Several places are now reporting a very disconcerting claim about the justice system in Waco Texas requesting detainees sign waivers promising not to sue the city for unlawful arrest, detention, and civil rights violations.
UPDATE 6/2/15 2:00pm: The Liability Waiver Story appears completely false. READ HERE
One law firm has posted the following on their Facebook page outlining the demand:
BREAKING NEWS IN WACO: Read our Media Release being distributed at this time:
BOND REDUCTIONS OFFERED ONLY IN EXCHANGE FOR WAIVING POTENTIAL LAWSUITS IN WACO SHOOTOUT
Waco, Texas – Earlier today, detainees in the Jack Harwell Detention Center in Waco were told that in exchange for bond reductions, they must sign a document stating the Waco police “had the right to arrest the inmate and that he/she will not file a lawsuit against McLennan County and/or the City of Waco.”
On the two-week anniversary of the “shootout at high noon” at the Twin Peaks restaurant between motorcyclists and law enforcement officers, at least 170 people remain detained on $1 million bonds.
This latest information was reported to an attorney representing at least one of the detainees. “It appears the public defenders office in McLennan County is involved in this scurrilous activity,” said Paul Looney, a Houston attorney with Looney & Conrad, P.C. “I’ve never seen anything like the lawlessness that the authorities have perpetrated on these people and now to add insult to injury they are trying to cover their own tracks in exchange for bond. I will be in the reception area of the McLennan County D.A.’s office tomorrow morning at 8:30 with the intention of not leaving until we have the issue of bond resolved.”
“They know these people aren’t dangerous or they wouldn’t be offering the bond reductions and they know the police and the D.A.’s office have violated the law and now they are trying to hold people hostage until they agree to waive their rights. It’s unconscionable,” said Clay S. Conrad, Looney’s law partner. (link)
If this is true, this is a very alarming demand by local authorities. The requirement to sign a liability release waiver prior to a bond hearing is quite possibly unlawful by itself.
It would appear, at least on the surface, to be completely unenforceable. I doubt you could find a more succinct example of “signing under duress”, which essentially negates any validity to the waiver itself.
Secondly, the implication of requiring the waiver prior to release, is itself a tacit admission of wrongdoing on behalf of the arresting authority. It just makes no sense.
If the detainee represents such a significant threat of non-reappearance, and -in a larger sense- toward the general public; and the detainees’ violation of law so serious as to set their bond at $1,000,000 – how can the simple process of signing a waiver mitigate the underlying premise of their risk/danger?
The construct of such an argument is so far beyond absurd the light from where absurd originates would not meet the claimed reasoning, ever.
[…] “They know these people aren’t dangerous or they wouldn’t be offering the bond reductions and they know the police and the D.A.’s office have violated the law and now they are trying to hold people hostage until they agree to waive their rights. It’s unconscionable,” said Clay S. Conrad, Looney’s law partner. (link)
Which brings our discussion back to the central aspects of the incident.
From what can be determined over the past two weeks of research, here’s the Occam’s Razor applied to the known variables:
The police were positioned prior to the event. Something happened which spurred LEO engagement with one or more of the participants. Four police officers opened fire with multiple, perhaps hundreds, of rounds. The police shooting expanded beyond the persons who were the intended targets (immediate risk)
Nine people were killed, and 18 additionally wounded as a factor of their proximity to when the four police officers opened fire.
We know four deceased people were located in front of the Twin Peaks restaurant. One deceased person was located behind Don Carlos restaurant. One deceased person died in the hospital. That leaves three bodies most likely located on the patio.
The patio was the backdrop for any incoming police fire which missed it’s intended target(s). Anyone who was standing on the patio area was in a position to be a bullet victim. This, in my opinion, is the substantive issue which explains the entire police response.
Four out of 22 armed LEO either broke fire discipline (ignored the downrange risk), and/or made the decision to disregard the downrange risk because they perceived the initial threat as profound. And, as a consequence, they fired numerous rounds into a crowd of people who were not part of the initial threat…. FUBAR
The aftermath, the roundup, the obfuscations, the police misstatements, the avoidance of sunlight, the way the police framed the entire incident etc. are all a consequence of the police killing between 3 and 5 people who were not part of the initial origin; and wounding 18 more.
This seems like the most likely scenario considering the shooting scene as it appears, and the police responses as they have taken place in the aftermath.
♦ Waco Research Thread 1 – The initial Shooting As Reported
♦ Waco Research Thread 2 – LEO Affidavits Inconsistent With Spokesperson Claims
♦ Waco Research Thread 3 – The Waco Police Narrative Continues To Evolve
♦ Waco Research Thread 4 – CCTV Video Refutes Original 3 Days of Police Claims
♦ Waco Research Thread 5 – Listen to the Waco PD Radio Traffic
♦ Waco Research Thread 6 – 14 Officers Were Shooting – Report: “Thousands of rounds”
♦ Waco Research Thread 7 – Washington Post eye-witness account
♦ Waco Research Thread 8 – The Fill-in-the-blank Probable Cause Affidavit
♦ Waco Research Thread 9 – The Crossfire – Understanding the proximity of fire.
♦ Waco Research Thread 10 – Report: Only Four Officers Opened Fire in Hail of Bullets.
♦ Waco Research Thread 11 – First Lawsuit Filed