On the 28th of February 1993, 76 agents force from the Bureau of Tobacco, Firearms, and alcohol attempted to break into or rather storm the residence of the Branch Davidians which is a religious group. Consequently, a fire fight broke out between the two groups resulting to serious injuries and unexpected loss of lives on both sides. The ATF agents were making an attempt to arrest the Davidian leader Koresh on charges of illegal possession of explosives and firearms. The Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms maintains that the Davidians ambushed its agents while the latter raises the claim that they were attacked without provocation, and as a resulted acted in self-defence fearing for their lives. Subsequently, the residence of the Branch Davidian was surrounded by state and federal authorities with the Federal Bureau of Investigations assuming control of the fateful incident.
The subsequent negotiation between the Branch Davidian and the FBI regarding the search for a peaceful resolution of the stand of went on for a number of weeks. Ten children were released following these negotiations and the United States president Bill Clinton endorsed a statement that was negotiated. A day after the first battle, the Davidian leader made a tape regarding his teachings and promised to turn himself in if the recording was nationally broadcasted. Consequently, the broadcasting of the tape took place on the Christian Broadcasting Network; nevertheless Koresh gave the excuse that God had commanded him to wait. Weeks of negotiation went by but Koresh failed to surrender and continued to make rambling religious statements accompanied by threats of violence. The Federal Bureau of Investigation became more concerned over the fact that the Davidians were likely to commit mass suicide.
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On the 19th of April1993, then acting Attorney General Janet Reno granted the FBI the go a head to drive away the Davidians out of their homes of residence. In line with this, the FBI agents ruthlessly used tanks to create holes in the building walls, thus enabling them to mercilessly spray tear gas into the Davidians residence. Moreover, the Federal Bureau of Investigation agents went ahead and used hand-held grenade launched which was launched to fire over 350 “ferret” rounds into the building’s windows, but no single Davidian gave into the FBI’s command to vacate the surrounded building. As a result, a fire broke out in the Davidian residence and about 76 Davidians lost their lives with 27 of them being children. Others were seriously wounded including Koresh. However, it is yet to be determined whether the agents fired first or the Davidians did. At least four ATF agents died and about 16 of them were critically wounded.
That fateful incident, which is now simply known as Waco, is the most controversial operation of law enforcement in the history of modern America. Even though the “official” incident’s investigation team currently puts the entire blame of the massacre on the leader of Branch Dravidian, referred to as David Koresh, a number of crimes by agents of the government were never critically investigated or even prosecuted. However, if the Federal Bureau of Investigations agents go scot free, the Waco massacre will leave an odious example. It will give the impression that government agents can use their positions of office to commit crimes against humanity and the citizens. The standoff between the Branch Davidian and the federal agents lasted for a period of 51 days. On the last day, the compound went into flames and completely burnt to the ground. The FBI has been in several occasions accused of substantial cover-up ever since the Mount Carmel siege.
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