As Texans, most of us recall the 2015 national headline following the deadly shootout at a Waco-area restaurant involving rival motorcycle gangs. The legal fallout from the incident has been widespread, spanning from felony-level convictions and charges to significant personal injury lawsuits as a result of the fatalities and injuries sustained as a result of the unfortunate chain of events.
Criminal and personal injury litigation aside, one Texas woman has launched a civil rights lawsuit against the City of Waco, alleging major procedural side-steps leading to her arrest and incarceration – especially given her alleged non-involvement with the shootout. According to a lawsuit filed earlier this month, the plaintiff describes her experience in the moments following the Twin Peaks restaurant shooting, which she describes as complete “unmitigated hell.”
The allegations begin with an allegation that the plaintiff was not only not involved with the shooting, but was attempting to reach safety when she was suddenly arrested by Waco policy despite no probable cause that she had been involved in any way. From there, she was jailed for weeks and slapped with a $1 million bond, presumably due to the assumption that she was affiliated with one of the two rival gangs involved in the deadly altercation.
The plaintiff is seeking $350 million in total damages, and claims that she is completely unable to obtain employment as a result of her arrest record. In a statement by counsel for the plaintiff, “[w]hat is it worth to destroy someone’s life and their children’s life? You’re asking, ‘What do you mean?’ Well, these people can’t get jobs. When you Google someone and they’re associated with a mass murder, one of the worst crimes in the history of Texas, are you going to hire that person? No, you’re not….”
In support of her claims, the plaintiff points to the fact that she was not wearing insignia of either of the gangs involved, and arresting officers used a “fill-in-the-blank” warrant to arrest her – a notion which the District Attorney deems as “ridiculous.”
Civil litigation is a practice area which requires unique experience and understanding of the law. To learn more, contact Chandler Mathis & Zivley today.