Attorneys representing a woman who alleges she was illegally detained in the 2015 Waco, Texas biker shootout announced a $350,000,000 federal civil lawsuit Wednesday, March 8, 2017.
It happened on May 17, 2015 at a Twin Peaks restaurant in Waco involving biker groups and law enforcement officers at a meeting of the Coalition of Clubs & Independents (COCI).
The lawsuit was filed Wednesday, March 8, 2017 in a federal court in Austin.
The lawsuit names the City of Waco, McLennan County, McLennan County District Attorney Abelino Reyna, Waco police chief Brent Stroman and Waco police officer Manuel Chavez as defendants.
Nine people died, 18 were injured and 241 others taken from the scene and detained at the Jack Harwell Detention Center.
Members of the District Attorney’s office along with Law Enforcement officers made the decision that everyone wearing colors or a patch representing either the Bandido or Cossack motorcycle club were to be arrested. “Fill-in-the-name” warrants lacking individual probable cause were used to arrest 177 people.
Plaintiff Morgan English is from Brenham, Texas, and was not wearing insignia representing either club. Prior to Twin Peaks, Morgan had never been arrested. She was a bank teller at Chase Bank, and a graduate of Stephen F. Austin University where she was a member of Zeta Tau Alpha sorority. She accompanied her husband William in their car with two friends. Before they entered the restaurant, shots rang out and they took cover. After the shooting Morgan and William freely spoke with police present.
“This is especially outrageous because a perjured arrest affidavit was issued for a young lady who arrived at the restaurant parking lot minutes before the shooting began,” said Randall Kallinen, Houston civil rights attorney representing Morgan in her civil case. “Morgan English has now been portrayed all over the world as involved in a mass homicide. Her lawsuit is very different from others that have been filed following the melee nearly 22 months ago.”
“When I first met Morgan, she had been held in custody for 13 days. My first efforts were to get her released and removed from the suspicion of criminal behavior,” said Paul Looney, the attorney who represented Morgan in her criminal case. “Only after the authorities made that an impossibility did I finally decide there was no choice but to use a lawsuit to change the prosecutorial environment in Waco once and for all. This lady is, was and always will be virginally innocent of any criminal behavior that occurred at Twin Peaks. What happened to her, however, is a cruel and excruciating crime not of her own making and $350,000,000 is an appropriate figure for this case.”
One paragraph in the lawsuit reads as follows:
“Plaintiff also seeks exemplary damages against each individual Defendant of at least $100,000,000--$1,000,000 for each of the first 100 innocent individuals and their families who have suffered and had their entire lives ruined by the Defendants’ actions by being falsely arrested and jailed, saddled with an unjust $1,000,000.00 bond, falsely prosecuted for, so far, 22 months and publicizing accusations of being involved in mass murder throughout the World.”