The secrecy that enshrouds the investigation into a biker shootout in May that left nine people dead and led to the mass-arrest of 177 people is hardly surprising in this city, where public scrutiny is rare and unwelcome.
On the banks of the Brazos River in Central Texas, Waco and the surrounding county are largely run by a close-knit circle of judges, prosecutors and law enforcement that defense lawyers complain leads local agencies to close ranks in the aftermath of this most recent calamity.
It's a city where a district judge and district attorney are former law partners, the mayor is the son of a former mayor, the sheriff comes from a long line of lawmen and Waco pioneers and the sheriff's brother is the district attorney's chief investigator.
Bikers and public watchdogs have criticized authorities here for how they've handled the investigation, citing the mass arrests in which people were held for days or weeks on $1 million bonds without sufficient evidence to support such actions four months after the shootings.
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