Biker gang threats against US police ‘credible’
Biker gang threats against officers around the area of an earlier shootout in Waco, Texas, is “credible” and violence is “probably not” over, police say.
“There have been credible, reliable threats toward law enforcement in and around our area,” Waco Police spokesman Patrick Swanton said on Tuesday as officers stayed on guard in the area of a Twin Peaks restaurant, where the shootout began on Sunday.
Nearly 200 people were arrested, 170 of whom were charged with organized crime, after the gang-related clash left nine motorcycle gang members dead and 18 wounded.
“In the biker gang world, violence usually begets more violence,” Swanton said. “Is it over? Probably not.”
During the Sunday incident in the restaurant, the shooters, including members of the Bandidos and the Cossacks, were aware of police presence outside but they just did not care and continued the fight, Swanton said earlier.
“We wanted our presence to be known,” Swanton told reporters. “They knew we were seconds away and going to respond. That mattered not to them.”
Summoned from Arkansas, New Mexico
The leather-clad members of the gangs have been summoned from Arkansas and New Mexico.
Police hope the gangs “stand down” amid reports that they have been instructed to get armed and head for the scene where police officers remain heavily armed with military-style rifles and other weaponry.
“Obviously it’s something we’re concerned about. We would encourage biker groups to stand down. There’s been enough bloodshed. There’s been enough death here,” Swanton told CNN late on Monday.
The US law enforcement officers have been notified of the possible threat from bike gangs who “reportedly have been instructed to arm themselves with weapons and travel to North Texas”, according to an advisory by the state-run Texas Joint Crime Information Center.
“We certainly hope it doesn’t happen here, but if it does, we’re going to meet it head on,” said the McLennan County sheriff, Parnell McNamara, who noted the forces were on a “high state of alert”.