Bikers rally in front of McLennan County Courthouse
"We are all coming for you in the courts, the media, and the polls," says Jim Harris, a PhD student and mental health clinic worker.
Harris is also a biker who was arrested following the Twin Peaks shooting in May of 2015 which resulted in the deaths of nine men.
One by one, bikers from clubs across Texas took to the microphone posted across the street from the McLennan County Courthouse Sunday afternoon.
One of their goals was to change perceptions of bikers.
"I retired after 24 years as a Christian greeting card salesman,” states one woman.
“I've been Santa Claus for 17 years,” says a man with a long, snow-colored beard, referencing his charity work.
The demonstrators say that after the Twin Peaks shooting, all bikers were painted as criminals and gang members by McLennan County District Attorney Abel Reyna.
They say the campaign waged against them was to win convictions for Reyna.
So far, charges of engaging in organized crime have been either dismissed or dropped against 21 of the 177 bikers who were arrested that day.
“Families have been destroyed because of these lies that were told,” says Sons of Liberty Riders Vice President Mel Robins.
This is the seventh rally the bikers have held since the arrests, purposefully set after the start of the primary elections so they can reach out to voters.
"We're looking for Reyna to be defeated and for all the innocent people to have their charges dismissed so they can get on with life," says Robins.
The bikers say they aren't endorsing any candidates, but they have spoken with Reyna's opponent, Barry Johnson who they say will re-investigate the Twin Peaks cases and dismiss any unfounded ones.
Reyna has labeled Johnson as "the bikers' choice candidate", but the group claims that bikers openly supported him in the last election cycle.
We reached out to the district attorney for a statement, and he says:
“I’m glad the rally was peaceful. They are entitled to their opinions and I wish them all safe travels back home.”
"The allegation that outlaw motorcycle gangs have supported me in the past, like they are currently supporting my opponent, is simply not true. I’m not sure where that allegation came from other than the desperation of my opponent."
The bikers admit their numbers aren’t high enough to sway an election.
It will ultimately be up to the people of McLennan County to determine if Reyna will stay in office- or when primary voting ends, if he'll have the chance to run.