BIKER NEWS: Bikers to rally in effort to ‘Sink Swanton’ for sheriff | Outlaws Bikers News

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BIKER NEWS: Bikers to rally in effort to ‘Sink Swanton’ for sheriff

BIKER NEWS -- Waco police Sgt. W. Patrick Swanton became a national figure after the May 17 Twin Peaks shootout, receiving praise fr...

BIKER NEWS -- Waco police Sgt. W. Patrick Swanton became a national figure after the May 17 Twin Peaks shootout, receiving praise from national media outlets for his frequent, detailed updates following the nation’s deadliest biker battle.

But, in the months following the brief but chaotic altercation, Waco and McLennan County officials, especially Swanton, have been the focus of a biker backlash that condemns those associated with the local criminal justice system.

Motorcycle groups and their supporters have flooded social media sites with derisive comments, photos — known as memes — that are altered with captions meant as jokes and links to unrelated news stories — some decades-old — about other controversial matters from the McLennan County criminal justice system.

Biker groups plan to be back in Waco on Nov. 15 for a courthouse rally they have dubbed “Sink Swanton,” a gathering designed to derail Swanton’s campaign for McLennan County sheriff.

The rally is being organized by Mel Moss, 67, a Vietnam-era veteran from Tarrant County and co-founder and president of the Sons of Liberty Riders, a group of veterans. Moss was an aircraft inspector for a defense contractor for 25 years before owning his own motorcycle shop for 20 years.

Besides being a motorcycle enthusiast, he describes himself as a political activist and says he has worked with legislators to draft new laws regarding biker safety.

“He brought this on himself,” Moss said. “We already know Swanton is going to moan about the outsiders coming to town to campaign against him. That’s his fault. He has publicly slandered every motorcyclist and branded us all as criminals.

“Bikers and clubs are now being harassed and treated as criminals, not only in Texas but across the nation, including veterans, Christian motorcycle ministries and charitable biker groups.”

Swanton deferred comment on the rally until afterward.

“It would not be safe for our community or the officers providing protection to the protesters to comment prior to the event,” Swanton said.

Swanton is running in the Republican primary, where he will face Sheriff Parnell McNamara and possibly others.

Previous rallies

McNamara said the biker groups have contacted his office to inform officers about the rally. McNamara said his deputies and other officers have attended previous rallies to provide security and to oversee the events.

The last rally was cut short when a worker left an ice chest on the sidewalk near the courthouse parking lot that someone reported as suspicious and potentially dangerous. It contained lunch and medicine that the man left for his friend, but it forced officials to evacuate the area.

“I am staying completely out of it,” McNamara said. “I don’t want any part of it. I intend to run a positive campaign and I don’t want people thinking I am egging this thing on against Swanton because I am not. Their beef with Swanton is their beef and I don’t have anything to do with it.”

McNamara said he will be at the rally along with deputies and other officers.

“Our role is that we are protecting the courthouse parking lot and the citizens and the bikers,” he said. “They have a right to protest and we honor that and they have been very respectful in the past. We are just conservators of the peace.”

Moss said the group, set to rally at 10:30 a.m. until noon, includes a large core of local residents, not just those coming in from other towns. He said most don’t want to give their names or speak publicly “because they absolutely fear reprisals.”

Moss said “the effects of the venom that Sgt. Swanton spewed” have had national implications, including police in Philadelphia breaking up a motorcycle toy run last week.

“They blocked off all the guys who were wearing patches and they could not participate,” Moss said. “They had absolutely no probable cause to do it. We have been doing these toy runs and charitable events for years and now we are being harassed because we may be wearing a patch, because we may have some tattoos, because we may have on leather. It’s just ridiculous.”

This article was first published on November 6, 2015 5:01 pm
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Outlaws Bikers News : BIKER NEWS: Bikers to rally in effort to ‘Sink Swanton’ for sheriff
BIKER NEWS: Bikers to rally in effort to ‘Sink Swanton’ for sheriff
Outlaws Bikers News
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