Dallas – The 177 identical affidavits of warrantless arrest approved by Justice of the Peace Pete Peterson are so defective, most Waco police officers asked to sign them refused, according to an attorney.
An independent business operator, Matthew Clendennen has shut his lawn service down and sold it because of bad publicity and faces losing custody of two of his children following two weeks in jail for an offense he didn’t commit.
A judge released Clendennen on $100,000 bond – reduced from an original $1 million set by Justice of the Peace Pete Peterson to “send a message.”
The attorney representing Clendennen, one of the Twin Peaks defendants charged with engaging in organized criminal activity during a shootout between police, and members of the Cossacks and Bandidos Motorcycle Clubs, wrote to the U.S. Attorney and the Department of Justice saying that the allegations in the affidavit of warrantless arrest are defective because they specify no individual probable cause that he committed the offense.
“As you well know, it is black letter law in this country, pursuant to the Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution, that there must be individual probable cause to detain a person,” F. Clinton Broden wrote Richard L. Durbin, Jr., acting United States Attorney of the Western District of Texas.
Clendennen has sued McLennan County District Attorney Abel Reyna, the complaining officer, Manuel Chavez of the Waco Police Department, the city of Waco, and County of McLennan for depriving him of his civil rights.
According to Broden, other police officers refused to sign the identical affidavits of warrantless arrest the District Attorney boiler-plated and Manuel Chavez swore against 177 defendants so charged following the mass shooting.
“I have also been provided credible information that Reyna and members of his staff were told by Waco Police Sgt. J.R. Price that the criminal complaints did not support most of the arrests and that other police officers refused to sign the complaints.”
He alleges violation of 42 U.S.C. §§ 241, 242 involving Conspiracy Against Rights and Deprivation of Rights Under color of Law, and further, violation of Clendennen’s First, Fourth, and Fifth Amendment rights. Those elements of the Bill of Rights allow freedom of association, the protection against unreasonable search and seizure without specific allegations of complaint, and the right against self incrimination. .
Broden revealed that Clendennen took a polygraph examination earlier this week in which he showed no sign of deception answering questions directed at the exact allegations contained in the affidavit of warrantless arrest:
Q 1: Did you go to Twin Peaks on May 17th for the purpose of engaging in violence? Answer: No Relevant
Q2: Did you engage in any violence yourself at Twin Peaks on May 17th? Answer: No Relevant
Q3: Did you encourage anyone to take part in violence at Twin Peaks that day? Answer: No
“My polygrapher has informed me that based on polygraph scoring guidelines there is less than a one percent chance that these answers were not truthful,” Broden concluded.