregard for life at the Twin Peaks restaurant in Waco, Texas.
Did I want to see some police officers crack some biker gang members' heads? Not especially. I'd rather see unarmed protesters treated better. I'd like black and brown unarmed people to be treated like they are human beings....afforded some courtesies, like the ability to retain their life, limbs and faculties. People should be allowed to sit waiting for transport to jail without fear of having a cracked head, without fear of permanent injury or death.
Oh, I'm sure the apologists will be out in force defending the bikers benign treatment by the police. It's not like the bikers want to kill police officers or anything....Oh, wait.
Tit for tat is like Tic Tac Toe in that the "game" usually ends up in a draw, but this isn't a game. We've seen the media callously go after victims like Trevon Martin, Michael Brown, Tamir Rice and John Crawford. Not that blaming the victim(s) is right, but we've seen the media blame the victims countless times before. We've seen the media blow up petty crime into a twisted justification for
deadly force, but what about these characters and their alleged crimes of drug running and human trafficking? Why stop now? What makes these white guys so special? Why isn't the media pointing out the privileges and comforts afforded to these alleged killers while detained? Why aren't there more stories about the biker victims' criminality? Why aren't we hearing about their arrest histories? Why aren't these biker gang member victims being blamed for their own deaths? Where's the media's righteous indignation? Where's the character assassination? Why the romance? Is it because these are predominantly white bikers? or is it the motorcycles?
This wasn't a fracas. It was an organized event that led to criminal rioting, mayhem and loss of life. It terrorized innocent people near the fight. Biker gangs like The Banditos, Cossacks, Scimitars, Outlaws (Florida and Chicago) and The Hell's Angels are killer gangs involved with drug and human trafficking (and who knows what other crimes). They can be nice and polite, but make no mistake, these are not nice people. They have a code of conduct of sorts, but that can be discarded as needed as survival dictates. How do I know this? My first husband used to hang out with the Florida Outlaws. Yeah, trust me, guys like this and worse were welcomed to my house by my ex-husband and I was expected to be a good hostess (i.e. kiss their sorry asses and wait on them) and I didn't like it one bit - they aren't nice people. They may seem like nice people upon acquaintance, but it can turn deadly ugly right quick. Do/did these bikers' deserve to die? No, certainly not without due process; but I wouldn't turn my back on them while they were detained and I wouldn't leave their hands free and able to use their smart phones. That's just dumb and I suspect it's not consistent with police procedure and protocol, either. I wonder if anyone is going to get around to asking the Waco PD why they used kid gloves on these guys?