MPP: Sheriff Revokes Gun Rights for Associating With Hells Angels

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MPPSheriff Revokes Gun Rights for Associating With Hells Angels

By David “Double D” Devereaux
Motorcycle Profiling Project

A recent incident in Modesto, California further evidences that law enforcement is employing a new strategy to target motorcycle clubs. The MPP has reported on the the national trend towards law enforcement attempting to disarm motorcycle club members, including those that have no criminal record, for no other reason than their association with a motorcycle club. In fact, many incidents, including the instant case in California, involve individuals that have a Carry Concealed Weapon license, which also means they have no criminal record and have undergone extensive background checks.

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The Waco Mistrial

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Waco MistrialWaco Mistrial: Here’s Why Bandido Jake Will Remain a Free Man

By David “Double D” Devereaux

Motorcycle Profiling Project

The first trial of Christopher Jacob Carrizal has come to an end. As an expert consultant to his defense, the MPP refrained from releasing anything related to the trial in an attempt to avoid any negative impact or potential conflicts of interest. But the trial is now over and it’s time to speak the truth.

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NCOM Biker Newsbytes

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NCOMNCOM Biker Newsbytes

Compiled & Edited by Bill Bish,
National Coalition of Motorcyclists (NCOM)

Hung Jury Forces Mistrial In First Waco Case
It’s been over two years since the bloody Twin Peaks melee in Waco, Texas, and the first trial of more than 150 of those arrested and charged has ended in a mistrial when the jury was hopelessly split on multiple counts.

Dallas Bandidos leader Jake Carrizal was charged with three criminal counts, including murder and racketeering, stemming from the May 17, 2015 brawl and gunfight with rival Cossacks members during a meeting of the Texas Confederation of Clubs and Independents that left nine bikers dead and 18 seriously injured, most shot by responding police.

The prosecution had hoped a conviction in this first “big test case,” considered the state’s strongest, would serve as an indicator of how solid the government’s cases might be going forward, and could be used to generate plea deals amongst the remaining 153 bikers indicted, explained A.I.M. (Aid to Injured Motorcyclists) Attorney Bill Smith of Texas.  Smith, who also serves as legal counsel for the Confederations of Clubs (COC) in Texas, gave a much-anticipated update to bikers from across the U.S. during a recent National Coalition of Motorcyclists (NCOM) Regional Meeting in Oklahoma City.

Carrizal faces life in prison if found guilty, but following more than a month of testimony in proceedings that cost the Waco community over $2 million to date, the three woman, nine man jury deliberated for just under 15 hours over two days before notifying Judge Matt Johnson they were irrevocably deadlocked and unable to reach a verdict.

Judge Johnson sent the jury home on Friday, November 10, and declared a mistrial.  The State has reportedly announced they will retry the case, but at this point it is unclear if the case will be retried on the same or amended charges, or how it will affect others under indictment.

“Just by attending a regularly scheduled monthly meeting, many of these bikers lost their jobs, lost their motorcycles, lost homes, or lost custody of a child because of their arrest for engaging in criminal activity,” said Attorney Smith, “spending days, weeks or months in jail under million dollar bail bonds.”

In early 2016, several of the bikers filed a civil rights lawsuit against the District Attorney, the Chief of Police and other Waco officials, and “if acquitted, they can succeed in civil action.”

NCOM Meeting Report From OKC
“Many thanks to all that attended the NCOM Board of Directors meeting and NCOM Region 2 Conference this past weekend in Oklahoma City, and to all OK COC (Confederation of Clubs) Member Groups that worked so hard to ensure its success,” wrote NCOM board member Tiger Mike Revere, Liaison for the Oklahoma Confederation of Clubs, in his recent OKCOC Liaison Report.

“Lots of valuable information was shared that will ultimately help improve our Motorcycling Quality of Life,” Tiger Mike continues… “The seminar dealing with RICO and Biker Judicial Rights, the Texas AIM/NCOM Attorney update on the Waco Situation, and the presentation addressing profiling and police harassment of Motorcyclists were educational.  The Regional Motorcyclist Rights Forum and Multi-State COC Symposium afforded Rights Activists and Club Members from all over the Nation the opportunity to share informational updates and legislative strategy for the future.  The Regional Christian Unity Meeting featured Spiritual riding groups from many states sharing their faith and community outreach experiences.”

Revere goes on to say that, “The NCOM Board of Directors continues to be impressed with the degree of enthusiasm and involvement Region 2 Members demonstrate for being educated on critical issues.  Particular recognition goes to those that staffed the Hospitality Room, handled logistics for the hotel and transportation, and to the vendors that took part.  The Saturday Night Camaraderie Party and Dinner was a Blast!  Thanks to our OKCOC Lawyers for providing the food.  It was great to see how many riders showed up for Sunday’s OKCOC Meeting as well–the Biltmore Hotel’s Ballroom was packed with well over 400 Riders!”

He concludes with; “I deeply appreciate your passion and commitment to defending Biker Liberty, in Oklahoma and Nationwide.  Be sure to put the 33rd Annual National Coalition of Motorcyclists Convention on your Calendar.  It’s scheduled for May 8-13, 2018 in Mobile, AL at the Riverview Plaza Renaissance Hotel, and it’s going to be a great one!  The Region 2 Conference was also a Veterans’ Day celebration, and 150 bikes rode to the Oklahoma State Capitol on November 11 to take part in the ceremonies.  Thanks very much, attendees, for honoring our Armed Forces!”

Bikers Assist Disaster Victims
U.S. Defenders and the Facilitators at Camp Ironhorse have been deeply involved not only in assisting Hurricane Harvey Disaster relief efforts in Texas, but also in traveling to Puerto Rico for disaster relief aid following Hurricane Maria. “Texas Defenders and Camp Ironhorse volunteers alternate every other week delivering supplies and support equipment,” reports NCOM board member Tiger Mike Revere, Liaison for the Oklahoma Confederation of Clubs.  “Multiple agencies in our area have donated to support efforts which benefit our fellow Americans victimized by the storms and enhance a Positive Biker Image.”  A critical need continues, so anyone interested in providing any support or donations, assisting in Relief Efforts, or desiring more information can contact Monte “Stick” Keiner at: wizzardproduction@yahoo.com.

NCOM Christian Unity also continues to be very responsive in meeting Disaster Victims’ needs, as updated at the recent Region 2 Conference in Oklahoma.  “They are working with an effort led by Central Harley-Davidson out of Austin TX,” reports Revere, “and the assistance they provided is much appreciated by our awesome Motorcycling Community.”  For more information or to contribute, contact Louie Nobs, NCOM Christian Unity Liaison, at ncom.christianunity@gmail.com.

Biking Pastor Shepherds Texas Church, Site Of Massacre
Pastor Frank Pomeroy oversees the First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, Texas, where a crazed gunman opened fire on Sunday, November 5th and slaughtered 26 people, one unborn, and injured 20 others inside the church.  “Rev. Pomeroy, a motorcycle enthusiast, also runs a ministry for bikers,” and the following information was submitted to NCOM Biker Newsbytes by Becky Cakes, recipient of the National Coalition of Motorcyclists’ 2013 NCOM Silver Spoke Award for Media.

The First Baptist Church has a YouTube Channel where it posts videos of worship services and events, and in the last sermon posted online, Rev. Pomeroy — the church’s motorcycle-riding pastor — used the imagery of a Harley-Davidson to illustrate his theme for the service, entitled “You Don’t Need Training Wheels, You Need Christ!”

Ms. Cakes continues her post; “The pastor brought his bike into church last Sunday, set it in front of the altar and used it as a metaphor.  It was safer, he said, to lean into turns on the bike, even though it felt less safe, a lesson he was trying to teach his daughter Annabelle Pomeroy, 14, on the ride there that morning, when it was only 34 degrees.

“We had a beautiful ride,” he said. “She was back there cuddled behind me, and when I pointed at the temperature gauge, I felt her snuggle in even tighter.”

Annabelle was shot and killed on Sunday.  Mr. Pomeroy and his wife, Sherri, were out of the state. …” (Excerpted from The Wall Street Journal, www.wsj.com).

U.S. Interior Dept Creates Recreation Advisory Committee
On November 7, 2017, Secretary of Interior Ryan Zinke announced the creation of a Recreation Advisory Committee to help improve visitor experiences on America’s public lands and waters through expanded public-private partnerships.  “We used to have a Bureau of Recreation – we’re bringing recreation back,” Zinke said, adding that “I look forward to hearing from the best and the brightest in our private sector on how to improve the public experience on our federal lands and waters by expanding access for all Americans.”

According to the Outdoor Industry Association, outdoor recreation generates $887 billion in economic impact and supports 7.6 million jobs across the country.  “The creation of the Recreation Advisory Committee – combined with meetings, declarations and events – is an important step in harnessing the might of the outdoor recreation economy and shows the department’s commitment to supporting its continued growth,” reports the Motorcycle Industry Council (MIC) in announcing the formation of the committee.

The committee will offer new opportunities for experienced and committed supporters of the Great Outdoors to collaborate with the secretary and other Interior officials on a range of issues, including expansion of world-class visitor services and infrastructure, skillful management of peak visitation, improving fee collection, incorporating new technologies and much more.

This action is the result of numerous meetings between the Department of the Interior, the Outdoor Recreation Industry Roundtable (ORIR), of which the MIC is a member, and others.

“Creation of the Recreation Advisory Committee is great news for the outdoor recreation industry,” said MIC president and CEO Tim Buche. “We are excited to work with the Department of Interior to address issues facing outdoor recreation, including trail maintenance and expanding access to public lands.”

New York To Require Motorcycle Safety Savvy Before Licensure
Those seeking a drivers license in the state of New York will soon be required to take and pass a series of Motorcycle Safety scenarios.  A7486/S2119, signed into law on October 23, 2017 by Governor Andrew Cuomo, establishes a motorcycle safety awareness component as a requirement for licensing.

Introduced by Assemblyman Marcos Crespo (D-S Bronx), the legislation creates a “Motorcycle Safety” component to licensure, and requires “The commissioner to provide in the pre-licensing course, a mandatory component in “Motorcycle Safety” awareness education as a prerequisite for obtaining a license to operate a motor vehicle.  The purpose of the component is to educate prospective licensees on the potential dangers to persons operating motorcycles on the roadway.”

So “Motorcycle Safety” will now join alcohol and drug education, “Road Rage” awareness and “Work Safety Zone Safety” as subject matters for the pre-licensing course.

Fraudulent Motorcycle Endorsement Documents In Indiana
“It has come to our attention that some Indiana residents have been caught up in a scam regarding documents necessary to obtain a motorcycle endorsement,” reports Jay Jackson of ABATE of Indiana (www.abateonline.org), which “represents all Hoosier motorcyclists and is very concerned anytime one of us is harmed.”

Although details from the Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV) are incomplete, “it appears that someone has made copies of the state form used to issue a waiver for skills test and forged the signature of a former ABATE instructor. This unlawful act of greed casts an ugly and undeserved shadow on the instructor’s reputation, as well as that of ABATE of Indiana.”

Jackson related stories of people caught up in this situation, with some paying money for these documents or attending and “passing” makeshift classes.  If the BMV is unable to confirm that the applicant had successfully completed a legitimate rider course, “they suspend not only the motorcycle endorsement, but also the operator’s license, and in some cases the Commercial Driver’s License (CDL), of the individual.”

If you have any information related to this situation, please reach out and contact the Indiana State Police, or call the ABATE office at (317) 422-8040 (Indiana residents call (800) 23-ABATE).  “We want to get to the bottom of this in hopes that it may assist those that were victimized.”

Humanity Triumphs Over Machinery
Humans have been getting their tails handed to them by computers, as artificial intelligence (A.I.) has been regularly trouncing humanity in classic games like chess, Go, and Mortal Kombat, but at least there’s one area where we still reign supreme (for now): motorcycle racing!

In a tale bearing striking resemblance to that of folk hero John Henry, the “steel-driving man” who proved his human prowess in a race against a steam-powered contraption, an A.I.-piloted motorcycle recently lost a race against a modern-day riding champion.

Renowned MotoGP racer Valentino Rossi outperformed MOTOBOT, a motorcycle-riding robot from Yamaha that controls six actuators aboard a non-modified motorcycle; steering, throttle, both brakes, clutch and gearshift.

The Yamaha MOTOBOT project began in 2015, and after three years of trials the computer has developed a much better understanding of motorcycle racing that Yamaha hopes by 2020 will “deliver new value from Yamaha to our customers.”

Quotable Quote:  “People Make Choices.  Choices Make History.” ~ facinghistory.org

The AIM/NCOM Motorcycle E-News Service is brought to you by Aid to Injured Motorcyclists (A.I.M.) and the National Coalition of Motorcyclists (NCOM), and is sponsored by the Law Offices of Richard M. Lester. If you’ve been involved in any kind of accident, call us at 1-(800) ON-A-BIKE or visit www.ON-A-BIKE.com.

 

NCOM Biker Newsbytes

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NCOMNCOM Biker Newsbytes

Compiled & Edited by Bill Bish,
National Coalition of Motorcyclists (NCOM)

First Twin Peaks Case Goes To Trial In Waco
Following more than two years of examining trials, hearings, motions to recuse judges and to disqualify prosecutors, appeals court rulings and a host of speedy trial demands, the first case in the Twin Peaks melee has finally gone to trial in Waco, Texas.

Jacob Carrizal, President of the Dallas chapter of the Bandidos, appears before Judge Matt Johnson of Waco’s 54th State District Court on charges of directing the activities of a criminal street gang and two counts of engaging in organized criminal activity.

Carrizal is the first to stand trial of the 154 bikers indicted in the Twin Peaks shootout that left nine bikers dead and dozens injured while attending a Saturday, May 17, 2015 meeting of the Coalition of Clubs and Independents, an affiliation of motorcycle groups.

Many questions will hopefully be answered, at long last, including how much of the bloodshed was due to a biker turf war and how much resulted from law enforcement actions.

Authorities tightened security measures around the McLennan County Courthouse, including a metal fence around the 115-year old building, and black curtains over the windows, while attorneys have whittled down a jury pool from nearly 150 prospective jurists to 11 men and three women, with two serving as alternates.

“Lowest Figures On Record” For U.K. Motorcycle Fatalities
In a promising message for motorcyclists, statistics recently released by England’s Department for Transport (DfT) show that U.K. motorcycle deaths are down by 13%, the lowest figure since records began in 2006, despite an overall increase in motorcycle traffic last year and amidst the highest total of overall road deaths since 2011.

In fact, statistics from the DfT’s “Reported road casualties in Great Britain: 2016 annual report” reveal that motorcyclists were the only road user to see a decrease in fatalities from 2015-16, even though they rode 2% more to cover 2.8 billion miles.

AAA Claims Baby Boomers At Higher Risk On A Bike
A new report from AAA claims that the baby boomer generation that made motorcycles cool are now more likely to sustain life-threatening or fatal injuries in a crash than younger riders.

The organization, analyzing federal crash data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), says older riders make up a disproportionate number of motorcycle fatalities. The mortality rate for riders who are 60 or older is more than four times the overall increase in motorcycle deaths for 2015-16, says AAA, with motorcycle fatalities rising 5.1% while deaths among older baby boomers increased 22%.

Important to note, the increase in overall motorcycle fatalities is partially the byproduct of a corresponding rise in the number of motorcycles on the road, increasing to 8.6 million motorcycles in 2015 compared with 8.4 million in 2014, according to Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) data cited by the organization.

Life Sentences Proposed For Killer Drivers
U.K. drivers or riders convicted of causing death by dangerous driving could face life imprisonment if new Government proposals are adopted to increase maximum penalties.

The move follows a public consultation in which 70% of respondents believed that the maximum penalty for causing death by dangerous driving should be increased to life — the top penalty that British law offers.

Under the same proposal, the crime of causing death by careless driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs will also be increased to life.  Currently, both offenses carry a maximum term of 14 years imprisonment, while the average sentence imposed is four years.

The Government also proposes the creation of a new offense of causing serious injury by careless driving, with a prison sentence up to five years, a measure supported by 90% of those surveyed.

The punishment for cases that involve mobile phones, street racing or speeding would carry a sentence equivalent to manslaughter.

The Future Of The Engine In Question
Some world governments are already acting to curtail or eliminate gasoline-powered engines, and now the Governor of California, Jerry Brown, has announced that he is also considering ways to ban the sale of vehicles with internal combustion engines.

During a recent public meeting on U.S. Climate Alliance in New York, Brown stated; “We’re doing something in the face of inaction.”

“Eventually, Washington will join with us, because you can’t deny science forever, you can’t deny reality.  And the reality is climate change is occurring.”

With a zero-emissions mandate currently in place, California is one of the U.S. states that is fully committed to carrying out the objectives of the Paris Agreement — which is an ambitious project from the United Nations aiming to tackle the problems caused global climate change.

Gov. Brown’s announcement follows a similar diktat from the British and French Governments, reflecting plans to move to electrically-powered vehicles within the next few decades.

Self-Driving Cars Closer To Home
The U.S. House of Representatives unanimously approved a bipartisan bill called the SELF-DRIVE act, the first of its kind to drive the unmanned market forward by putting federal regulators in charge and barring states from blocking autonomous vehicles or setting performance standards.

This legislation would supersede state-by-state rules, making it possible for autonomous testing to proceed on a level playing field across the U.S.

If it becomes law (which still requires it to pass the Senate), then it would make it possible for companies working on self-driving to field a lot more vehicles per year – as many as 100,000 autonomous test cars annually, in fact.

The proposal would make it possible for car companies such as Ford, GM and others to bypass certain safety standards that currently apply to human piloted cars, including equipment and controls.

The Senate has also been working on its own self-driving bill, which may cover trucking as well.

California Measure Will Ensure Traffic Lights Detect Cycles
Two-wheelers will be detected by all newly installed and replacement traffic signals throughout California, as recently passed Senate Bill 672 will “ensure that local transportation agencies will replace current traffic-actuated signals during the course of regular maintenance and upgrade cycles to adopt motorcycle-and bicycle-sensitive signals.”

Existing law due to sunset provides that, in due course of maintaining or replacing traffic control devices, local governments ensure that the systems are set at a level to that can detect cyclists and motorcycles, thus this bill indefinitely extends these provisions without a specific mandate from Sacramento.

