A 1960’s rooted beef between two biker gangs that left nine dead Sunday afternoon have resulted in the arrest of 170 members.
It was reported that the Bandidos and the Cossacks, both Texas-originated biker groups, were involved in shootout that began as a meeting to only discuss bikers’ rights and how to work on issues of mutual concern.
Police say the incident is a follow up feud from two years ago when two members of the Bandidos were indicted on charges of stabbing two men who were supposedly members of the Cossacks.
According to the NY Times, the two have had competing agendas of “power and influence, a desire to avoid public confrontations and a code of never backing down in a fight,” a code of conduct they’ve been following to keep their reputations of being the biggest motorcycle groups in Texas.
The Bandidos were founded first, in 1966 and the Cossacks stepped on the scene in 1969. The Bandidos, being the big guys on campus feel as though Texas is their territory. “They are the big dogs of Texas, and then this other, smaller club – the Cossacks – comes along in 1969 or so, and they decide that they are not going to bow down,” Terry Kats, vice president of the International Association of outlaw Motorcycle Gangs Investigators.
The 170 bikers were charged with engaging in organized crime linked to capital murder. Ultimately, a grand jury will be responsible for deciding the bigger scale of their overall charges. In the case of capital murder, charges can carry the death penalty.
Although they prefer to be referred to as “clubs,” police and government officials term them as “gangs.” The national ambassador for the Bandidos and state chairman for the Texas Confederation of Clubs and Independents, Gimmi Jimmy said, “we’ve been doing this for 18 years, and we never had a problem.” He says they discuss official business like bikers’ rights but no individual business is discussed.
Police are still sorting out what happened at the meeting that lead to the crucial turn in events.
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