‘Proper training in probable cause’

Matt Clendennen and his lawyers discuss his case on video

Waco – Sometimes, the supposed victor cuts his losses, pays the piper, and retreats from the field of battle. So mote it be.

In the war on the civil rights of bikers gathered atTwin Peaks Restaurant on May 17, local authorities admitted for the first time they are wrong, though they did not do so in a legal sense.

A man arrested falsely for witnessing something his lawyer liked to point out he did not actually see before a local judge silenced him saw vindication yesterday in what will eventually be payment in money damages for an act of violation of his civil rights.

One of the governments named in the dismissed federal civil rights lawsuit coughed up the deductible for their insurance carrier to settle out of court. By doing so, they make no legal admission of a wrongful act. No details were made public of the overall settlement or of the amount to be paid by the various entities named in the suit.

Though he and his lawyers are court-ordered to keep their mouths shut about the case, the actions of Matthew Alan Clendennen spoke louder than words when the McLennan County Commissioners Court authorized a deductible payment of $17,000 toward a settlement of his lawsuit against individuals and governments who caused his arrest following a shooting in which 9 bikers who had assembled along with hundreds of others to hear about the state of pending handgun legislation at a Confederation of Clubs meeting at Twin Peaks Restaurant in this city died in a hail of police bullets. Twenty more were wounded at the time when fighting broke out among rival members of clubs whom law enforcement officials called “thugs” and members of outlaw motorcycle “gangs” because they wore their “colors” to the gathering.

At the time of a press conference hosted by his parents, Clendennen’s lead defense counsel, F. Clinton Broden said it was obvious to him that the police officers who acted on behalf of the City of Waco have no idea what actually constitutes probable cause in a legal sense. He has since been ordered to remain silent about the case in which Clendennen is charged with the conspiracy offense of engaging in criminal activity, as are 177 other persons so arrested on the identical charge. Their bail was set at an identical amount of $1 million dollars to “send a message,” according to Justice of the Peace Pete Peterson, since recused from the cases.

Clendennen made a motion in U.S. District Court approved on July 7 to dismiss the case with the proviso that it could be filed again.

He alleged that Manuel Chavez, the detective for the Waco Police Department who signed a non-specific affidavit of warrantless arrest as probable cause he was involved in organized criminal activity, as many as 20 John and Jane Does so employed, the City of Waco, McLennan County, District Attorney Abelino Reyna, and another 5 John Does conspired to strip him of his constitutional rights in his arrest on May 17.

More to follow. No doubt.

So mote it be.



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