“Since I authored the original law ten years ago, this common sense measure has proven to be effective at making our roads safer,” said Senator Jean Fuller (R-Bakersfield).

Signed by Governor Jerry Brown on October 3, 2017, SB 672 specifies that “Upon the first placement of a traffic-actuated signal or replacement of the loop detector of a traffic-actuated signal [responding to the presence of traffic detected by mechanical, visual, electrical, or other means], the traffic-actuated signal shall, to the extent feasible and in conformance with professional traffic engineering practice, be installed and maintained so as to detect lawful bicycle or motorcycle traffic on the roadway.”

Advanced by ABATE of California, the motorcycle rights organization says of the legislation; “Thanks to Governor Brown for signing this permanent extension,” stated Chairman of the Board Glenn Phillips, adding that “With over a Million Motorcyclists in our state, this legislation is imperative to protect riders on California roads.”

New York Measure Would Ban Children From Riding
Assembly Bill 8700 would prohibit children under the age of twelve from riding on a motorcycle.  Introduced by Assemblymember Aileen M. Gunther (D-Dist.100), the bill states; “No person shall operate or ride a motorcycle on a public highway, road or street in this state with a child under the age of twelve on such motorcycle.”

A8700 has been referred to the Assembly Transportation Committee.

Help “Lemon Law” Pass For Riders In Pennsylvania
ABATE of Pennsylvania has issued a Legislative Call To Action regarding House Bill 74, a bill introduced by Representative Pam Snyder that would include motorcycles in the current PA Automobile Lemon Law. HB 74 was introduced and referred to the House Consumer Affairs Committee.  On June 12 the House Consumer Affairs Committee approved HB 74, and the measure is now facing consideration by the full House.

“Contact House of Representative members and ask them to support HB 74 to include motorcycles in the state’s “Automobile Lemon Law,” urges the state office of ABATE of PA.  “You can call them, email them or visit them.  But you have to do something if we are to have success in having HB 74 pass the House and be sent to the Senate for their consideration.”

Motorcycle Thefts Are On The Rise
The annual theft report from the National Insurance Crime Bureau shows bike thefts rose 2% nationally across the U.S. in 2016, with a total of 46,467 motorcycles were reported stolen, up from 45,555 in 2015.

For the second year in a row, California is the top state for stolen bikes, where 7,506 motorcycles were reported taken — compared with 4,482 stolen in Florida and 3,692 in Texas, the next most troublesome territories.  Vermont had only 24 motorcycle thefts in 2016, the least amount of all the states.

New York was the most-plagued city, followed by San Diego, Las Vegas and Los Angeles, while Los Angeles County was the top county.

The NICB study reveals that the bulk of motorcycle thefts predictably occur during the summer months, when more bikes are on the street.  August was the top month, when almost twice as many motorcycles disappeared than in December or January.

Some bikes are more popular targets than others or are simply easier to steal, and a disproportionate number are Japanese models top the theft list: Honda (9052 thefts), Yamaha (7,723), Suzuki (6,229), Kawasaki (5,221), Harley-Davidson (4,963)

The recovery rate for stolen bikes isn’t encouraging, according to the NICB report, with only 17,463 of the 46,467 motorcycles reported stolen in 2016 being returned to their owners, about a 40% nationwide rate of recovery. The recovery rate in Hawaii was highest at 94%, while the New York rate, at 19%, was the lowest in the nation.

By brand, Honda owners had about twice as good a chance of getting their bikes back than owners of Ducatis, which had only a 29% chance of coming home.

On a more positive note, bike thievery is down considerably — about 30% — from what it was a decade ago.

Philippine Government Seeks Strict Helmet Law Enforcement
The Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) in the Philippines is seeking to strengthen enforcement of the Mandatory Helmet Law (RA 10054) nationwide.  In a Memorandum issued Sept 6 to all governors, mayors and others, the DILG directs local officials “to implement said (Helmet Law) Act, and ensure that the provisions are strictly complied with.”

Congressman Cesar V. Sarmiento directly addressed DILG during the department’s budget hearing in Congress and said he observed that several motorbike riders and drivers forget to use their helmet resulting in road accidents and deaths.

The Subject of the memo calls for the “Observance of the provisions of Republic Act No. 10054; an Act Mandating All Motorcycle Riders to Wear Standard Protective Motorcycle Helmets While Driving and Providing Penalties Therefor (sic).”

Quotable Quote:  “A man wearing a helmet defending our country is more valuable than a man in a helmet defending a football.”
~ Seen on a T-Shirt

The AIM/NCOM Motorcycle E-News Service is brought to you by Aid to Injured Motorcyclists (A.I.M.) and the National Coalition of Motorcyclists (NCOM), and is sponsored by the Law Offices of Richard M. Lester. If you’ve been involved in any kind of accident, call us at 1-(800) ON-A-BIKE or visit www.ON-A-BIKE.com.

NCOM Biker Newsbytes

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ncomNCOM Biker Newsbytes

Compiled & Edited by Bill Bish,
National Coalition of Motorcyclists (NCOM)

Bikers Aid Hurricane Victims
Dear NCOM Board; We have spoken with Doc (NCOM Board Chairman “Doc” Reichenbach) and he has given us the go ahead to solicit relief assistance from our affiliates.  After helping our friends and neighbors, we are now ready to contact the motorcycle community to assist with a storm that has contributed to the greatest property loss in our nation’s history.

We have responded to an effort led by Central Harley-Davidson in Austin, Texas.  They are receiving donations and then trucking them to dealerships in the affected areas, principally Houston.  We asked if we could get our organization’s members to ship to their store and they said yes, but make sure the boxes are marked.  We see a great need with the cleanup efforts, so this is what we are proposing –

  • Phase 1 – Groups can order cleanup supplies from the box stores – Walmart.com, Target.com or even the Home Depots and Lowes.  Package one type of item per box and then labeled (ex. attached hurricane relief – tarps, or hurricane relief – surgical masks, etc.).
  • Phase 2 – We are coordinating with Motorcycle Resource Teams and bike clubs to volunteer at Central H-D and delivery points to load/unload boxes so the motorcycle shops can still conduct their daily business.
  • Phase 3 – Once delivered we will assist with getting the supplies to the areas in most need.  Getting a group to set up at the Golden Triangle H-D shop and delivering supplies to neighborhoods in the affected areas.

Following is a list of needed supplies – extension cords, box fans, work gloves, tarps, box cutters, blades, nylon rope for tarps, bug spray, antibacterial wipes, disposable surgical masks, rubber gloves, shop vacs.

If folks would rather send money donations, a Houston organization that is networked with a multitude of churches and organizations in the state who are doing the relief work and gets the supplies that are needed in a very timely manner is www.somebodycares.org.  Please check them out, and they have a donate button on their website.  They also have a Houston warehouse with trucks going to affected areas daily, so we will also put them on the suggested list of recipients for Mancuso H-D.

We want to thank you in advance for the assistance offered from our awesome motorcycle community.

Serving Him with Joy,
Lou & Denise Nobs, NCOM Christian Unity
ncom.christianunity@gmail.com

NCOM Board Of Directors / Regional Meeting In Oklahoma City
The National Coalition of Motorcyclists (NCOM) Board of Directors will hold their bi-annual board meeting at the Biltmore Hotel, 401 S. Meridian Ave in Oklahoma City on Saturday, November 11, 2017 in conjunction with the NCOM Region II Conference.

All motorcyclists are invited to attend this free event, to learn and share with fellow bikers rights activists from around the country and across the region (NCOM Region II consists of Oklahoma, Texas, Kansas, Missouri, Iowa and Nebraska).

For further information, contact NCOM at (800) ON-A-BIKE or visit www.ON-A-BIKE.com.

Laconia Motorcycle Week Organizer Elected To N.H. Statehouse
Longtime motorcycle enthusiast and organizer of the annual Laconia Motorcycle Week, Charlie St. Clair has won a House Seat in a special election in Belknap County, New Hampshire, posting a mild upset in the previously Republican-held district.

Charlie rides a Harley-Davidson Heritage Softail Classic and has been riding cross country every year for over forty-one years to attend Laconia’s sister rally in Sturgis, South Dakota, and was inducted into the Sturgis Museum Hall of Fame in 2008.  He has served as executive director of the Laconia Motorcycle Week Association since 1992, and will continue in that role.

Newly-elected State Rep. St. Clair (D-District 9) says “People know me, and I’m going down there to represent my constituents in my district.  As for motorcyclists, I’ll be watching out on their behalf whether they’re constituents or visitors to the state.”

Illinois Law Mandates Students Learn What To Do During A Traffic Stop
In addition to reading, writing and arithmetic, students in Illinois will now learn a possibly life-saving lesson; What to Do during a Traffic Stop.

The new state law, signed by Governor Bruce Rauner, is aimed at preventing a situation from escalating when teens are pulled over by police, and mandates that teachers dedicate instruction time to ensuring that students learn what to do and what not to do during a traffic stop, and how not to panic and do something that may seem like a red flag to cops.

“My hope is that if we uniformly require that driver’s education include the protocol and what is expected when you interact with a police officer that things will not escalate,” Senator Julie Morrison (D-Deerfield), who sponsored the bill, told the local station ABC 7.

Arkansas Becomes 37Th State To Revise Slingshot Licensing
Polaris Industries reports that Arkansas no longer requires Slingshot owners to have a motorcycle operator’s license, thus making the Natural State the 37th state to classify the three-wheeler as a car for licensing purposes.

“When Slingshot was introduced to the market in 2014, most consumers were required to hold a motorcycle endorsement or license to operate it,” the company said in a recent press release. “Because Slingshot does not feature handlebars or straddle seating, but rather offers a unique three-wheel configuration with a steering wheel and side-by-side seating, state policymakers have recognized the need to update their operator licensing laws.”

Although Slingshot resides in the motorcycle classification which has long provided for three-wheel designs, operator skills are more similar to those required for a passenger car.  “Our goal is to gain a unified classification and operator licensing scheme across the country to provide more opportunities and driving freedom for consumers looking for the ultimate thrill experience that Slingshot offers,” said Rachael Elia, Slingshot Marketing Manager.

Banned Knives Now Legal In Texas
A bipartisan House bill repealing the Lone Star State’s 1871 ban on Bowie knives and other large blades has been signed by Governor Greg Abbott, dropping the carry of illegal knives such as “Bowie knives, daggers, dirks, stilettos, poniards, swords, and spears” from the Texas penal code on weapons, a crime which currently carries fines of up to a year in jail, a fine of up to $4,000, or both.

Still off limits for knives with blades over 5.5 inches will be places such as schools, correctional facilities, houses of worship, and bars that derive more than half their income from alcohol sales.  Minors, under 18, will not be able to buy or carry a location-restricted knife.

New Hampshire passed the nation’s first repeal of a switchblade (automatic) knife ban in 2010, and since then such knife restrictions have been repealed in Alaska, Colorado, Indiana, Kansas, Maine, Missouri, Nevada, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas and Wisconsin.

Facing Backlash, Confederate Motors Changes Its Name
When Matt Chambers created his company in 1991 in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, he chose to name it Confederate Motors “in a salute to good Southern principles,” but in today’s politically charged climate that associates the Southern Confederacy with racism and white supremacy, Chambers has decided to retire the name.

“The Confederate brand was no longer viable.  I think we lost a lot a business with that name,” Chambers told the Los Angeles Times, adding “We’ve missed out on branding opportunities.  So, it’s time to retire it.”

The company is now the Curtiss Motorcycle Co., named after the father of American aviation, Glenn Curtiss, who gained fame competing with the Wright Brothers to dominate the skies, but who also famously built and raced motorcycles.

Their first model will be called the Hercules, the name originally used for Curtiss’ motorcycles, and will be an electric sportbike.

British Motorcyclists Ride On Parliament To Protest Bike Crime
Hundreds of concerned motorcyclists rode through London on Saturday, Sept 9th to protest a staggering increase in bike thefts, bike-jackings and brutal attacks on motorcyclists in the U.K.

The protest comes after acid was sprayed at six scooter riders in a 90 minute period in a series of attacks in London in July, with one victim suffering “life-changing injuries” according to police.  Due to these vicious assaults, acid attackers now face life in prison, and prosecutors have been advised to impose sentences of up to four years just for carrying acid.

Other riders have had their bikes stolen from them by armed thieves.  Recent crime figures have shown that vehicle theft has risen 18.6% nationwide in the last year and 25.9% in London, which is a trend that has been plain to see for bike owners.  The thieves are more brazen than ever, posting pictures of bikes they’ve stolen on social media.

As the police struggle with motorcycle theft, the army may be called in to address the situation.

Protest organizers ‘#BikersUnited’ say 65 bikes are stolen a day in the capital, while riders increasingly face “violence, knives, acid and even death from the thieves.”

Formed of a number of biking groups including MAG (Motorcycle Action Group), #BikersUnited says on its Facebook page: “We represent the 1,000s of riders of motorcycles and scooters in Britain and are protesting about the outrageous escalation of bike theft and bike jackings in our country.”

Philippines Calls For Bigger License Plates To Deter Crimes
The Philippine Senate has unanimously approved a bill requiring the Land Transportation Office to provide bigger and reflectorized license plates for motorcycles and scooters to deter crimes.

Voting 21-0, the upper chamber approved on final reading Senate Bill 1397, or the proposed “Motorcycle Crime Prevention Act of 2017”, which would require significantly larger license plates for the front and rear of all motorcycles and scooters for easy identification to deter motorcycle-riding criminals from easily getting away.

“Motorcycles have become crime machines. With their small plate numbers, criminals perpetrating crimes while on board motorcycles easily flee from the scene of the crime, and usually there are no witnesses who can read or identify plate numbers so that the authorities can go after the criminals,” Senator Richard Gordon, the bill’s author, said.

Study Shows Car Drivers Are Confident They Can Text And Drive Safely
A recent study by Progressive Insurance reveals that about one third of car drivers feel confident in their own ability to text and drive, yet the majority believe distracted driving is the biggest cause of auto accidents and more than 90% say it should be illegal.

The report showed a sharp difference in attitudes between younger and older drivers, with more than 60% of 18-34 year olds being confident in their ability to safely text while driving, compared to less than 6% of those 55 and older.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 3,477 people were killed, and 391,000 were injured in motor vehicle crashes involving distracted drivers in the United States in 2015.  Teens were the largest age group reported as distracted at the time of fatal crashes.

The study further showed that men think they are better at texting and driving, with twice as many men (21%) as women (11%) saying they are “very confident” in their ability to text while driving.  Despite that confidence in their own abilities, some 88% of men and 97% of women think texting should not be allowed.

Among all drivers, more than 65% of individuals polled believe that texting/looking at one’s phone while driving is the most common cause of traffic accidents in the United States.  And 83% of individuals believe police should be able to pull over drivers for texting alone.  Yet at the same time, 34% of respondents said they were somewhat or very confident in their ability to text while driving.

Meanwhile, the study said the most common feelings evoked when seeing another driver texting is concern (62%) followed by irritation (50%), and these feelings didn’t vary by age or gender.

Quotable Quote:  “A society that gets rid of all its troublemakers goes downhill.”
~ Robert A. Heinlein (1907-1988) science-fiction author

The AIM/NCOM Motorcycle E-News Service is brought to you by Aid to Injured Motorcyclists (A.I.M.) and the National Coalition of Motorcyclists (NCOM), and is sponsored by the Law Offices of Richard M. Lester. If you’ve been involved in any kind of accident, call us at 1-(800) ON-A-BIKE or visit www.ON-A-BIKE.com.

NCOM Biker Newsbytes

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NCOMNCOM Biker Newsbytes

Compiled & Edited by Bill Bish
National Coalition of Motorcyclists (NCOM)

 

Motorcycle Industry Welcomes Ban On Gas Powered Vehicles
The Motorcycle Industry Association (U.K.) has welcomed reports of a ban on new fossil fuel-powered vehicles starting 2040, saying it will be a “tremendous stimulus” for bike makers.

The Government is due to announce a ban on the sale of new petrol (gasoline) and diesel vehicles from 2040 as part of an effort to tackle air pollution, according to several national newspapers. The measure is expected to include a ban on new hybrid vehicles and “could mark the beginning of the end of the prevalence of the internal combustion engine in automotive transport,” reports www.BritishDealerNews.co.uk.

The announcement will be in line with a similar commitment already made by France.

Steve Kenward, CEO of the Motorcycle Industry Association (MCIA), pointed out that no specific mention had been made of motorcycles but added: “I think there’s a great opportunity.”

“For all the congestion-busting abilities of motorcycles and the abilities to make electric bikes I think it’s a tremendous stimulus for the motorcycle industry,” Kenward predicts. “It’s a tremendous commercial trigger to push on with electric motorcycles.”

Motorcycles made before 2007 are already set to be hit by a £12.50 ($16.10 USD) daily pollution toll for entering London beginning in 2020.

India Becomes World’s Largest Motorcycle Manufacturer
India has dethroned China from a long reign as the world’s largest motorcycle manufacturer, having already overtaken China to become the largest domestic motorcycle market three years ago.  The growth curve is continuing, as India’s growing domestic market and partnerships with English and European bike builders have put the country at the forefront of worldwide two-wheeled production.

While overall new motorcycle sales in the U.S. have been about 500,000 a year, and around 125,000 are sold in the United Kingdom, the total sales of machines made in India for the last financial year came to 17.6 million – more every three days than are sold in the UK in a year; more every 11 days than are sold annually in America.

Meanwhile, China’s domestic motorcycle market has been in decline for five years as government policy has incentivized electric bicycle sales and denied motorcycles access to city centers across China.

Conversely, the relentless growth of motorcycle sales in India is beginning to reshape the global marketplace.  According to New Atlas, sales within India grew 6.9% last year, thanks to a fast-growing 1.32 billion domestic population that is quickly urbanizing and emerging from poverty — India has the fastest GDP growth of any major country.  A massive India-wide road construction program is also fueling car and bike sales, just as it did in America a century ago.

