WACO, Texas (KWTX) Morgan English, 32, of Brenham, who was arrested in the aftermath of the biker gang shootout at Twin Peaks almost two years ago has filed a $350 million federal civil rights lawsuit against the City of Waco and others.
(Photo courtesy of Morgan English)
Civil rights attorney Randall Kallinen, of Houston, filed the lawsuit, which names the City of Waco, McLennan County, District Attorney Abel Reyna, former Waco police Chief Brent Strohman, police Officer Manuel Chavez and several John Does.
Reyna issued a brief statement Wednesday in response to the suit in which he said, "The issue complained of by Morgan English has already been addressed by a district judge who found probable cause existed for her arrest. Unfortunately, our legal system allows anyone who pays a filing fee to file a lawsuit, including those with ridiculous allegations.”
The lawsuit asks the court to find that English’s arrest on May 17, 2015, her 16-day stay in the McLennan County Jail, and an initial $1 million bond violated her 4th and 14th Amendment rights in light of the fact she’s among the bikers who have not been indicted.
The petition asks for $350 million in damages, and then for $1 million from each defendant.
The petition says on the day of the Twin Peaks shootings English, her husband and two friends, drove from Brenham to Waco to attend the Coalition of Clubs and Independents meeting that was to be held at the Twin Peaks restaurant.
The petition says when they arrived, English parked some distance from the door because they saw several police cars in the parking lot.
As the party approached the entrance, they heard first one gunshot, then several more.
The man and three women found cover and hid until the shooting stopped, the petition says.
The petition points out that none of the four was wearing any type of gang colors or other identifiers and none of them was a member of a criminal street gang, the lawyer says.
Kallinen also says in the lawsuit that during the investigation process she and the others voluntarily spoke with police and were cooperative.
English was arrested, taken to the Convention Center, interrogated and taken to the McLennan County Jail where she was booked and held for 16 days until her bond was reduced.
Kallinen cited issues with the arrest, the affidavit for arrest warrant and the decision made to hold English and charge her.
The lawsuit has not yet been set for hearing.
Nine bikers died and 20 were injured in the shootout between rival gangs and law enforcement officers.
None of the indicted bikers has yet been tried.