“I was lied to by the Waco Police.” – F. Clinton Broden, defense attorney
Dallas – According to a search warrant affidavit signed by a Waco detective on June 12, police bullets struck “multiple” motorcycle club members on May 17.
But Waco Police Chief Brent Stroman said in a press conference two hours later that it was “undetermined’ whether police fire struck any bikers – the case “was still under investigation.”
“The Waco police seem unwilling or unable to tell the public the truth, which is why the Department of Justice must intervene in this case,” said F. Clinton Broden, a Dallas attorney who is representing Matthew Clendennen in the criminal case filed against him for engaging in organized criminal activity, a federal civil rights suit against Waco Police Chief Stroman, Detective Manuel Chavez, the City of Waco, McLennan County, Sheriff’ Parnell McNamara, and Criminal District Attorney Abel Reyna.
Broden has also asked for the help of the U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Texas at San Antonio to examine the possibility that a conspiracy to defraud the defendants in a case of mass arrest may exist and require corrective action in federal court.
The criminal defense team has uncovered numerous discrepancies in the police investigation, including a statement by Detective Sam Key (click here for a previous post regarding Det. Key) who states in an affidavit of probable cause for a warrantless arrest – identical to all the other 177 filed in the mass arrest dragnet following the shooting at Twin Peaks restaurant on May 17 in which 9 were killed, 18 wounded at a Confederation of Clubs meeting – that the Cossacks Motorcycle Club is listed as a “criminal street gang.”
“Nevertheless, in the recent DPS ‘gang threat assessment’ (click highlighted phrase to read the document) there is absolutely no mention of the Cossacks,” said Broden.
The dispute centers on a search warrant for Clendennen’s mobile phone, which was seized at the time of his arrest on May 17.
A Waco police detective told Broden the phone could not be returned because it was being searched pursuant to a search warrant. He later learned that the warrant for the phone was not obtained until June 12.
“I was lied to by the Waco police,” said Broden. 54th Criminal District Judge Matt Johnson signed the instrument on that date. “One would have hoped that Waco and McLennan County officials would have learned from the fiasco surrounding the 177 arrests in this case that affidavits in support of warrants must be tailored to the individual, yet, almost a month later, they are still using fill in the name affidavits…The Bill of Rights, including the Fourth amendment, was enacted more than 223 years ago and the United States Supreme Court decided the case of Ybarra v. Illiinois (click highlighted phrase to read the case) more than thirty-five years ago. Apparently, Waco and McLennan County have still not gotten the message.”
Co-counsel in the case, former District Judge Mike Snipes said, “He (Clendennen) is not even mentioned in the body of the affidavit. The search warrant does not pass constitutional muster.”
In the Ybarra case, the Supreme Court held that “a search or seizure of a person must be supported by probable cause particularized with respect to that person.”