Currently India’s domestic motorcycle marketplace is dominated by sub-125cc scooters and motorcycles, but larger capacity “luxury” classes are taking an increasing share as the market matures.  Royal Enfield, built in India for the past 62 years, sold more than 700,000 motorcycles last year, a figure nearly equal to the combined worldwide sales of Harley-Davidson, KTM, BMW, Triumph, and Ducati, and their production target for this fiscal year is 900,000.

Millions Of Licensed Motorcyclists Don’t Ride
Nearly 8 million Americans have a motorcycle license, but don’t own a bike.  These phantom riders, referred to as “Sleeping License Holders,” have come to the attention of motorcycle manufacturers seeking new customers as baby boomers age out of riding; wanting to wake them up.

Many of these ‘sleepers’ were active motorcyclists who had things happen in their life that caused them to quit riding: marriage, kids, financial pressures, a job that demands most of their time or simply a change in interests.  Others completed rider training, got their license, but never bought a bike.

All of which has led Harley-Davidson, Indian and other bike makers to devise new marketing strategies.

Harley has set a goal of attracting 2 million new U.S. riders in the next decade and says it’s committed to introducing 100 new motorcycles over the next 10 years, including an electric bike, and that effort is expected to bring some sleeping license holders into bike ownership.

Indian Motorcycle Co. is also digging into why the sleepers aren’t taking that next step to become motorcycle owners.  “I think, collectively as an industry, we need to answer that,” said Kevin Reilly, vice president of motorcycle marketing for Indian.

The median age of U.S. motorcyclists is about 45, according to a report in Cycle World magazine, with an overwhelming number of new bike buyers over the age of 50. Read More

MC Members Being Arrested For Unlawful Carry Without Cause

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Unlawful CarryMC Members Being Arrested For Unlawful Carry Without Cause

The MPP is issuing this Travel Advisory to all members and associates of motorcycle clubs traveling in or to the state of Texas.

By David “Double D” Devereaux
Motorcycle Profiling Project

WARNING- As a motorcycle club member, there is a legitimate risk of being arrested for Unlawful Carry of a Weapon in the state of Texas solely because of membership or association with a motorcycle club, even if you posses a legitimate carry permit recognized by the state. The MPP believes that the risk is exponentially higher for members and associates of 1% motorcycle clubs.

ABC News in El Paso reported this last weekend that 5 members of the Bandidos Motorcycle Club were arrested for Unlawful Carrying of a Weapon (click to read article), even though every one could legally possess a weapon, solely because of their membership or association with the motorcycle club. They were initially stopped by the El Paso PD Gang Unit for an alleged failure to properly signal. All 5 men are from New Mexico and were traveling to El Paso to attend a funeral for a deceased member. (NOTE: The MPP has confirmed that only 3 of the 5 were members of the Bandidos Motorcycle Club).

This is not a isolated event. In November 2015, the MPP reported that “the trend to confiscate handguns and revoke legally obtained permits from motorcycle club members in America is on the rise.

From Houston to Long Island, and now back to Texas, law enforcement is aggressively targeting the gun rights of those in motorcycle clubs.” (See Revoking Gun Rights from Motorcycle Clubs is on the Rise, November 12, 2015). That trend, particularly in Texas, shows no signs of slowing down.

Read the whole story:

Legal Defense Fund for Victims of the Waco Tragedy

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support-waco-legal-defense-620x350Support the Legal Defense Fund for Victims of the Waco Tragedy

By David “Double D” Devereoux
Motorcycle Profiling Project

There are many unanswered questions relating to the May 17, 2015 shooting at a Twin Peaks restaurant in Waco, Texas. But what is known provides more than enough to establish that an irrefutable miscarriage of justice has occurred.

177 people were arrested without any individualized or specific probable cause. They were arrested solely based on their association with a motorcycle club, including individuals that law enforcement acknowledges committed no crimes. Each individual arrested was given 1-2 million dollar bails explicitly “to send a message”, which is a clear violation of the 8th Amendment’s prohibition against punitive bail.

A cornerstone of a free society is the idea that protecting one innocent person outweighs society’s interest in punishing the guilty. The ends do not justify the means. The issues of false arrest and excessive bail should take priority over the interests of punishing any guilty party present at Twin Peaks. The interests of the innocent are simply more important from a societal perspective.

This is not about any one motorcycle club. What happens in the Waco prosecution will have far reaching impacts on the entire culture of motorcycle clubs and the 1st Amendment issues of expression and association. And the results of the initial trials could have far reaching impacts on the remaining trials.

The Bandidos Motorcycle Club and associates have been targeted and are being prosecuted first. Time is short. Help is needed. The amount of legal resources available often equates to a better defense. The first trial is set for September, 2017.

Any motorcycle club member, motorcyclist, or individual concerned about the wider implications of the Waco tragedy can contribute to the legal defense of the first club being prosecuted by sending checks or money orders to:

USARG Inc./BMC
PO Box 58868
Houston TX 77258

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Police in Texas Pressuring Bars

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TexasPolice in Texas Pressuring Bars to Ban “Motorcycle Colors”

By David “Double D” Devereaux
Motorcycle Profiling Project

Motorcyclists from Texas and around the US, many wearing motorcycle-related patches and colors, regularly visit public establishments and bars in San Marcos, Texas.

Recently, the San Marcos Police Department (SMPD) made a prejudicial recommendation to downtown San Marcos businesses to implement a broad policy of discrimination against any individual wearing motorcycle-related insignia or colors.

These recommendations amount to coercive pressure from a government actor to implement policies of discrimination. It is settled law that motorcycle patches and colors are Constitutionally protected by the 1st Amendment from acts of government discrimination. Prohibiting individuals from expressing themselves with patches or insignia exposes the government to liability under 42 USC §1983.

No agent of the government may pressure or coerce any establishment to impose a dress code that prohibits attendees from wearing clothing displaying the name or symbols associated with a motorcycle organization.

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NCOM Biker Newsbytes

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NCOMNCOM Biker Newsbytes

Compiled & Edited by Bill Bish,
National Coalition of Motorcyclists (NCOM)

Millennials Are Negatively Impacting Motorcycling
U.S. motorcycle sales for Harley-Davidson, which represents about half of America’s big-bike market, were down 3.9% last year, and investment management firm Alliance Bernstein recently downgraded the Motor Company’s rating while citing the millennial generation as a key contributor in the brand’s downturn.

“Our data suggests the younger Gen Y population is adopting motorcycling at a far lower rate than prior generations,” AB analyst David Beckel told AOL’s Business Insider.  “Gen Y’s are aging into the important ‘pre-family’ cohort of riders and Boomers are increasingly handing over their keys to the smaller Gen X population.”

Millennials have surpassed Baby Boomers in numbers to become the largest generation pool in the United States, and these 18 to 35-year-olds grew up during a recession, which has impacted their spending habits.

“I think we have got a very significant psychological scar from this great recession,” according to Morgan Stanley analyst Kimberly Greenberger.  “One in every five households at the time were severely negatively impacted by that event.  And, if you think about the children in that house and how the length and depth of that recession really impacted people, I think you have an entire generation with permanently changed spending habits.”

Bike-To-Vehicle (B2V) Technology To Prevent Motorcycle Accidents
Drivers involved in an accident with a motorcycle often claim they didn’t see the bike.  Their smaller size, quickness and maneuverability makes motorcycles more difficult to identify in traffic.  Autotalks, the world leader in V2X (Vehicle-to-Everything) communication solutions, is launching its bike-to-vehicle (B2V) solution, a technology for the prevention of motorcycle accidents.  The solution is based on the B2X (Bike-to-Everything) chipset developed by the Israeli company.

Research conducted by Bosch, a leading global supplier of technology and services, finds that motorcycle-to-car communication could prevent almost one third of motorcycle related accidents, which has encouraged the German company to develop what they call a “digital protective shield” for riders.  Digital visibility would warn the driver of a car about a motorcycle’s close presence, even when it’s not visible to the human eye.

The goal of the new technology is to prevent accidents from occurring, by providing warning notices on dashboards.  The data would be exchanged by vehicle transmitters through public WLAN and ITS-G5.  Potential hazards and nearby motorcycles would then show up on satellite navigation, including direction of travel, position, speed, acceleration, and vehicle type.

Advantages of the Autotalks’ B2V solution include simple integration, low power consumption, the smallest form factor, highest range of operating temperature and smallest physical size, which results in its resistance to the strong vibration and challenging environmental conditions of motorcycles.

Oregon Enacts R-O-W Law To Protect Motorcyclists
A “Right-of-Way” or R-O-W law has been enacted in Oregon, as House Bill 2598 was signed by Governor Kate Brown on June 20, 2017.  The bill also known as the “Milkman Mike Act” or the “Driver Responsibility Bill” will become law on January 1, 2018 and expands the offense of vehicular assault to include contact with motorcycle, motorcycle operator or motorcycle passenger that causes physical injury.

“This means that if a reckless driver injures a motorcycle rider or their passenger, the driver can be charged with vehicular assault and will be a Class A Misdemeanor,” reports the Oregon Confederation of Clubs.  The punishment can be doing time up to one year in prison and a maximum fine up to a $6,250.

“This is a great win for Oregon riders!!,” states the Oregon COC on their website (www.oregoncoc.org).  “Now we have something that has some teeth in it to punish drivers who are determined to be ‘reckless’.  We have had too many brothers and sisters run down by car drivers getting a ticket for nominal money or no ticket at all.  At best they get a slight bump in their insurance rates.  And in the case of no ticket, their insurance company never really has a clue they have a high risk client on their hands.

“All it took was a sharp attorney (Oregon A.I.M. Attorney Christopher Slater) to do a very simple thing.  He had the great idea to look to see if there is existing legislation.  He found legislation that covered bicyclists and pedestrians (ORS 811.060).  From there it was easy to add a few words…’motorcycle rider and passenger.’  It was so simple it was brilliant.  Much thanks to Christopher and his efforts.  Many thanks to BikePac of Oregon and ABATE of Oregon who also worked hard to make this bill a reality.

“And may Milkman Mike rest in peace forever.  This legislation is something he worked hard to achieve for many years.  He was unable to see it done due to a health issue and we lost him several years ago.  Mike was constantly working within the motorcycle rights community.  He also worked as the coordinator for the Coalition of Independent Riders (COIR).  He spent a great amount of time adding non affiliated and independent riders to his communication roster.”

North Carolina To Provide Driver Instruction On Law Enforcement Stops
Similar to a measure recently adopted in Louisiana to teach new licensees how to interact with police during traffic stops, House Bill 21 “Driver Instruction/Law Enforcement Stops” has been approved unanimously by the North Carolina legislature and signed into law by Governor Roy Cooper on July 12, 2017.

HB 21 provides that “The Division, in consultation with the State Highway Patrol, the North Carolina Sheriff’s Association, and the North Carolina Association of Chiefs of Police, shall include in the driver license handbook a description of law enforcement procedures during traffic stops and the actions that a motorist should take during a traffic stop, including appropriate interactions with law enforcement officers.”

Ohio ‘Dead Red’ Law Amended For Bicycles Only
During a lame-duck legislative session ending last December, the Ohio General Assembly passed House Bill 154, commonly referred to as a “Dead Red” law, allowing all vehicles and bicycles to treat a malfunctioning traffic signal as a stop sign and to proceed through a red light after a reasonable time has elapsed, as long as the intersection is clear and you must yield to oncoming traffic with the right of way.  Signed by the governor, the new law was to take effect in March, but an amendment was introduced and fast-tracked as an emergency measure to remove all motor vehicles (cars, trucks and motorcycles) from the law, and House Bill 9 amended the red light section to apply to bicycles only. Read More

Big Win – MC’s Stop ‘No Motorcycle Colors’ Policy in Colorado

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ColorsBig Win – MC’s Stop ‘No Motorcycle Colors’ Policy in Colorado

By David “Double D” Devereaux
Motorcycle Profiling Project

Royal Gorge Bridge and Park (RGB&P), located near Cañon City, Colorado, recently adopted  an over broad policy of discrimination against any individual wearing motorcycle-related patches or colors. So the National Council of Clubs (NCOC), an organization representing the interests  of motorcyclists nationwide, immediately protested the decision in the form of a written  complaint to RGB&P management.

Normally, private actors such as RGB&P cannot be sued for 1st Amendment restrictions because there is nothing unconstitutional about private actors discriminating. However, RGB&P leases the land from Canon City exposing the government actor to civil rights liability for the discriminatory acts of the private party.

After receiving the NCOC’s letter of complaint, RGB&P management contacted NCOC attorney Wade Eldridge and informed him that all “no motorcycle club colors” signs had been removed from the park and that the park reversed its policy. The NCOC verified on June 10th that all  signs have been removed. NCOC participants, members of motorcycle clubs including 1%’ers, have been granted access to the Park.

This is an important win for the NCOC and the motorcycle club community generally. Many motorcyclists frequent RGB&P and some club members have even had their ashes spread at the park.

Silence is consent. Grassroots political opposition is one of the most effective strategies for tangible change, as demonstrated by the NCOC.

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NCOM Biker Newsbytes

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NCOMNCOM Biker Newsbytes

Compiled & Edited by Bill Bish,
National Coalition of Motorcyclists (NCOM)

Biker Anti-Profiling Measures Under Consideration In Congress
H.Res.318/S.Res.154: “Promoting awareness of motorcycle profiling and encouraging collaboration and communication with the motorcycle community and law enforcement officials to prevent instances of profiling,” was referred to the Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, Homeland Security, and Investigations on June 2, 2017.  Concerned motorcyclists are encouraged to contact their federal lawmakers in the U.S. Senate & House of Representatives to co-sponsor and support these bills.

Under the companion measures in the Senate and House, “motorcycle profiling” means “the illegal use of the fact that a person rides a motorcycle or wears motorcycle related apparel as a factor in deciding to stop and question, take enforcement action, arrest, or search a person or vehicle with or without legal basis under the Constitution of the United States.

Federal Legislation Could Proliferate E15 Gas
Despite objections that the proliferation of E15 gasoline into the U.S. marketplace will negatively impact every American who owns a car, lawnmower or boat, two new federal bills have been introduced to expand availability of the higher concentrate ethanol fuel.

Senator Deb Fischer (R-NE) and U.S. Representative Adrian Smith (R-NE) introduced the “Consumer and Fuel Retailer Choice Act” (S.517 & H.R.1311) amending the Clean Air Act to allow the sale of E15 (15% blend ethanol gas) during summer months (June 1 – September 15).

Motorcycle and ATV owners risk damaging their machines by even inadvertently putting E15 in their tanks, as the higher blends of ethanol can cause engine and fuel system damage, void manufacturers’ warranties and violate federal law.

Motorcyclists should also be concerned about the availability of compatible fuel supplies if gas stations primarily provide E15 gasoline that’s EPA-approved for the majority of their driving customers — but no on- or off-road motorcycles or ATVs appear on the EPA’s list of vehicles approved to use E15.

Zero Motorcycles New “Don’t Wait For Washington” E-Bike Program
The recently launched program was created to advocate for electric motorcycles and assure buyers they will get the Electric Motorcycle Federal Tax Credit.  “Don’t Wait For Washington” assures “up to $1,869 on a Zero motorcycle if the government fails to reinstate the Electric Motorcycle Tax Credit.”

The initiative serves the dual purposes of driving the conversation on electric motorcycles forward while legislation languishes in Washington, and of motivating would-be electric motorcycle riders to join the e-movement.

Should the federal government fail to reinstate the tax credit by the end of the year, then Zero will step up and send 10% cash back to buyers, matching the expired tax credit for new, eligible 2017 Zero motorcycles.

Mainstream Media Promotes Ridership
According to the Motorcycle Industry Council (MIC), a not-for-profit national trade association, their 2014 rider survey reports that “56% of Generation Y riders use their motorcycles as a primary means of transportation,” and that factoid recently appeared in a Ride To Work Day graphic on the front page of the June 19 edition of USA Today’s Life section.

“This major mainstream media placement is especially significant to the MIC as the industry association is actively promoting motorcycles as transportation and seeking new generations of riders,” says the MIC communications department, which has previously worked on Ride to Work Day segments with “Good Morning America,” ABC’s national morning news show, and with “The KTLA Morning News,” the biggest morning news program in Southern California.

The MIC exists to “preserve, protect and promote motorcycling through government relations, communications and media relations, statistics and research, aftermarket programs, AIMExpo, development of data communications standards, and activities surrounding technical and regulatory issues.”

Louisiana To Teach New Licensees How To Interact With Police
Louisiana Governor Bel Edwards has signed into law a requirement that driver education classes must include a segment on interacting with police in their course curriculum.

Introduced by Senators Ryan Gatti (R-Bossier), Wesley Bishop (D-New Orleans) and Gary Smith Jr. (D-Norco) on March 20, 2017, SB17 “Provides for driver education to include instruction on appropriate driver conduct when stopped by a law enforcement officer.”

The bipartisan measure was signed by the governor on June 16 as Act No. 286 with an effective date of January 1, 2018.

Handlebar Height Law Modified In Maryland
Maryland has become the most recent state to modify or repeal their antiquated and discriminatory handlebar height law, which many states enacted in the sixties to provide a law enforcement tool for pulling over bikers on their choppers.

Governor Larry Hogan approved Senate Bill 668 on May 25, 2017; “Increasing, from 15 inches to 20 inches, the maximum height that the handlebars of a motorcycle may be above a specified part of the motorcycle seat in order for a person to lawfully operate the motorcycle.”

SB668 was introduced February 3, 2017 by lead sponsor Senator H. Wayne Norman, Jr. (R-D35) and becomes effective October 1, 2017, and ABATE of Maryland advises to “Remember that the height is measured from the seat to the highest point on the handlebars, not from the bottom of the handlebar to the grips or highest point.”

New Hampshire Okays Colored Headlamps For Motorcycles, Same As Cars
New Hampshire Governor Chris Sununu signed HB458 into law on June 8, 2017, an Act relative to motorcycle headlamps.  Sponsored by Rep. James Spillane (R-Deerfield), “This bill allows headlamp colors approved by the director of the division of motor vehicles for automobiles to be considered approved for motorcycle headlamps,” with an effective date 60 days after its passage (August 7, 2017).

Oregon Enacts Laws Effecting Trikes & Autocycles
In dealing with the increased popularity of three-wheeled vehicles, Oregon lawmakers have passed two new laws to make it easier for riders to get in the saddle.  House Bill 3125 was signed into law by Governor Kate Brown on June 14, 2017 to define an “autocycle” and provides that a person may operate one without a motorcycle endorsement.  The Act takes effect immediately under the Emergency clause.

