The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has dismissed former Waco Police Chief Brent Stroman and Assistant Chief Robert Lanning from lawsuits filed by bikers alleging false arrest after the 2015 Twin Peaks shootout, but left former McLennan County District Attorney Abel Reyna as a defendant.
The ruling from a three-judge panel last week reversed in part and affirmed in part previous rulings by U.S. District Judge Alan Albright and comes in response to appeals of those rulings by the city and county. Thirty-one bikers arrested but not indicted after the bloody Sunday afternoon shootout in Waco that left nine dead and more than 20 wounded or injured still have claims alive in the lawsuits.
Disagreeing with Albright, the panel found that Stroman and Lanning have immunity from claims they used identical affidavits containing false claims and insufficient probable cause to arrest almost 200 bikers after the deadly biker brawl.
However, the majority panel agreed with Albright’s finding that Reyna, former Waco police detective Manuel Chavez, who signed the arrest warrant affidavit, and Jeffrey Rogers, a department gang detective, could still be held liable for those claims.
The ruling, issued late last week, is the most recent development in the six-year legal battle waged after hundreds of Bandidos and Cossacks and their respective support clubs squared off in the Twin Peaks parking lot while families were dining or shopping May 15, 2015, at the busy Central Texas Marketplace.
After the smoke cleared and the dead and injured were removed from the scene, 192 bikers were arrested on identical first-degree felony charges of engaging in organized criminal activity. All but 37 of the bikers were indicted by a McLennan County grand jury.