Sponsored by the Committee on Transportation Policy, under HB3125 “autocycle” means a motorcycle that: (1) Is manufactured to travel on three wheels; (2) Has a steering wheel for steering control; and (3) Has nonstraddle seating, and (4) is equipped with a manufacturer-installed three-point safety belt or safety harness.

Senate Bill 36 “Provides that Department of Transportation may waive skills test for person seeking motorcycle endorsement to operate three-wheeled motorcycle [trike],” and was also signed by the governor on June 14.

License Plate Mounting Options For South Dakota Riders
Effective July 1, 2017, motorcycle owners in South Dakota will be allowed to mount license plates to their motorcycle “in any visible manner other than upside down.”

Governor Dennis Daugaard signed Senate Bill 79 into law on March 9, after overwhelmingly passing through both chambers of the state legislature.

Fair Warning: Most Drivers Know They’re Bad Drivers
Millions of drivers admit that they don’t always make thorough mirrors checks when pulling away, according a driver survey, with 25% admitting they don’t look in their mirrors when pulling out into traffic.

Of 2,025 drivers polled, 15% admitted not always looking at road signs, 68% admit rarely driving with both hands on the wheel, and over half (52%) believed bad habits such as these would ensure they failed the driving test if they had to do it again.

Too many people are injured on the roads due to poor judgment and a lack of road skills says David Carter, spokesman for Accident Advice Helpline in the U.K., which conducted the research, adding: “It is worrying that more people don’t feel confident in their own skills on the road and feel that they’ve developed bad habits which would cause them to not pass their driving test.”

Gone But Never Forgotten
This year has been tragic for our bikers rights family, suffering the loss of two past NCOM Board of Directors; Butch Harbaugh (NCOM Legislative Task Force) and Dennis “Big D” Watson (NCOM Region IX), both recipients of the Ron Roloff Lifetime Achievement Award (2003 & 2006) in whose memory the recent National Coalition of Motorcyclists’ NCOM Convention in Reno was dedicated, and now we regretfully report the passing of longtime biker advocate and Easyriders magazine writer “Twiggy” Blakeboro (73, of Lompoc, CA) who died June 11, 2017.  Twiggy was much beloved by his peers and was a past recipient of the NCOM Silver Spoke Award – Media (1997).  “Nuff said.”  R.I.P. Brothers, Ride In Peace.

Quotable Quote:
“If not me, then who?”
~ USMC 1st Lt Travis Manion (Nov 19, 1980 – April 29, 2007), upon his second Iraq tour; KIA saving his men from ambush (TravisManion.org)

The AIM/NCOM Motorcycle E-News Service is brought to you by Aid to Injured Motorcyclists (A.I.M.) and the National Coalition of Motorcyclists (NCOM), and is sponsored by the Law Offices of Richard M. Lester. If you’ve been involved in any kind of accident, call us at 1-(800) ON-A-BIKE or visit www.ON-A-BIKE.com.

New Louisiana Law Exempts Motorcyclists From Anti-Masking Arrests

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lousina_mask_exemption_featured_image_2-620x350New Louisiana Law Exempts Motorcyclists From Anti-Masking Arrests

By David Devereaux
Motorcycle Profiling Project

Motorcyclists in Louisiana score a big win! Efforts of motorcycle rights advocates paid off when the Louisiana legislature approved a law exempting “persons driving or riding a motorcycle” from the state’s anti-masking statute. (See Louisiana State Legislature-HB161)

The Louisiana House passed HB 161 on a vote of 95-0 on June 5th, 2017 following a mass majority approval by the state Senate on May 30th, 2017. The legislation is on its way to the Governor’s desk.

The MPP reported in November of 2016, (See “Bikers Arrested for Wearing Bandanas”, November 29, 2016) following a trip to Louisiana as a guest speaker at a Louisiana

Confederation of Clubs and Independents (LCOC&I) meeting, that motorcyclists wearing legal helmets were being arrested for violating a state “Anti-Masking Law” originally intended to deter public acts of terror being committed by the KKK.

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Ultimate Freedom Fighter Honored By Sturgis Motorcycle Museum

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Michael_FarbaughUltimate Freedom Fighter Honored By Sturgis Motorcycle Museum

Biker, Diplomat, MRF Champion & ABATE Founder Michael “Balls” Farabaugh Named 2017 Freedom Fighter Award

Press Release: In keeping with the Sturgis Motorcycle Museum’s mission to Honor the Rider, the special “Freedom Fighter” award recognizing an individual who has fought to protect the rights of motorcyclists was instituted in 2001. The Freedom Fighter for 2017 is posthumous recognition of Michael “Balls” Farabaugh lifetime of protecting motorcyclist’s right.

“Michael is the original freedom fighter,” says Tigra Tsujikawa, Marketing & Development Director for the Sturgis Motorcycle Museum and Hall Of Fame. “He co-founded ABATE of Indiana, the Motorcycle Riders Foundation (MRF) and launched the annual Meeting Of The Minds conference. As the long-time Executive Director of ABATE, Balls was respected for his honesty and integrity by the biker community – as a 30-year member of the American Motorcycle Association’s Board of Directors, Mr. Farabaugh was able to bring the OEMs and the politicians to the table,” says Tsujikawa.

MichaelFarabaughAs passionate as Farabaugh was when it came to motorcycle rights organizations, he was equally committed to rider safety. “He successfully lobbied many state legislatures into giving publicly funded rider training parity with drivers ed. Michael graduated from the first Motorcycle Safety Foundation Chief Instructor Program in 1980 and he and his wife Debby, also an MSF instructor, taught survival skills to literally thousands of riders and instructor trainees over the years.”

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Waco Twin Peaks Tragedy —Two Years Later

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Waco Twin PeaksThe following is a press release from Clint Broden, one of the attorneys representing some of the defendants in the Waco Shooting tragedy, on May 17, 2015.

Press Release: On the eve of the two year anniversary of the Waco Twin Peaks tragedy, Clinton Broden of Broden & Mickelsen has issued the below statement to summarize the past two years. Broden represents three of the motorcyclists in their criminal cases (Matthew Clendennen, Burton Bergman and Richard Luther) and is co-counsel, along with Don Tittle, for approximately forty of the motorcyclists in their civil rights cases.

“In the first few days following the Twin Peaks tragedy, the Waco Police Department and the Waco District Attorney gave numerous press conferences attempting to characterize all of the 177 arrested motorcyclists as criminal gang members. Then, when it started to become clear that many of those arrested were bystanders and had absolutely nothing to do with the violence, the District Attorney’s office ran to court to obtain a gag order. The gag order was specifically designed to prohibit the motorcyclists from refuting the false information that the Police Department and District Attorney had spewed in their press conferences following the incident. In other words, the Police Department and District Attorney created a false narrative for the public and did not want anything to interfere with that narrative. Not surprisingly, the gag order was eventually held to be unconstitutional.

“Justice of the Peace Pete Peterson who gleefully set identical $1 million bonds for every one of the 177 arrested motorcyclists was eventually recused from the case because of his actions. The State Commission on judicial Conduct also made Judge Peterson “aware of its concerns” regarding his conduct in the case.

“Next, in November 2015, the DA bamboozled a grand jury into indicting 106 motorcyclists in a marathon session that allowed for less than five minutes of individual consideration per motorcyclist. It became clear just how much the DA’s office manipulated the grand jury when it was learned that the motorcyclists were indicted for the death of a person who, in fact, was not even killed at Twin Peaks. Eventually, the DA’s office obtained indictments against more than 150 motorcyclists, many of who were innocent bystanders who had no weapons.

“Nevertheless, despite rushing the cases to the grand jury, when Matt Clendennen and others sought speedy trials, the State sought continuances. To this day, the State has refused to try any of the Twin Peaks cases and has intimated that it has no intention to do so for the foreseeable future. Meanwhile, during a court hearing, it was learned that each of the three acting police chiefs and at least two police detectives on the scene on May 17, 2015 opposed arresting the motorcyclists not involved in the violence and believed them to be mere witnesses. Despite that collective judgment, however, District Attorney Abelino Reyna contacted police chief Brent Stroman, who was out of state at the time of the incident, and advocated for the arrests of all 177 motorcyclists without even telling Chief Stroman the charges upon which the arrests would be based. Shockingly, Reyna testified at the same hearing that he had detailed and specific discussions with the police detective who signed the identical “fill-in-the-name” criminal complaint affidavits, but then the detective specifically contradicted Reyna and testified that he never even talked to Reyna that night.

“On the eve of the two year anniversary, more than 100 motorcyclists have filed civil rights lawsuits against Abelino Reyna and various members of the Waco Police Department and the Department of Public Safety. The lawsuits allege, among other things, that the wholesale arrest of all motorcyclists present at Twin Peaks without any individualized consideration of whether they participated in any violence violated the United States Constitution. Reyna and the officials named in the lawsuits have asked the court to delay the lawsuits.

“Finally, lost in the constant delays sought by the State, is the tragic death of nine Texas citizens. Yet, to this day, the Waco Police Department has refused to tell the public how many of those nine killed were killed by law enforcement officers. Meanwhile, the Sword of Damocles hangs over the heads of those indicted and, even two years later, these motorcyclists and their families are being denied justice and are unable to move on with their lives because there is absolutely no end in sight as a result of the State’s delaying tactics. Also, during the past two years and likely into the next decade, McLennan County citizens are being asked to absorb the staggering financial burden of the ill conceived actions by their elected district attorney.”

Clint Broden Broden & Mickelsen
2600 State Street
Dallas, Texas 75204
214-563-3154

NCOM Biker Newsbytes

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NCOMNCOM Biker Newsbytes

Compiled & Edited by Bill Bish,
National Coalition of Motorcyclists (NCOM)

BIGGEST LITTLE NCOM CONVENTION IN RENO
Like “The Biggest Little City in the World,” this year’s 32nd annual NCOM Convention in Reno NV may have experienced a slight reduction in numbers, but it continues to be the largest gathering of bikers’ rights advocates on the planet with hundreds of representatives from Motorcyclists Rights Organizations (MROs), clubs and associations across the country.

The National Coalition of Motorcyclists (NCOM) board of directors moved to broaden the spectrum of programs aimed to assist bikers’ rights groups while expanding outreach to active segments of the motorcycling community such as the Confederations of Clubs, women riders, clean & sober, Christian Unity, sportbikers, tourers and veterans.  The NCOM Legislative Task Force likewise took action to provide supportive services on the legislative front, while the Aid to Injured Motorcyclists (AIM) nationwide network of biker attorneys continually develops new strategies for litigation on a litany of motorcycling issues.

In addition to meetings and breakout sessions conducted Mother’s Day Weekend, May 11-14 at the Silver Legacy casino, the NCOM Convention featured seminars on Federal Anti-Profiling Legislation, Civil Rights And How To Protect Them, Driverless Vehicles, and a special presentation by Sr. EMT Instructor Slider Gilmore on “The Diabetic Rider”.

During the Silver Spoke Awards Banquet on Saturday evening, several honorees were recognized for their contributions to “Improving The Image of Motorcycling”, including; GOVERNMENT: U.S. Senator Jodi Ernst of Iowa;  MEDIA: Scott & Denise High of Thunder Roads Magazine – Tennessee;  LEGAL: Christopher Slater, AIM Attorney for Oregon & Washington;  ENTERTAINMENT: Frank Fritz of “American Pickers” TV Show;  SPECIAL RECOGNITION: Stephen Stubbs, NCOM Attorney – Nevada; and NCOM’s highest honor, the Ron Roloff Lifetime Achievement Award, was presented to Boar, NCOM Liaison for Confederation of Clubs.

Next year’s 33rd Annual NCOM Convention will be held May 10-13, 2018 at the Renaissance – Riverview Plaza Hotel in Mobile, Alabama.  For further information, contact NCOM at (800) ON-A-BIKE or visit www.ON-A-BIKE.com.

ANTI-PROFILING LEGISLATION FILED IN U.S. HOUSE & SENATE
A bipartisan, bicameral group of lawmakers introduced a resolution to address the issue of motorcycle profiling and promote collaboration between the motorcycle and law enforcement communities. U.S. Representatives Tim Walberg (R-MI), Mark Pocan (D-WI), Michael C. Burgess, M.D (R-TX) and Collin Peterson (D-MN) led the effort in the House (H.Res. 318), and U.S. Senators Ron Johnson (R-WI) and Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) introduced the Senate version (S.Res.154).

“This bipartisan resolution should send a clear message to relevant regulatory and law enforcement agencies across the country: motorcycle profiling has no place on our roads. Instead, we must foster collaboration and cooperation between these agencies and the riders in order to promote safety and ensure all motorists are treated fairly under the law,” stated Rep. Pocan in a press release issued by Rep. Walberg, co-chair of the House Motorcycle Caucus.

“From coast to coast, Americans of all backgrounds responsibly ride a motorcycle as their means of transportation or simply to enjoy the open road.  This bipartisan resolution aims to raise awareness about the reality of motorcycle profiling and foster an open dialogue between motorcyclists and law enforcement,” said Walberg.

H.Res.318 – “Promoting awareness of motorcycle profiling and encouraging collaboration and communication with the motorcycle community and law enforcement officials to prevent instances of profiling,” has been referred to the House Judiciary Committee, and defines profiling as; “motorcycle profiling means the illegal use of the fact that a person rides a motorcycle or wears motorcycle related apparel as a factor in deciding to stop and question, take enforcement action, arrest, or search a person or vehicle with or without legal basis under the Constitution of the United States.”

CONGRESSIONAL MOTORCYCLE CAUCUS SEEKS MEMBERS
Since 2009, the Congressional Motorcycle Caucus has provided a forum for members of Congress who ride to support motorcyclists “through education and awareness in order to encourage responsible motorcycling.”  The CMC also “serves to ensure that the motorcycling community is treated equitably by Congress as it considers infrastructure and environmental policies, as well as safety and education programs.”

U.S. Representatives Tim Walberg (R-MI) and Michael C. Burgess, M.D. (R-TX) head the caucus, and with the new Congress being recently seated the two sent a “Dear Colleague” letter to their peers in the U.S. House of Representatives soliciting CMC memberships from those who ride or have an interest in motorcycle issues: “We invite you to join the CMC to help promote these and other initiatives,” and in addition to promoting sound policy, “CMC members can help highlight the safety of motorcyclists through the recognition of Motorcycle Awareness Month, hosting and participating in industry fly-ins, drawing attention to the national ‘Ride to Work Day,’ promoting rider awareness and safety at national events — such as the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally and Summer X Games — ensuring motorcycle safety is remembered in the transportation reauthorization process, and working to remind operators to be aware of motorcycles with whom they share the roads and highways.”

If he or she rides, please encourage your Congressional Representative to join the CMC by contacting Rep. Burgess’ office at 5-7772 or Rep. Walberg at 5-6276.

HISTORIC VEHICLE REGISTRATION
A federal bill has been introduced in the 115th Congress “to establish a program to accurately document vehicles that were significant in the history of the United States.”

The National Historic Vehicle Register Act of 2017 (S.966) was introduced April 27, 2017 by U.S. Senators Gary Peters (D-MI) and Rob Portman (R-OH) and would require the U.S. Department of the Interior to create a register housed in the Library of Congress to preserve examples of historically significant automobiles, motorcycles, trucks and commercial vehicles.

This project is the first of its type to create a permanent archive of significant historic vehicles that would include short narratives, photographs and engineering drawings of each vehicle.  To be eligible for the register, vehicles must be connected to a significant person or event in American history, have a unique design or be a rare model.

The Senate bill has been referred to the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources.

LIQUOR SALES CHARGE AGAINST MOTORCYCLE CLUB DISMISSED
A North Dakota district court judge has dismissed a liquor sales charge against a Minot motorcycle club, following motions to dismiss filed by Aid to Injured Motorcyclists (A.I.M.) Attorney Justin Vinje and the prosecuting attorney.

The Ice Cold Ryders Motorcycle Club had been charged with engaging in the unlicensed sale of alcohol at their clubhouse.  A police investigation of a nearby disturbance during the morning of November 29, 2015, led law enforcement to peer inside the clubhouse during a social gathering.

Inside, officers saw a large number of people socializing and drinking alcoholic beverages.  Law enforcement concluded that unlicensed liquor sales were occurring.  One officer testified in support of a search warrant, falsely claiming to have also seen a cash register in the clubhouse.

Law enforcement received a search warrant and entered the clubhouse later that morning, seizing the club’s security equipment, sound system, coolers, alcoholic beverages, and paper documents.  Law enforcement also froze the club’s bank accounts.

On October 6, 2016, nearly a year after the raid, law enforcement charged the club with the unlicensed sale of alcohol.  A.I.M. Attorney Justin Vinje represented the club and requested law enforcement’s investigative reports.  Those reports mainly consisted of an analysis of the club’s banking records and an inventory of items seized.  The reports also revealed that law enforcement never seized a cash register from the premises.

During the case, a confidential informant with ties to local law enforcement contacted Vinje, telling the club’s lawyer that law enforcement asked her to attend club gatherings and wear a wireless recording device to capture proof of unlicensed alcohol sales.

The informant wore a wire and attended two club gatherings in the spring of 2016.  A SWAT team stood at the ready to raid the club in the event of illegal activity.  No unlawful alcohol sales took place, but the government failed to provide any records of this to the defense.

Attorney Vinje filed a motion to dismiss the charge, due to the government’s failure to turn over records related to the confidential informant’s activities.  Vinje also filed a motion to suppress evidence from the search, arguing that law enforcement testified falsely about the presence of a cash register during its application for the search warrant.

Three days later, the government filed a motion to dismiss the charge, citing insufficient evidence to proceed and that dismissal would serve the interest of judicial economy.  The case was dismissed.

NEW HAMPSHIRE REPEALS HANDLEBAR HEIGHT LAW
Without a federal standard, the regulation of handlebars on motorcycles rests with the states, and until recently New Hampshire was among more than 30 states that limit the height of handlebars.

On May 15, 2017 N.H. Governor Chris Sununu signed SB27; “RSA 266:77, relative to grips and handlebars on motorcycles, is repealed.”

The Granite State began regulating handlebars in 1967, a time when many state legislatures associated motorcycling with the counter-culture captured by films like “The Wild Ones” and “Easy Rider,” explained Charlie St. Clair, executive director of the Laconia Motorcycle Week Association. “Law enforcement pulled people over for high bars as a tool for probable cause,” he said in applauding the bill’s passage, adding, “I have never heard of handlebars presented as a safety issue.”

Unfortunately for attendees of this year’s Laconia Motorcycle Week, held annually since 1923 during the nine days in June ending on Father’s Day, the law becomes effective 60 days after passage, which will be July 11, 2017.

BILL ADDRESSES “MASKED” MOTORCYCLISTS BEING CITED IN LOUISIANA
Louisiana has a law prohibiting the wearing of masks in public, and according to an article in the Baton-Rouge Times-Picayune, motorcycle riders are being “pulled over and ticketed under the mask-wearing law because they were wearing helmets that concealed their faces.”  Louisianans are banned from “concealing their faces with masks or hoods, except during Mardi Gras, Halloween or for religious reasons.”

Now a bill authored by Rep. Alan Seabaugh (R-Shreveport), HB161, would revise the law to exempt motorcycle safety helmets.  By all indications, the bill will pass, and it is currently pending Senate final passage.  Speaking before the Committee on Administration of Criminal Justice, Rep. Seabaugh said his bill arose out of complaints from motorcyclists in his district who said they have been harassed by “overzealous law enforcement officers.”  Riders have been pulled over at random, according to testimony by ABATE of Louisiana, claiming one officer in particular has targeted motorcyclists whose helmets and face shields concealed their faces.

Apparently recognizing the absurdity of ticketing motorcyclists for wearing helmets, when helmets are required by law, committee members unanimously agreed that the mask-wearing ban needs revision.  They tacked on an amendment “clarifying that the exemption only applied to motorcycle helmets being used during a ride,” then recommended the bill for full House approval.

Rep. Terry Landry (D-New Iberia), a former Louisiana State Police superintendent, thanked the committee for supporting the bill. “I think it corrects a wrong.”

WEIRD NEWS: MAN ATTEMPTED SEX WITH MOTORCYCLE
A man has appeared in court in Canterbury, England for allegedly attempting to have sex with Suzuki’s most alluring model, a GSX-R.  Mechanophilia, where a person is sexually attracted to cars, motorcycles, helicopters, ships, planes and other vehicles, is a crime in the U.K. and if found guilty, perpetrators can be placed on the sex offenders’ register.

The 33-year old chap reportedly exposed himself in public and tried to engage in a tempestuous relationship with his motorcycle, after previously being seen punching and kicking the bike on the same day.  Apparently drunk and on drugs, he claimed in court to remember dropping his trousers but denied exposing himself and has pleaded not guilty to indecent exposure and criminal damage.

QUOTABLE QUOTE:  “The one thing that doesn’t abide by majority rule is a person’s conscience.”

–Harper Lee (1926-2016) author of the classic novel “To Kill a Mockingbird”

No Coverage For Motorcycle Clubs

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insurance-policy_featured-image-620x350State Farm Insurance Says No Coverage For Motorcycle Clubs

by David “Double D” Devereaux
Motorcycle Profiling Project

The MPP received a copy of this letter from State Farm Insurance notifying a chapter of the Legacy Vets Motorcycle Club in Florida that the insurance coverage on their clubhouse was being cancelled. State Farm’s explanation for the policy cancellation is “we don’t provide coverage for businesses engaged in motorcycle clubs.” The MPP personally verified the incident in a face-to-face conversation with the individual that provided the letter to the MPP. He is a member of the chapter denied coverage.

Millions Could Be Denied Coverage?

Although there might be nothing technically illegal with State Farm’s actions because they are a private company, the blatantly discriminatory policy stands diametrically opposed to a the ideas of free expression and association and, in this instance, respect for the service of Veterans.

The Vietnam/Legacy Vets Motorcycle Club extends coast to coast and has a massive membership. And to be balanced, if there were a specific or legitimate reason given why this particular club had their coverage cancelled then it may be understandable and motorcyclists would raise no objection. But the letter explicated a general policy of not providing “coverage for businesses engaged in motorcycle clubs.”

The potential number of people impacted beyond this club is staggering. The AMA estimates that there are approximately 10 million registered motorcyclists in America, many of whom belong to motorcycle clubs. And the influence of Veterans on motorcycle club culture is generally accepted as common knowledge.

Beyond motorcycle clubs themselves, many of which are registered nonprofit entities, many businesses are “engaged” with motorcycle clubs. Consider the thousands of motorcycle repair and apparel shops that regularly engage in business with members of motorcycle clubs and their property. Motorcycle manufacturers as well. And the thousands of public accommodations, including bars and restaurants in all 50 states, that host motorcycle club charity events and engage in business with motorcycle clubs on a daily basis.

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NCOM Biker Newsbytes

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NCOM Biker Newsbytes

NCOM Biker Newsbytes

Compiled & Edited by Bill Bish,
National Coalition of Motorcyclists (NCOM)

First-Ever Motorcycle Caucus Formed In U.S. Senate
In a rare bipartisan effort, motorcyclists are getting a very special form of representation in the U.S. Senate as two Senators are reaching across the aisle to establish the first Senate Motorcycle Caucus.  Kickstarting this unique legislative road trip, Joni Ernst (R-Iowa) and Gary Peters (D-Michigan), both lifelong motorcyclists, will serve as co-chairs of the caucus, which will advocate on behalf of both motorcycle riders and manufacturers.

Sen. Ernst said her concern for motorcycles and motorcyclists started when she was a child.  “Some of my most cherished memories include motorcycles, from delivering messages as a young girl to my dad while he was working out in the fields, to riding through the rolling hills of Northeast Iowa with family and friends,” Ernst said.  “Throughout my 99 county tour of Iowa, I have heard from many of these folks about some of their priorities, including improving safety, infrastructure and energy efficiency.  These concerns are shared by folks across our great state and country, and I look forward to working with Sen. Peters toward solutions.”

Sen. Peters bought his first motorcycle at age 11.  “I’ve loved motorcycles since I was a kid, and I started a newspaper route to buy my first motorcycle at age 11.  To this day, I believe there is no better way to see Michigan’s beautiful scenery than by bike, whether I’m riding to meet with constituents and small businesses or taking my bike out on the weekend,” Peters said.  “Motorcyclists come from all walks of life, and I can’t think of a better way to bring together a diverse and dedicated group of advocates to discuss everything from safety concerns to manufacturing.  I’m looking forward to working with Sen. Ernst as co-chair of the bipartisan Senate Motorcycle Caucus to foster these important discussions and find common ground with motorcycle lovers across the country.”

Security And Privacy In Your (Spy) Car Study Act
With motorcyclists sharing the road with a growing number of Smart vehicles, security from cyber-intrusion is a significant safety concern, and U.S. Reps Joe Wilson (R-SC) and Ted Lieu (D-CA) have introduced H.R. 701; the Security and Privacy in Your Car Study Act of 2017 (“SPY Car Study Act”) to address automotive software safety, cybersecurity and privacy regulations.

This bill would require the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to conduct a study to determine and recommend standards for the regulation of the cybersecurity of motor vehicles manufactured or imported for sale in the United States. The study shall identify:

  • isolation measures that are necessary to separate critical software systems that can affect the driver’s control of the movement of the vehicle from other software systems;
  • measures that are necessary to detect and prevent or minimize anomalous codes, in vehicle software systems, associated with malicious behavior;
  • techniques that are necessary to detect and prevent, discourage, or mitigate intrusions into vehicle software systems and other cybersecurity risks in motor vehicles; and
  • best practices to secure driving data about a vehicle’s status or about the owner, lessee, driver, or passenger of a vehicle that is collected by the electronic systems of motor vehicles; and
  • a timeline for implementing systems and software that reflect such measures, techniques, and best practices.

Police Motorcycle Hit By Autopilot Tesla
According to a report in the Arizona Republic, a Phoenix police motorcycle was hit by a Tesla Model X operating on autopilot.  Police said the officer and the Tesla exited a freeway with the motorcycle in front.  When the rider stopped for a light, the car stopped as well, but then started moving forward.  The officer jumped off the bike, which was struck at low speed by the car.

The driver reported having the car on autopilot at the time. The officer was uninjured and the car driver wasn’t ticketed.

Tesla has warned customers in the past that its autopilot mode does not mean a driver can completely disengage, but increasingly it seems customers are unwilling to listen.  Tesla’s website specifically states that drivers are in command of their vehicles after exiting freeways.

The company announced in October that it would soon begin including hardware in its vehicles that could make them fully autonomous.  Currently, the vehicles are simply equipped with driver aids like forward collision warning, automatic braking and auto steering.

“Autocycles” No Longer Considered Motorcycles In Two More States
Colorado and Wyoming are the latest states to reclassify their licensing requirements which allow drivers of so-called “Autocycles”, such as the Polaris Slingshot, to operate the vehicle with a valid state driver’s license instead of requiring a motorcycle endorsement or license.  Drivers under the age of 18 will still be required to wear a helmet, in accordance with the states’ motorcycle helmet laws.

Because of the three-wheeled configuration and characteristics of autocycles, determining how to classify them has been a challenge for state governments.  Polaris calls the Slingshot a “three-wheeled moto-roadster.”  Initially, when it was introduced to the market in 2014, consumers were required to have a motorcycle endorsement or license to operate the Slingshot, which offers a distinct ride through its open cockpit and side-by-side seating.

Currently, 30 states, including the District of Columbia, require only a driver’s license to drive an autocycle.  The remaining states require a motorcycle endorsement, but Polaris says efforts are being made to reclassify the vehicle to gain full conformity throughout the United States.

“As we educate state officials on the unique attributes of this category-creating Slingshot, they are realizing that the licensing requirement for the roadster are more similar to that of a driver’s license than of a motorcycle endorsement or license,” said Rachael Elia, Slingshot Marketing Manager. “Our goal is to gain a unified classification across the country to provide more opportunity and driving freedom for consumers looking for the ultimate thrill experience.”

Driver Who “Didn’t Care” He Hit Motorcyclist Gets 15 Years
Remember the Texas driver who was filmed deliberately swerving across centerline into a passing motorcyclist and then said “I don’t care” that he’d knocked the rider and his girlfriend to the ground?

The heartless car driver is 69-year-old William Crum and following a two-day trial at 355th District Court in Hood County, Texas, he’s been sentenced to 15 years in prison after being convicted on one count of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and aggravated assault with a deadly weapon causing bodily injury.

The 15-year sentence means that Crum, who was arrested soon after the incident in Granbury, TX in October 2015, will be in prison until he’s 84.

Harley Pulled Into Political Fight Over Leather Products
Many challenges face motorcycle manufacturers selling their products in other countries; and a strange example of this is Harley-Davidson facing a public relations issue in India over leather, something as closely associated with bikers as the bikes they ride.

Leather comes from cows, which are revered and even worshiped by many in the Hindu community, and according to the Hindustan Times a well-known Bollywood actor is taking on the iconic American motorcycle-maker over religious principles.

Popular actor and producer Ajaz Khan is urging India’s Prime Minister to impose a ban on Harley-Davidson products, claiming they’re made from cow hide.  “I just bought a leather belt from Harley Davidson,” Khan is quoted by the Hindustan Times as saying. “This is a cow leather belt.  It’s being sold in the entire world.  If you really consider yourself men, then I request [the Prime Minister] shuts down Harley Davidson.”

Motorcycle Awareness Rally Put On Hold After London Terror Attack
A mass London “Awareness Ride-Out” to be held a day after a deadly terrorist attack in the vicinity of the Palace of Westminster, seat of the British Parliament, had to be rescheduled in the wake of the Wednesday, March 22 car attack that killed four and injured more than 50 pedestrians.

The campaign group “We Ride London,” which aims to be the “main lobby group for riders of motorcycles, scooters and mopeds in London,” had invited thousands to join a ride at 1pm on Thursday April 23, from Regents Park through central London to City Hall, but had to call the event off.  A statement on the group’s Facebook page said: “We have decided to cancel tomorrow’s awareness ride in light of the terrible events in our capital today.  Now is not the time to be hindering the emergency and security services as they investigate and recover from this.”

Rolling Into Reno For NCOM Convention
With the 32nd Annual NCOM Convention in Reno just weeks away, the National Coalition of Motorcyclists is requesting that MROs, Motorcycle Clubs, & riding associations submit the names of those members & supporters who have died this year, so that we may honor their memories during the traditional “Ringing of the Bell” tribute to fallen riders during the opening ceremonies.  Dedications can be hand-delivered at the Convention to “Doc” Reichenbach, NCOM Chairman of the Board, or e-mailed in advance to Bill Bish at NCOMBish@aol.com.

Attendees are also encouraged to bring an item on behalf of their organization for the Freedom Fund Auction, with proceeds benefiting the motorcyclists’ rights movement nationwide through Getting Our People Elected donations, NCOM Speaker Program, lobbying activities & other pro-motorcycling projects as determined by the NCOM Board of Directors.

The 32nd annual NCOM Convention will be held Mother’s Day weekend, May 11-14 at the Silver Legacy Resort-Casino, 407 N. Virginia St. in Reno, NV, so reserve your room now for the special NCOM rate of $99 by calling (800) 687-8733 and mention “GNCOM17”.  Pre-register for the 2017 NCOM Convention at (800) 525-5355 or visit www.ON-A-BIKE.com.

QUOTABLE QUOTE:  “Among individuals, as among nations, respect for the rights of others is peace.”

~ Benito Juárez (1806-1872), President of Mexico

THE AIM/NCOM MOTORCYCLE E-NEWS SERVICE is brought to you by Aid to Injured Motorcyclists (A.I.M.) and the National Coalition of Motorcyclists (NCOM), and is sponsored by the Law Offices of Richard M. Lester. If you’ve been involved in any kind of accident, call us at 1-(800) ON-A-BIKE or visit www.ON-A-BIKE.com.

 

 

Government Threatening To Revoke Biker Bar Licenses

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government_coercion_no_colors_featured_Image-620x350Government Threatening To Revoke Biker Bar Licenses Nationally

By David “Double D” Devereoux
Motorcycle Profiling Project

The Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) of Virginia recently sent 30 letters to bars and restaurants in the Central part of the state warning that their licenses could be revoked for allowing “Outlaw Motorcycle Gang members to patronize their establishments.”  Although not directly demanding action in the form of “no motorcycle club colors” policies, that is the intended result of this coercion.

Government discrimination is illegal in any form. Wearing motorcycle club colors, including those labeled OMG’s by law enforcement, is protected by the 1st Amendment. Independently, coercing bar owners violates their constitutional right to pursue an occupation as established by case law.

Unfortunately, what’s happening in Virginia is a national epidemic occurring in states coast-to-coast. The unconstitutional practice of government agents coercing public establishments that serve club members must stop. The 1st and 14th Amendments demand it.

Law Enforcement Coercion Is A National Epidemic
According to the National Motorcycle Profiling Survey 2015-2016, an alarming 42% of survey participants reported knowing of a business being forced not serve club members. Forms of harassment and coercion includes excessive code enforcement violations, threatening denial or renewal of liquor license and or permits, and police harassment of customers and business owners.

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Oregon: Tax All Vehicles Over 20 Years Old

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old-car-tax-2Oregon Plan to Tax All Vehicles Over 20 Years Old

Our friend over at Eric Peters Autos clued us into a bill that was just introduced in Oregon, which imposes a $1,000 tax on all motor vehicles (including your motorcycle!) over 20 years old. The tax is to be paid every five years, in perpetuity.

He writes:

“For planned obsolescence to work, you’ve got to keep the conveyor belt rolling. And most of all, prevent anyone from getting off. It is a problem if people “cling” to their old cars instead of regularly trading them in – ideally, to be crushed – for new ones – hopefully, heavily financed. But how to get rid of the old cars when people decline to get rid of them voluntarily?
Democratic politicians in Oregon have just the thing.
It is House Bill 2877 and – if it becomes law – it will impose heavy taxes on cars 20 years old or more to the tune of $1,000 payable every five years, in perpetuity – unless the owner obtains Antique Vehicle registration and tags for the vehicle.”
The Antique tags, of course, cost extra – and once registered as an Antique, the vehicle may no longer be legally driven regularly but only occasionally, to “parades” and “shows” and so on. It’s one step away from drilling holes in the engine block and turning the car into a static display.

The legislation would make older cars either functionally useless – or usuriously expensive to drive . . . if you insist on clinging.A grand every five years. So, two every ten. Four every twenty. In exchange for the privilege of being allowed to keep “your” car.

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The bill is here

 

FBI Uses Local Cops To Profile Bikers

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fbi-video-featured-image-620x350Video Proves FBI Uses Local Cops To Profile Bikers

By David “Double D” Devereaux
Motorcycle Profiling Project

The Motorcycle Profiling Project (MPP) recently received a video capturing a typical motorcycle profiling stop that occurred in September 2016. One of the victims explained to the MPP that a group of Ft. Worth Gang Task Force officers in four vehicles conducted a stop on four motorcyclists wearing motorcycle club insignia. On video, a Ft. Worth officer admits that he has engaged in a pattern of profiling and stopping individuals based on their associations with motorcycle clubs in order to photograph and gather intelligence.

Although disturbing, motorcycle profiling stops are becoming more common, so this admission is not shocking. What is shocking is the explanation for why a policy of profiling exists in the first place.

On video, in response to one of the bikers commenting that they were good guys, a Ft. Worth officer says,

“Unfortunately, for you all at least, the FBI leaves it upon us to take pictures and make contact with everyone associated with. And even though y’all don’t claim 1%, y’all associate with 1%’ERS. So, we kinda gotta stop y’all every once in a while too, you know what I mean?”

NCOM Biker Newsbytes

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NCOM Biker NewsbytesNCOM Biker Newsbytes

Compiled & Edited by Bill Bish,
National Coalition of Motorcyclists (NCOM)

Congressional Bills Reintroduced To Curb Ethanol
Calling the Federal Ethanol Mandate “a Flop,” a bipartisan group of lawmakers have re-introduced two bills in the U.S. House of Representatives to cap the ethanol content of commercial gasoline and decrease the total volume of renewable fuel that must be contained in gasoline on the American market.

“It’s time the ethanol mandate became a thing of the past.  While well-intentioned from the start, after a decade of this policy it couldn’t be more obvious that the RFS is a flop,” announced Congressman Bob Goodlatte (R-VA) on March 2, 2017 after introducing two bills to alter the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS), the RFS Elimination Act (H.R. 1314) and the RFS Reform Act (H.R. 1315).

Reps. Goodlatte, Jim Costa (D-CA), Steve Womack (R-AR), and Peter Welch (D-VT) issued a joint statement after reintroducing H.R. 1315; “The Renewable Fuel Standard is a well-intentioned flop…it’s clearer than ever that the federal government’s creation of an artificial market for the ethanol industry has resulted in a domino effect that is hurting people across the country.”

The RFS Elimination Act (H.R. 1314) has the support of 60 bipartisan cosponsors and would repeal the Renewable Fuel Standard which mandates that 36 billion gallons of renewable fuels (primarily corn ethanol) be part of our nation’s fuel supply by 2022.  The RFS Reform Act (H.R. 1315), which has the support of 42 cosponsors, “eliminates corn-based ethanol requirements, caps the amount of ethanol that can be blended into conventional gasoline at 10 percent, requires the EPA to set cellulosic biofuels levels at production levels, and decreases the total volume of renewable fuel that must be contained in gasoline sold or introduced into commerce for years 2017-2022.”

Black Box Privacy Protection Act
H.R.736, the “Black Box Privacy Protection Act”, was introduced in the House on January 30, 2017 by Rep. Michael Capuano (D-MA).  This bill amends the Automobile Information Disclosure Act to require manufacturers of new automobiles to disclose on the information label affixed to the window of the automobile: (1) the presence and location of an event data recorder (commonly referred to as a “black box”), (2) the type of information recorded and how such information is recorded, and (3) that the recording may be used in a law enforcement proceeding.

The bill sets forth similar requirements for motorcycle manufacturers.

An “event data recorder” is any device or means of technology installed in an automobile that records information such as automobile or motorcycle speed, seatbelt use, application of brakes, or other information pertinent to the operation of the automobile or motorcycle.  The bill prohibits the manufacture, sale, offering for sale, or import into the United States of an automobile manufactured after model year of 2016 that is equipped with an event data recorder, unless the consumer can control the recording of information.

Violators are liable to the U.S. government for a civil penalty of up to $5,000 for each violation with a maximum penalty of $35 million for a related series of violations. The event data recorder in an automobile or motorcycle, and any data recorded, shall be considered the property of the owner of the automobile or motorcycle.  Retrieval or downloading of recorded data by any other person is unlawful, except: (1) with the owner’s consent, (2) in response to a court order, or (3) by a dealer or automotive technician to service the vehicle.  Certain violations are to be treated as unfair or deceptive acts or practices under the Federal Trade Commission Act.

Idaho Senate Kills Anti-Profiling Bill That House Unanimously Endorsed
Idaho senators killed a proposal outlawing motorcycling profiling, which had passed the House unanimously, defeating H.B.123 on the Senate floor by a vote of 22-13 on March 15. Read More

Idaho House Unanimously Approves Anti-Motorcycle Profiling Bill

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idaho-hb123-featured-image-620x350Idaho House Unanimously Approves Anti-Motorcycle Profiling Bill

By David “Double D” Devereaux

Motorcycle Profiling Project

Grassroots manpower is the most powerful tool in the motorcycle rights movement’s arsenal and motorcycle clubs are a critical component. This power was again demonstrated by the Idaho motorcycle club community and ABATE of Idaho beginning on February 21, 2017 when HO 123, a law prohibiting motorcycle profiling, passed out of the House Judiciary committee with a unanimous do-pass recommendation. On February 27th the entire Idaho House of Representatives voted 69-0-1 (one rep. was absent) in favor of HO 123. Which will now go through the same process in the Senate and, if successful, will ultimately be the third state to send similar legislation to their Governor’s desk to be signed into law.

Manpower and The Public Hearing
Bikers filled every available seat during the public hearing, so the adjacent room was opened up in order to accommodate the overflow. Bikers are one of the most visible constituencies actively utilizing the democratic process through grassroots mobilization. The movement to pass anti- motorcycle profiling laws at the state and federal level is proof positive, and legislators are  taking notice.

HO 123’s primary sponsor, Representative Robert Anderst, introduced the bill, emphasizing that the goal was to look forward and improve the relationship between law enforcement and the biking community. Rep. Anderst testified that his support stemmed from the perspective of  both a legislator and an advocate. Rep. Anderst is a biker himself, and proudly stands with the motorcycle community.

Anderst said, “We definitely aren’t the caricature sensationalized on TV. Just like any large group, we are made up of individuals … tradesmen to attorneys, truckers to clergy – even a few legislators. What I can say is that the vast majority are hardworking, productive members of society who want to be left alone.”

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Message from MRF President

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CALL TO ACTIONA Message from MRF President, Kirk ‘Hardtail’ Willard – CALL TO ACTION

As many of you know, last year the MRF assumed a new endeavor related to the unconstitutional practice of motorcycle profiling. After reports began to rise from our own membership citing instances where they felt singled out by law enforcement simply because of their appearance, apparel, or because they are simply riding a motorcycle, the MRF decided to take action.

Working with its partners within the Anti-Profiling Action Group, the MRF developed a strategy at the national level to help combat profiling, an issue that affects ALL riders and is unfortunately increasing. We know this to be true because of a survey put forth by the Motorcycle Profiling Project. In 2015, the survey found over 50% of riders across the U.S. reported being unjustifiably stopped by police at least once while riding their motorcycles.  With a participation level of over 5,000 motorcyclists nation-wide, these facts and figures will help support and solidify our concerns over this issue when addressing lawmakers in Washington, D.C.

This year, the Motorcycle Profiling Project has launched another survey designed to reach an even broader audience. Like the previous survey, its results will be used as critical tools in the efforts to obtain legislative relief across the country.

I am asking you to take a few moments and fill out the survey, which can be accessed by clicking on the link below.
It’s completely anonymous and it’s only 15 questions.
YOUR VOICE MAKES A DIFFERENCE!

http://www.motorcycleprofilingproject.com/national-motorcycle-profling-survey/

On behalf of the entire MRF membership and its Board of Directors, thank you for your support on this issue.

RIDE FREE-

KirkWillard-Signature

 

 

 

About Motorcycle Riders Foundation
The Motorcycle Riders Foundation (MRF) provides leadership at the federal level for states’ motorcyclists’ rights organizations as well as motorcycle clubs and individual riders. The MRF is chiefly concerned with issues at the national and international levels that impact the freedom and safety of American street motorcyclists. The MRF is committed to being a national advocate for the advancement of motorcycling and its associated lifestyle and works in conjunction with its partners to help educate elected officials and policymakers in Washington and beyond.

NCOM Biker Newsbytes

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National Coalition of MotorcyclistsNCOM Biker Newsbytes

Compiled & Edited by Bill Bish,
National Coalition of Motorcyclists (NCOM)

Butch Harbaugh, Gone But Not Forgotten
It is with great sadness that we report the death of longtime Freedom Fighter, Butch Harbaugh, former Chairman of the National Coalition of Motorcyclists – Legislative Task Force (NCOM-LTF), among other positions.  Butch passed away February 7th from heart failure and cancer.

“When I began as the AIM (Aid to Injured Motorcyclists) and NCOM Attorney for Oregon back in the late 1980’s, Butch was actively involved with ABATE, and with BikePAC since it was founded,” recalls Sam Hochberg, AIM Attorney Emeritus, and now Of Counsel to Christopher Slater, Oregon & Washington AIM Attorney.  “He spent many years as the lobbyist for ABATE, and was well-known, respected and liked by many in the legislature in Salem.”

A biker rights activist since the 1970s, Butch attended and helped organize many STEAM conferences and ABATE/BikePac planning retreats.  He was a regular at many ABATE runs around the state, often helping AIM Chief of Staff “Gunny”, now retired, at the AIM/NCOM tables, and was known and highly respected in the biker’s rights community nationwide.

Butch also participated in many NCOM Conventions, and in 2003 was bestowed with the Ron Roloff Lifetime Achievement Award, NCOM’s highest tribute.  This year’s 32nd Annual Convention, to be held over Mother’s Day weekend May 11-14th in Reno, Nevada at the Silver Legacy Resort Casino, will be dedicated in his honor.

For the past dozen or so years, Butch lived with his loving wife Laura in Rigby, Idaho, where he enjoyed riding his Panhead and was active in the home-brewing community.  Always friendly, engaging and enthusiastic about motorcycles and biker’s rights, he will be greatly missed.

With the 32nd Annual NCOM Convention in Reno just weeks away, at this time the National Coalition of Motorcyclists is requesting that MROs, motorcycle clubs, and riding associations submit the names of those members and supporters who have died since last May, so that we may honor their memories during the traditional “Ringing of the Bell” tribute to fallen riders during the opening ceremonies.  Dedications should be e-mailed in advance to Bill Bish at NCOMBish@aol.com, or can be hand-delivered at the Convention to “Doc” Reichenbach, NCOM Chairman of the Board.

NHTSA Seeks To Curb Driver Distractions
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is proposing new federal guidelines to provide a safety framework for developers of portable and aftermarket electronic devices to use when developing visual-manual user interfaces for their systems.  According to NHTSA and the Department of Transportation (DOT), their “Visual-Manual NHTSA Driver Distraction Guidelines for Portable and Aftermarket Devices” [Docket No. NHTSA-2013-0137] will “encourage innovative solutions such as pairing and Driver Mode that, when implemented, will reduce the potential for unsafe driver distraction by limiting the time a driver’s eyes are off the road, while at the same time preserving the full functionality of these devices when they are not used while driving.”

Driver distraction is a specific type of inattention that occurs when drivers divert their attention away from the driving task to focus on another activity.  This distraction can come from electronic devices, such as texting or emailing on cell phones or smartphones, and more traditional activities such as interacting with passengers, eating, or events external to the vehicle.

The crash data indicate that visual-manual interaction (an action that requires a user to look away from the roadway and manipulate a button or interface) with portable devices, particularly cell phones, is often the main distraction for drivers involved in crashes.

In 2015, 10% of the 35,092 traffic fatalities involved one or more distracted drivers, and these distraction-affected crashes resulted in 3,477 fatalities, an 8.8% increase from the 3,197 fatalities in 2014.  Of the 5.6 million non-fatal crashes in 2014, 16% were distraction-affected crashes, and resulted in 424,000 people injured.

At any given time, an estimated 542,073 drivers are using hand-held cell phones while driving.

Currently no safety guidelines exist for portable device technologies when they are used during a driving task.

Researchers Blame “Other Drivers” For Most Motorcycle Accidents
An Australian study states “failure of other drivers to give way” as the most common factor in motorcycle accidents.  Research by Monash University in Melbourne has found that human error was the primary contributing factor for 94% of bike accidents.  “Whilst with single-bike crashes, rider error and loss of control were found to be the most common causes, for incidents involving more than one vehicle, it was found that ‘motorcycle crashes occurring in lighter traffic more likely involved an error by another driver, including such things as failure to give way’.”

The motorcycle crash research studied over two hundred and thirty accidents between January 2012 and August 2014, with nurses at the hospitals and crash scene investigators aiding with the compilation of the data.

“Whilst car drivers were responsible for the majority of accidents in less-dense traffic, it was the motorcyclist to be more likely at fault for most ‘urban’ crashes and collisions however,” Trevor Allen of the Monash University Research Centre told The Herald Sun newspaper, adding that this was most likely due to the greater frequency of danger; “Higher traffic density leads to more hazards and a higher level of difficulty for riders to move safely in and among traffic, compared with other vehicles.”

The research also found that the older the rider, the less likely it was that the rider was primarily to blame for the accident. Read More

NCOC Video Exposes National Motorcycle Profiling Epidemic

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Motorcycle Profiling EpidemicNCOC Video Exposes National Motorcycle Profiling Epidemic

David “Double D” Devereaux
Motorcycle Profiling Project

A video released by the National Council of Clubs (NCOC) this week makes a strong argument for laws addressing the issue of motorcycle profiling. Video footage depicts irrefutable examples of excessive force including ramming bikes with patrol cars, excessive beatings without cause, and even an example of a trooper pepper spraying a pack of passing motorcycles.

According to an NCOC spokesperson, the video “Stop Motorcycle Profiling In America” was made possible by the media department at Brent Coon and Associates, an NCOC legal consultant. BCA’s media department gathered video clips from the community nationwide and produced a video designed as a call to action targeted at legislators, and all citizens, to push for laws addressing the issue of motorcycle profiling. The NCOC writes:

“The NCOC is committed to the national effort to pass these laws at the state and federal level and encourages all motorcyclists to share and spread the video as a tool to educate legislators and fellow Americans. Motorcycle profiling deprives individuals of their basic civil liberties, exposes the state to civil liability, and represents a gross misuse of public resources.”

 

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Feds Move Forward with Motorcyclist Advisory Council

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MRF-MACFeds Move Forward with Motorcyclist Advisory Council

Motorcyclists Severely Underrepresented

Washington, DC—Motorcyclists across the country were discouraged to find out that the Federal Highway Administration will only require one motorcyclist to serve on an Advisory Council supposedly dedicated to representing those who ride. The Motorcyclist Advisory Council, a newly reestablished group, is supposed to serve and advise the Federal Highway Administration on issues critical to motorcyclists across the nation. By design, the “MAC” would allow motorcyclists the opportunity to discuss how they are affected by roadway design, barriers, construction, and the emergence of intelligent transportation systems like driver-less vehicles. However, according to a notice in the Federal Register, the Council is instead requiring participants with safety and engineering backgrounds and only indicating room for one representative from the motorcycling community.

The MAC of the Past

The original Motorcyclist Advisory Council was established in a 2005 highway bill. The 2005 law called for the Administrator of the Federal Highway Administration to have a dialogue with the motorcycle community on infrastructure issues of concern to motorcyclists. The Council had 10 members consisting of representatives from the motorcycling community as well as individuals with professional expertise in national motorcyclist safety. According to the 2005 law, four of the ten council members were to include members of the motorcycling community from various state and federal motorcycle associations. The other 6 members would serve to provide the necessary technical expertise related to roadway design, safety and other issues.

However, in 2009 the highway bill expired and along with it, so did the Council. Motorcyclists were disheartened – the MAC was the only official forum they had to express to authorities at the Department of Transportation the issues they faced on the road. That’s why when the Council was reestablished in 2016, it was viewed as a positive development to once again open a dialogue between government officials and motorcyclists across the nation.

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Visit the Motorcycle Riders Foundation website for information.

Texas Biker Movement Alive and Strong After Waco Tragedy

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bikers-rally-in-austin-2017-featured-image-620x350Texas Biker Movement Alive and Strong After Waco Tragedy

By David “Double D” Devereaux

Motorcycle Profiling Project

The motorcycle rights movement is alive and thriving in the state of Texas. Although many motorcyclists conjectured that the tragedy that occurred in Waco on May 17, 2015 would reduce participation in the Texas Confederation of Clubs and Independents, over a thousand club members and independents showed up for the bi-annual Rally held at the Capitol in Austin every other year. On January 23, 2017, the Motorcycle Profiling Project joined select motorcycle rights advocates from around the country and a contingent representing the National Council of Clubs (NCOC) in a show of support and solidarity that clearly communicates that clubs and independents from across America support the Texas COC&I and Texas bikers in their struggle against motorcycle profiling and discrimination.

Crisis creates opportunity

After Waco, many in the biker community worried that the motorcycle rights movement in Texas would become fractured and lose participation. This logic was based on a couple of factors. There was supposed to be a Texas COC&I meeting at the Twin Peaks where the tragedy occurred. Would clubs and independents stop participating for fear that merely being present at a political meeting could get you arrested without individualized suspicion and given a 1-million-dollar bond? Would law enforcement start surrounding all TCOC&I political gatherings with a multi-agency task force with high powered rifles?

But Texas bikers have made another choice. The manpower behind the movement to protect motorcycle rights is still mobilized and politically active. TCOC&I meetings have continued to peacefully assemble statewide as they have for nearly 20 years without any incidents or violence.

In the face of crisis, Texas bikers have not laid down and surrendered to fear or complacency. Instead, they have chosen to stand up and fight for their liberties as demonstrated by the mass gathering at the Capitol on January 23rd. And this mobilization is nationwide as evidenced by the support from states coast-to-coast represented in Austin.

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American Motorcyclist Association Opposes Profiling of Motorcyclists

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AMALogo_DkBack_330American Motorcyclist Association opposes profiling of motorcyclists

Board of Directors adopts official position statement

PICKERINGTON, Ohio — The American Motorcyclist Association Board of Directors has adopted and issued an official position statement objecting to the profiling of motorcyclists by government agencies, including judging riders on their chosen apparel, mode of transportation or associates, rather than specific behavior and actions.

“The AMA strongly condemns the profiling of motorcyclists by government agencies and has long championed the undeniable fact that the vast majority of riders and enthusiasts are upstanding, law-abiding citizens,” the statement reads.

“Several states have considered bills aimed at curtailing the profiling of motorcyclists by law enforcement agencies and others,” said AMA Board Chair Maggie McNally-Bradshaw. “The Board believes this is an important issue facing everyone who rides, and the AMA remains at the forefront in promoting the motorcycle lifestyle and protecting the future of motorcycling.”

The AMA Board of Directors adopts and publishes position statements that delineate the organization’s official stance on issues of concern. The new statement on Motorcyclist Profiling is one of seven adopted by the Board. The full statement on Motorcyclist Profiling can be found here: www.americanmotorcyclist.com/About-The-AMA/motorcyclist-profiling.

The states of Washington (S.B. 5242 in 2011) and Maryland (S.B. 233 in 2016) passed legislation specifically forbidding the profiling of motorcyclists, and other states are considering similar legislation.

In 2012, California adopted A.B. 1047, outlawing motorcycle-only checkpoints. Checkpoints are also restricted by state law or judicial action in: Alaska, Louisiana, Missouri, North Carolina, Virginia, Illinois, New Hampshire, Idaho, Iowa, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Oregon, Rhode Island, Texas, Washington, Wisconsin and Wyoming.

About the American Motorcyclist Association

Founded in 1924, the AMA is a not-for-profit member-based association whose mission is to promote the motorcycle lifestyle and protect the future of motorcycling. As the world’s largest motorcycling rights and event sanctioning organization, the AMA advocates for riders’ interests at all levels of government and sanctions thousands of competition and recreational events every year. The AMA also provides money-saving discounts on products and services for its members. Through the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame in Pickerington, Ohio, the AMA honors the heroes and heritage of motorcycling. For more information, visit www.americanmotorcyclist.com.

Not a member? Join the AMA today: www.americanmotorcyclist.com/membership/join


Motorcycle Only Checkpoints Still a Reality in Many States

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MOC-RB-2Motorcycle Only Checkpoints Still a Reality in Many States

David “Double D” Devereaux
For Russ Brown Motorcycle Attorneys

Imagine riding your motorcycle to a benefit and seeing a sign saying “Motorcycles must exit at rest area.” Although you’ve done nothing wrong, and your motorcycle registration and insurance are up to date an current, you will be subject to a random seizure and inspection. You pull into the rest area as instructed and are greeted by a LEO’s from multiple agencies, including the gang task force. While one group conducts safety inspections the gang task force uses the opportunity to take pictures and document every motorcycle stopped. Very few citations are issued relative to the number of bikes stopped. Since 2007, similar incidents have happened all over America. And now, you too have just experienced a motorcycle-only checkpoint, or MOC.

History of Motorcycle-Only Checkpoints

Most date the birth of MOC’s as 2007 as a way to crackdown on motorcyclists in New York. In April of 2006, New York State Police Trooper Craig J. Todeschini attempted to chase down a reckless speeder on a motorcycle and lost control of his SUV. He died after he struck a tree.

“Response to this incident by the NYSP, which was widely acknowledged in law enforcement circles and elsewhere as categorical retaliation against motorcyclists, was fairly prompt. Less than a year and a half after Todeschini’s death, the country’s first-ever motorcycle-only checkpoint – named “Operation 5060” in the memory and honor of Todeschini’s badge number – was conducted on I-84 in East Fishkill, New York by the NYSP and led by then- Sergeant J. Halvorsen. This operation was a pilot – a blueprint for things to come.” 

After 2007, motorcycle-only checkpoints began appearing in other states. New York was so proud of this scheme “that they went touring the country showing law enforcement agencies around the nation how to do it.” This strategy was an easy sell as it amounted to huge wins for both the law enforcement agencies and the municipalities. Police ran the checkpoints on overtime and the feds footed the bill so the municipality didn’t pay for any of it.

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Arizona Helmet Law Defeated!

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eagleArizona Helmet Law Defeated!

As we have reported recently, Rep. Randall Friese, an Arizona lawmaker introduced House Bill 2046, which would have imposed a mandatory helmet law in the state, which is a free state for riders over the age of 18. ABATE of Arizona asked riders to start calling and mailing the the members of the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, asking for them to reject the new legislation.  Those entreaties were heard, and the committee voted UNANIMOUSLY against the measure.

The bill would have imposed a fine of $500 on violators, with $300 of the fine going directly to a fund to fund for head trauma patients, and in a twist, proposed that riders could pay a fee when registering their motorcycle allowing them to purchase an exemption to the law.

ABATE argued that training and education were more important than mandating safety equipment. “I believe that education is a far better preventative for crashes than helmets,” said Mike Infanzon, a lobbyist for American Brotherhood Aimed Toward Education of Arizona. “Education will prevent crashes more than helmets will save lives.” Bobby Hartman, with Arizona Motorcycle Safety and Awareness questioned the constitutionality of the measure, saying, “It is patently wrong to make a few individuals pay for everyone else’s potential expenses”

Great news for the Arizona riding community, and a testament to the power of direct action and the good work of ABATE of Arizona.

Source: Associated Press

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NCOM Biker Newsbytes

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Award-V1-NCOMNCOM Biker Newsbytes

Compiled & Edited by Bill Bish, National Coalition of Motorcyclists (NCOM)

RPM Act Reintroduced In New Congress
As the 115th Congress went into session, among the first bills reintroduced was the RPM Act (Recognizing the Protection of Motorsports Act of 2017), House Resolution 350 sponsored by U.S. Representative Patrick McHenry (R-NC).  The bipartisan bill, which was submitted for reintroduction on the first day of the new Congress, protects Americans’ right to modify street cars and motorcycles into dedicated race vehicles and industry’s right to sell the parts that enable racers to compete. The RPM Act ensures that transforming motor vehicles into race vehicles used exclusively in competition does not violate the Clean Air Act.  For nearly 50 years, the practice was unquestioned until the EPA published proposed regulations in 2015 that deemed such conversions illegal and subject to severe penalties.  While the EPA withdrew the problematic language from the final rule making last year, the agency still maintains the practice is unlawful. Motorsports competition involves tens of thousands of participants and vehicle owners each year, according to SEMA (Specialty Equipment Market Association) and retail sales of racing products make up a $1.4 billion market annually.  There are an estimated 1,300 racetracks operating across the U.S., including oval, road, track and off-road racetracks, the majority of which feature converted race vehicles that the EPA now considers to be illegal. The RPM Act, H.R. 350 would protect the sport of racing by blocking the EPA from over-regulating the industry and ensuring that it remains legal to convert street legal motor vehicles for racing purposes.

British Motorsports Threatened By EU Ruling
The British government has just issued a document for public consultation that suggests temporarily implementing a European Court decision known as the “Vnuk judgement,” which would make it compulsory for anyone engaging in any and all forms of motor sport to have third party insurance.  It would be applicable to all vehicles on any kind of land and even implementing it temporarily would mean an end to motorsports in the UK, because insurance companies will not insure against third party motorsport risks — the number of vehicle claims alone would be unsustainable for them, meaning that if the Vnuk judgement came into force, motorsport activity in the UK would cease. A joint statement issued by the Motorcycle Industry Association (MCIA), Auto Cycle Union (ACU) and the Amateur Motorcycle Association (AMCA) is calling on the government to exempt motor and motorcycle sport from any changes to insurance law that would arise from the ECJ ruling.  “At a stroke, this would wipe out a successful industry and all the jobs that go with it, as well as eliminating a popular leisure pursuit for 1.9 million people, along with the boost that this gives to both local and national economies,” said Steve Kenward, CEO of the MCIA, speaking on behalf of all three parties.  “If the government implements the Vnuk judgment un-amended, British motorcycle sport would end in the UK.” England is home to world leading motorcycle companies, motorsport teams and racing talent, and the industry contributes significantly to the British economy by employing over 50,000 people and generating a total of £11 billion of sales each year ($13.5 billion USD). The Vnuk ruling stems from a case involving a Slovenian farm worker, Damijan Vnuk, who was hurt falling from a ladder, which was hit by a reversing tractor. Read More

Jury Finds Mongols Not Guilty After Motorcycle Profiling Arrest

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mongols-not-guilty-motorcycle-profiling-arrest-620x350Jury Finds Mongols Not Guilty After Motorcycle Profiling Arrest

By David “Double D” Devereaux

Motorcycle Profiling Project

Motorcycle profiling is an epidemic in California and this fact is perfectly illustrated by recent actions targeting motorcycle club members by the San Diego Police Department. Specifically, one Detective Timothy Coyle has recently been targeting motorcycle club members with harassment and frivolous criminal charges related to the possession of weaved leather decorations as slung-shots, commonly called “Get Back Whips”. Documented incidents prove Detective Coyle has been targeting members of the Mongols and Chosen Few Motorcycle Clubs, harassing them, and arresting them frivolously.

Official complaints have been filed and last month a jury in San Diego rejected Coyle’s tactics and found two Mongols MC members not guilty related to illegal weapons charges deriving from so called “Get Back Whips.” Members of the Chosen Few MC are currently awaiting trial on the same charges, again involving Coyle.

This type of discrimination and profiling is unacceptable and must not be tolerated. Legislation prohibiting motorcycle profiling in California would be a cost efficient and effective solution.

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Arizona: Immediate Call To Action—Proposed Helmet Regulation

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eagleIMMEDIATE CALL TO ACTION – Proposed Helmet Regulation

Representative Randal Friese introduced legislation (HB2046) to amend SECTIONS 28-964, 28-6501 AND 41-3203, ARIZONA REVISED STATUTES; RELATING TO VEHICLES. Amending this statute would require all motorcycle riders in Arizona to wear a helmet or be subjected to a fine of Five Hundred dollars which three hundred would be going towards Rep. Friese and his friends and their spinal cord trauma practices. We have seen Rep. Friese try this game year after year and Arizona motorcyclists have succeeded in stopping this infringement on our right to choose to wear a helmet or not.

This proposed legislation has been referred to two different committees. I have listed the committee members below and their contact information. Call your representative to let them know that the over 200,000 Arizona motorcyclists do not want Rep. Friese to line his own pocket. This is nothing more than a tax on motorcyclists and an infringement on our rights.

Link to text of bill here: Read More

Helmet Law Action Alert – Delaware

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e18e1b_82a6e439adb7467292a59a6bb524c3e9Helmet Law Action Alert – Delaware

ABATE of Delaware is asking for help to defeat House Bill 14, which would create an all-ages helmet law in the state.  Delaware currently only requires a rider over the age of 19 to have a helmet in his possession, not on his or her head. Help preserve the right to ride free.

ABATE of Delaware is asking that Delaware residents write the committee legislators below, and “ask them to support you and the entire motorcycling community and against ANY Mandatory Helmet Legislation and why you feel that way.”

As expected Representative Sean M. Lynn (D-Dover) and Senator Gary F Simpson (R) have once again introduced a Mandatory Helmet Law – House Bill 14 in the state of delaware. It is now in the hands of the House Public Safety and Homeland Security Committee.

You may recall that these two attempted this during the last session with HB 54, but didn’t get a single vote to move it out of Committee.

We need to stop this bill in Committee!

In each email you send to the Committee Members address them by their position and name and close with your name and town.

Thank you in advance for your support,

Ed Berner
Legislative Coordinator
ABATE of Delaware
Proud BOLT member

House Bill 14

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Video Proves Austin Police Trampled Bikers Rights

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Video Proves Austin Police Trampled Bikers RightsVideo Proves Austin Police Trampled Bikers Rights

By David “Double D” Devereaux

Motorcycle Profiling Project

On Tuesday the 13th of December at approximately 1:15pm Cody King was the victim of a motorcycle profiling stop in Austin, Texas. Cody was stopped under the pretext of failing to properly signal while riding his motorcycle. But the real intent was to illegally detain Cody so they could violate his privacy without justification by taking pictures of tattoos all over his body. Most bikers and club members have a similar story about being profiled. But Cody went the extra step and recorded the entire incident, exactly what all bikers should do.

Why The Stop Is Illegal

Under federal law, the US Supreme Court recently explained exactly how the 4th Amendment works in terms of extending traffic stops for investigatory purposes beyond an investigation of the traffic infraction that justified the initial seizure. The majority in Rodriguez v. US (2015) writes:

“A seizure for a traffic violation justifies a police investigation of that violation” – not more — and “authority for the seizure . . . ends when tasks tied to the traffic infraction are – or reasonably should have been—completed…” Traffic stops have to be reasonably short, and unless there is reasonable suspicion of some other crime, officers can’t use the stop as a subterfuge for extraneous investigation.” 1

The extended duration of Cody’s stop amounts to a 4th Amendment violation. The moment that the APD officer confirmed that Cody would not be receiving a ticket, authority for the seizure ended because “tasks tied to the traffic infraction” were- “or reasonably should have been- completed…”

Extending the duration of the stop to take pictures of Cody absent “reasonable suspicion of some other crime” is unconstitutional “subterfuge for extraneous investigation.”

Independently, photo-stops violate an individual’s Fourth Amendment rights because an investigative technique must be “reasonably related” to the original suspicion that justified the stop. 2 Obviously, photographing Cody’s tattoos the investigative technique in this instance- is in no way “reasonably related” to the turn signal violation that justified the initial stop.

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NCOM Biker Newsbytes

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Award-V1-NCOMNCOM Biker Newsbytes

Compiled & Edited by Bill Bish,

National Coalition of Motorcyclists (NCOM)

DUMP TRUMP EFFORT IN THE DUMPS

In a last-ditch effort by Democratic strategists and the Hollywood elite to derail President-Elect Donald J. Trump’s ascension to the presidency, U.S. Electoral College delegates have been swamped with requests to ignore their pledge and “vote your conscience,” but longtime bikers’ rights advocate Jim Rhoades of ABATE of Michigan, one of that state’s 16 electors, says they’re cries are falling on deaf ears because he’s obligated to speak for the voters of his state.

Appearing on FOX News network’s “Your World” wearing his ABATE shirt, Rhoades revealed that he’s gotten over sixty thousand emails, phone calls and basketfuls of form letters calling on him to vote against Trump, as well as some threats, but believes fellow electors also feel steadfast about their duty and will support the will of their states’ voters when they cast their ballots on Monday, December 19th.

Calling the pressure tactics a “waste of time,” Rhoades told FOX News host Neil Cavuto in the nationally televised interview on December 15 that “I’m not intimidated by any of this stuff,” and added “I’ve been riding Harleys since the sixties, so I’ve been around a long time, I’m a grass roots political animal… and I love what Trump says, and he’s got me fired up looking for great things and looking to make America great again.”

In the aftermath of a norm-busting 2016 Presidential campaign, Trump won 306 Electoral College votes to Hillary Clinton’s 232, but if 36 “faithless electors” changed their ballots it would send the election to the U.S. House of Representatives to be determined, where Republicans hold a majority.  In the past, some electors turned “faithless” in nine out of the last 17 elections, and a total of 179 times throughout American history, but no electors have ever changed the outcome of an election by voting against their party’s designated candidate.

 

ANALYSTS ADVISE INVESTORS TO BET ON MOTORCYCLES AND PIZZA

Every U.S. presidential transition brings a change in priorities, forcing market gurus to bet on which sectors of the economy might benefit from the new administration, but with corporate analysts admittedly baffled by Donald Trump, prognosticators are doing some intellectual gymnastics.

Joseph Spak, a Royal Bank of Canada analyst, thinks Donald Trump’s $1 trillion plan to rebuild American infrastructure will ultimately provide construction workers with extra cash.  And what do construction workers like to spend money on?  Motorcycles, of course.

“If the economy is stimulated and construction jobs increase,” Spak recently predicted that Harley-Davidson Inc. “could see some better demand.”

According to the Wall Street Journal, another firm advises investors that pizza-delivery companies that benefited from a high-drama campaign that kept many diners glued to their televisions might continue to profit from the drama of a Trump transition.

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Why Conviction of Pagans MC Member was Overturned

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why-pagans-mc-member-conviction-overturned-featured-image-v2-620x350Why Conviction of Pagans MC Member was Overturned

By David “Double D” Devereaux
Motorcycle Profiling Project

On December 2, 2016 a Pennsylvania Superior Court Order overturned the conviction and sentence of Dennis Katona, identified by authorities as a former member of the Pagans Motorcycle Club convicted for possession and the intent to distribute a controlled substance. Despite Katona’s connection, prosecutors claim he was acting alone and without the club’s involvement. 1

Essentially the court determined that evidence obtained from the search of Katona’s home was inadmissible because independent probable cause is required for each intercept of a conversation occurring in a private residence. Therefore, a warrant allowing consensual intercepts of an individual in his home over a 30 day period violates both the US and Pennsylvania constitutions.2

The Superior Court’s Decision

In a 2-1 decision, the Court majority overturned Kastona’s conviction based on the state’s Supreme Court precedent case Commonwealth v. Brion decided in 1994. The Court argued that the constitution requires a judge to approve a search warrant when a wired informant enters someone’s home as opposed to meeting them on the street, in a car or in a restaurant. In Brion, the court held:

“Because the right to privacy in one’s domain is sacrosanct, we hold that Article 1 § 8 of the Pennsylvania Constitution precludes the police from sending a confidential informer into the home of an individual to electronically record his conversations.” 3

The Superior Court reasoned that a clear and unambiguous reading of both Supreme Court precedent and enacted legislation requires independent probable cause for every intercept in a private residence under both the state and federal constitutions. 4

“Because society places a higher expectation of privacy in a face-to-face conversation taking place within an individual’s home compared to a telephone conversation, a 30-day period of time in which to obtain such in-home intercepted communications does not comport with the protections afforded by the Fourth Amendment of the United States Constitution and Article I, Section 8 of the Pennsylvania Constitution.” 5

Although the Superior Court’s decision is positive for advancing protections against illegal search and seizures, the decision will likely be appealed.

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Independent Motorcyclists in Idaho Uniting to Fight Motorcycle Profiling

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Will Idaho Be The Third State To Pass An Anti-Motorcycle Profiling Law?

By David  “Double D” Devereaux
for Russ Brown Motorcycle Attorneys

On October 1st, ABATE of Southern Idaho hosted a “Legislative Fundraiser” to support their efforts to pass an anti-motorcycle profiling law in 2017. I was invited to participate and speak to the community about the process of successfully passing the law in Idaho.

What stood out to me the most about my trip to Idaho was the fact that independents and ABATE members were the driving force behind the movement to end profiling in their state. For many years, motorcycle profiling has been perceived as a motorcycle club issue. As a result, most independents and ABATE members were not involved. But as motorcycle profiling becomes a national policy discussion, it is becoming clear that independents and ABATE members are impacted as well.

Bridging the gap between clubs and independents has been an important factor in states that have successfully passed laws addressing profiling, and that process is underway in the state of Idaho, too. In my opinion, collaboration is the key to success.

Starting With A Motorcycle Ride

The ride started at 1pm at Cruisin Biker Wear, a cool shop in Meridian, Idaho. The shop is owned by Bree Walker, the key to Southern Idaho ABATE’s legislative affairs.

The pack took short breaks at each stop. The event consisted of a 100 mile 5 stop Dice Run that ended with with a gathering, food, live music, and the opportunity to discuss the process for successfully passing the law in Idaho.

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The Twin Peaks Ambush

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The Twin Peaks Ambush: A True Story About The Press, The Police And The Last American Outlaws

By Donald Charles Davis

Much has been written on the fateful day of May 17, 2015 when hundreds of motorcyclists and rights activists met in Waco Texas to discuss current events and motorcyclist rights issues at a meeting of the Texas Confederation of Clubs and Independents (COC&I), and many subsequently had their lives changed forever. Nine people died, another 17 were injured that day. When the dust started to settle, 192 people were arrested, and charged with cookie cutter charges of participation in organized crime and held on $1 million bail, which was later lowered for some. Ultimately 106 were indicted on felony charges of “engaging in organized criminal activity.”

Donald Charles Davis, who runs the popular Aging Rebel biker news site has penned this interesting book, including far reaching interviews with people who were there on the scene, and attempts to make sense of it all, a tall order. He has done a good service, and we recommend the book to anyone who has an open mind and a heart. Bikers lives do matter.

The Self-Driving Catch-22

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asleep-at-the-wheel-The Self-Driving Catch-22
By Eric Peters
Eric Peters Auto

There are laws in many states forbidding “distracted” driving – but what about the laws that encourage it?

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has given GM – and presumably, other car companies, too – the go-ahead to offer cars that can drive themselves for extended periods while the “driver” doesn’t.

GM’s system – marketed as SuperCruise – will be available next year in certain Cadillac models, including the CT6 sedan. It’s an advanced form of adaptive or “intelligent” cruise control that steers the car as well as maintains speed – accelerating and braking as needed with the ebb and flow of traffic, no input required from the “driver.”

Who can distract himself with other things.

Which is, of course, the only reason for bothering with this technology. The “driver” doesn’t have to. He can nod off. Text. Space out. Have a chat with his passengers. Maybe watch a YouTube video. That’s the sell.

Ok, great!

But if the person behind the wheel (assuming there’s still a wheel) is also still expected to pay attention to the road and be ready to step in as the driver, it kind of defeats the point – doesn’t it?

But that is precisely what is expected.

It’s a hilarious juxtaposition, given the endless lecturing about “safety” emanating from NHTSA – the federal busybody-at-gunpoint agency that, somehow, acquired a parental interest (and parental rights) in every adult American.

And, of course, “the children.”

Other people’s, that is.

GM’s SuperCruise is fitted with a bevy of bells and whistles that are supposed to rouse the asleep-at-the-wheel (or texting or chicken-choking) “driver” when it becomes necessary for him to drive. If the “driver” doesn’t does so – perhaps he is sleeping soundly and fails to notice the bells and whistles – the car will automatically turn on its emergency blinkers and slow itself down.

This will probably not be much help if a split-second intervention becomes necessary. As, for example, when a self-driving Tesla drove itself broadside into a big rig that had unexpectedly turned in its path. Which the Tesla’s “driver” didn’t notice in time.

And there, as the saying goes, is the rub.

A driver either is – or he isn’t.

There is no in-between.

It is not a part-time job.

To whatever extent a car drives itself, the driver is necessarily less involved. Less is expected of him. He is encouraged to be passive, inattentive.

To let the car handle things.

This has been in process for a long time. Anti-lock brakes, for instance. They have been standard in pretty much all cars built since the late 1990s. Before ABS, drivers learned to fear skids – and loss of control. They tended to maintain a safe following distance, the motivation being that if you didn’t and the car up ahead slowed unexpectedly and suddenly, it was probable that you’d skid right into his trunk.

With ABS, people know the car won’t skid – and so tend to tailgate more than they used to and to drive not so much aggressively (a smear word used to bunch fast drivers who can drive in with reckless drivers, who can’t) as they do foolishly. See, for instance, all the jacked-up 4×4 SUVs in the ditch after a snowstorm. They over-drive the physics of traction, expecting the ABS (and traction control, there’s another one) to keep them on the road.

Sometime’s it doesn’t – because technology has its limits, just like human beings.

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2017 Renewable Fuel Standard Raises Risk For Riders 

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85dde90d-74c8-4aab-bee6-48d6b89747a5The 2017 Renewable Fuel Standard volume requirements announced today by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency are higher than the agency’s May proposal and will mandate more ethanol in the nation’s fuel supply chain despite a low demand for higher ethanol blends and an inadequate distribution and sales network.

“We told the EPA in May that increasing the amount of ethanol in our fuel supply creates an untenable situation for the marketplace and raises the risk to motorcyclists and ATV owners,” said Wayne Allard, AMA vice president for government relations. “The agency ignored our comments and the concerns of millions of motorcyclists. So, now it is up to Congress to fix the Renewable Fuel Standard.”

The Renewable Volume Obligations call for 19.28 billion gallons of biofuel for 2017, up from 18.11 billion gallons this year. The final EPA figure for 2017 was higher than the 18.8 billion gallons proposed in May.

The AMA objects to this increase in the Renewable Volume Obligations under the Renewable Fuel Standard.

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Wearing a Bandana Could Get You Arrested?

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bikers-arrested-for-wearing-bandannas-featured-image-620x350Bikers Arrested for Wearing Bandanas

By David “Double D” Devereaux
Motorcycle Profiling Project

Louisiana motorcyclists in the Bossier/Shreveport area may be experiencing a mechanism of profiling that many are unaware of. It has been reported to the MPP that 17 motorcyclists in the area have recently been arrested for wearing bandanas, scarves, and even a bubble shield while riding because it conceals their identities in public. Local law enforcement contends that covering your face in public is a violation of Louisiana’s anti-mask law, LSA-R.S. 14:313, which carries a 6 month to 3 year term of imprisonment. Although every incident has not been confirmed, the MPP spoke to one motorcyclist directly and confirmed that he was arrested for concealing his identity on November 8, 2016.

The law used to justify targeting motorcyclists for wearing masks in Louisiana exists elsewhere. At least 15 states have what experts call “general anti-mask laws” that could be applied to motorcyclists. Applying anti-masking laws to motorcyclists covering their heads and faces with protective gear is an abuse of statute and demonstrative of motorcycle profiling. An exemption for public safety ought to be obvious.

 Motorcyclist Arrested For Concealing Identity

While visiting Louisiana to attend and speak at a state Confederation of Clubs and Independents meeting in Alexandria, the MPP became aware of the alleged arrests for concealing identities in public. The MPP spoke to a member of a motorcycle club in the Bossier/Shreveport area that was able to confirm the validity of the rumors.

Although a traffic pretext was used to justify the stop, the MPP evaluated his citation and he was indeed arrested for concealing his identity, an alleged violation of state code LSA-R.S. 14:313.  This individual  was on his way to vote in the 2016 National Election. He was denied this opportunity. He was forced to pay a bond in order to obtain his release and as of this writing the issue has not yet been resolved.

(Notably, this same individual has been experiencing a pattern of harassment while riding his motorcycle. 9 days after the mask arrest he was again stopped and harassed for a series of pre-textual infractions preceding more questions about his club affiliations.)

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Russ Brown Motorcycle Attorneys Steps Up to Assist Rights Movement

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Russ Brown AssistRuss Brown Motorcycle Attorneys Steps Up to Assist Rights Movement

By David “Double D.” Devereaux
for Russ Brown Motorcycle Attorneys

In almost any grassroots rights movement there are individuals on the frontline that dedicate large amounts of time and energy fighting for the entire community. The motorcycle rights movement is no different. In particular, members of motorcycle clubs have emerged as some of the most dedicated freedom fighters on motorcycles. Unfortunately, there are limitations to a grassroots movement, particularly the motorcycle rights movement. Constraints created by a lack of education and information, combined with limited resources, puts motorcyclists at a disadvantage.

Fortunately, there are people in the community that have centered their businesses around motorcycles and understand the struggles of our community. And, importantly, some of them are willing to step up and help those that are working so hard to expand the motorcyclists’ rights base.

Russ Brown Motorcycle Attorneys has quietly been supporting a handful of motorcycle rights activists on the West Coast in their efforts to fight discrimination and profiling. Russ Brown has provided an outlet for information and education on their News Blog as well as developed tools for club members to educate themselves on specific relevant topics from profiling to employment discrimination.

The Russ Brown Motorcycle Rights Packet

At the end of 2015, I was asked by Russ Brown Motorcycle Attorneys my opinion about issues club members were most concerned about. What issues do club members inquire about most often? They had the idea that an informational packet of “one sheets” on relevant topics, all contained in one folder, would be a valuable educational tool for the community. In conversations we refer to packet simply as “the club folder.”

After the input of many people, the “club folder” expanded and currently includes information on a wide variety of subjects including Motorcycle Profiling, Equal Access, Employment Discrimination, Excessive Force, DUI, and Veterans Rights among other important topics. Each issue is clearly explained, including relevant legal citations, and presented in a readable and usable format.

Russ Brown provides these educational packets free of charge at motorcycle rights events nationwide, and they are distributed by a handful of activists that helped develop them. Knowledge is power and preparation is the key to success.

I reached out to a few of these motorcycle club members to ask them about the club packet and about their work being supported by Russ Brown Motorcycle Attorneys. Every individual had a common theme in their responses. Russ Brown Motorcycling Attorneys has selflessly supported efforts in the motorcycle rights movement motivated not only by exposure, but by the genuine desire to advance the rights of motorcyclists.

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Filming Police in Public is a Constitutional Right

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filming-police-public-constitutional-right-featured-image-620x350Filming Police in Public is a Constitutional Right

by David “Double D” Devereaux

Does a person have the right to film police officers in public? Despite clear precedent, the MPP has received the inquiry many times. This is a particularly relevant question relating to developing a “pattern of evidence” that proves motorcycle profiling is occurring. Indeed, video of police profiling motorcyclists was critical to passing the law addressing motorcycle profiling in both Washington State and Maryland.

As Americans, we should all be able to agree that the right to be present in a public place and gather information about an ongoing public concern is fundamental to a free society. This is the essence of political expression, political speech, and a free press, particularly when discussing issues of government accountability.

To deny the right to gather information in a public space would deprive the public knowledge about government abuses. Without this knowledge there is no impetus for advancing police accountability.

A Legal Opinion-Simple and Concise

Millie Thompson, an attorney from Austin involved in both the criminal and civil proceedings stemming from the Waco tragedy that occurred on May 17, 2015, recently discussed the issue on social media. Thompson writes:

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NCOM Biker Newsbytes

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Award-V1-NCOMCompiled & Edited by Bill Bish, 
National Coalition of Motorcyclists (NCOM)

Election Cycle
“We love the bikers,” exclaimed presumptive Presidential GOP nominee Donald Trump in remarks made during the 29th annual Rolling Thunder POW/MIA motorcycle run held Memorial Day weekend in Washington, D.C., months before the general election.

Wearing a red “Make America Great Again” hat, the blunt-spoken New York real estate mogul and television celebrity told the crowd about seeing large numbers of bikers at his campaign events, including a group called “Bikers For Trump” (www.BikersForTrump2016.com).  Chris Cox, a biker from South Carolina who founded BFT, had met with The Donald who told him “we’re his favorite demographic.”

Stressing his desire to strengthen the military and improve how veterans are treated, the Presidential-hopeful found a receptive audience.  “I’m not a huge biker, I have to be honest with you, O.K.?” lamented Trump to the throng of motorcyclists gathered at the Lincoln Memorial last May, “I always liked the limo better.”

“I don’t ride motorcycles,” the candidate told another biker at a Trump Rally in Ohio, “but if I’m elected, I’ll fix all the potholes”; and he’ll soon get the opportunity to make good on his campaign promise.

On Tuesday, November 8, 2016 America voted Donald J. Trump to be the 45th President of the United States, and although he’s not a quintessential “motorcycle guy”, his running mate is.  Vice President-elect Mike Pence is a motorcyclist himself and has participated in numerous charity rides in his home state of Indiana, where as governor he supported bikers’ rights and worked closely with ABATE of Indiana.

Distracted Driving Leads To Biggest Spike In Traffic Deaths In 50 Years
When distracted driving entered the national consciousness a decade ago, the problem was mainly people who made calls or sent texts from their cell phones.  The solution then was to introduce new technologies to keep drivers’ hands on the wheel.  Innovations since then, such as car Wi-Fi and a host of new apps, have since led to a boom in internet usage in vehicles that safety experts now say is contributing to a surge in highway deaths.

After steady declines over the last four decades, highway fatalities last year recorded the largest annual percentage increase in 50 years, rising to the highest level since 2009, and the numbers so far this year are even worse.  In just the first six months of 2016, highway deaths have already jumped 10.4%, to 17,775, from the comparable period of 2015, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).

The fatality rate for the first half of 2016 increased to 1.12 deaths per 100 million miles driven, up from 1.05 for the same period last year; but the number of miles travelled have only increased 3.5%.  NHTSA says recent reports suggest this uptick in fatalities is due in part to increasing use of electronic devices leading to more distracted driving.

Alarmed by these statistics, the New York Times reports that the Department of Transportation (DOT) has outlined a plan to work with the National Safety Council (NSC) and other advocacy groups to devise a “Road to Zero” strategy, with the ambitious goal of eliminating roadway fatalities within 30 years.

A second, related effort would speed up the introduction of autonomous-driving technologies that many safety experts believe can potentially prevent accidents by removing distracted humans from the driving equation. Read More

NY Police Detain 169 Motorcyclists on Long Island

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ny-police-detain-169-motorcyclists-featured-image-620x350By Motorcycle Profiling Project

The battle over motorcycle-only checkpoints is not over. Although Congress banned federal funding for motorcycle-only checkpoints in the 2015 Fast Act, these discriminatory stops continue in some states without federal assistance. On November 6, 2016 Suffolk County Police Highway Patrol Bureau officers, New York State Police troopers and MTA Police officers conducted motorcycle safety checkpoints on eastbound Sunrise Highway at exit 55 and eastbound Long Island Expressway. 169 motorcycles were stopped and 54 citations were issued. Checkpoints are a form of motorcycle profiling that impact all motorcyclists. Those cited were independents, not club members.ny-police-detain-169-motorcyclists-image1

Cloaked under the justification of safety, motorcycle-only checkpoints unfairly target motorcyclists and motorcycles as a form of transportation. According to the AMA, “Motorcycle–only checkpoints are discriminatory, forcing riders and their passengers to do something not asked of other citizens, simply because we choose to travel on two wheels, or three, instead of four. The AMA believes the money used for these operations could be better spent supporting programs that conduct rider education, reduce distracted driving and encourage motorist awareness of motorcycles.”

What’s the solution? Motorcyclists in New York State should unify and push for a state prohibition against motorcycle profiling which would include discriminatory motorcycle-only checkpoints.

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Is Law Enforcement Training To Terminate Bikers? UPDATED!

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update-baker-targetslaw-enforcement-training-terminate-bikers-featured-image-v2-620x350Is Law Enforcement Training To Terminate Bikers?

By David Devereaux
Motorcycle Profiling Project

Many people interested in target shooting are familiar with practice targets. Many times these targets are silhouettes of human beings. Nothing descriptive, just a neutral target. Then there are practice targets that more graphically depict people. Beyond neutral practice targets, these targets depict stereotypical images of terrorists, bank robbers, and armed criminals with a hostage. It’s impossible to defend the actions or goals of any of these types of people so vilifying their images receives little objection.

But what about law enforcement practice targets that depict motorcyclists as a caricature of criminality? If motorcyclists wearing helmets and leather jackets are depicted pointing a gun as if they are a threat during training, doesn’t it make sense that this would eventually create the same instinctual threat assessment when they see a biker in the field? Do these targets encourage and reinforce discrimination and profiling against bikers, or worse?

It only makes sense that biker practice targets reinforce a discriminatory mindset that has persisted for decades. But what do the experts or studies say? Experts and university studies both say the instinct to shoot is intimately tied to the visual depiction of the target. And subject matter experts agree that biker shooting targets are dangerous, and all use of such targets should completely cease. Read More

Waco Biker Speaks OUT! MPP Exclusive Interview

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waco-biker-speaks-out-featured-image-v2-620x350By David “Double D” Devereaux
Motorcycle Profiling Project

Paul Landers, a motorcycle rights activist and member of the Escondidos Motorcycle Club from Austin, was present at the Twin Peaks in Waco on May 17th, 2015 when 9 bikers were shot and killed and 18 others were injured. Paul (along with 5 members of his club and 170 other people) was arrested, charged with engaging in organized crime resulting in capital murder, and given a $1 million dollar bond. Paul and his club members are among the 154 Waco Bikers indicted by a Grand Jury that are currently being prosecuted.

The thing that always stands out in my mind about Paul’s story, the thing that really hits home in terms of the injustice of this mass arrest, is related to what he was doing when the conflict began. Paul was looking for a place to hang a Texas Confederation of Clubs and Independents banner in preparation for a political meeting. Why would someone have  a  bag  full  of  political  material,  looking for a place to hang a banner, if they anticipated a fight? The easy answer, at least to me, is that hanging a banner is not what someone anticipating a conflict would be doing.

Paul recently filed a civil rights lawsuit alleging various 4th and 1st Amendment violations and is still actively involved in the motorcycle rights movement, although on a much more restricted basis due to the fact that he is currently being prosecuted. Paul’s rights to travel and association have been severely limited so his political speech rights have been chilled.

Read Paul Landers’ Waco Biker Exclusive Interview

State Rep. Calls Minnesota Mayor A Motorcycle Gang Member?

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state-rep-calls-minnesota-mayor-motorcycle-gang-member-featured-image-620x350by David “Double D” Devereaux
Motorcycle Profiling Project

State Representative Tony Cornish, in an editorial commentary written to Faribault Daily News on October 12th, condemned recent efforts by motorcyclists in Minnesota to pass anti-motorcycle profiling legislation. Cornish wrote that the legislation “was testified on in the Minnesota Legislature by the “Sons of Silence,” a motorcycle gang that does not want to be stopped for anything.” What Cornish fails to mention is that the members of the SOS MC that testified are upstanding citizens.  In fact, one of them  is an elected official.

Mayor Bobby Mann of Hammond, Minnesota (pictured above) is one of the individuals Cornish is disrespectfully labeling a gang member. Mayor Mann, also a member of the SOS MC, testified in favor of the anti-motorcycle profiling legislation. Also testifying was Jim Jahnke, a member of the SOS MC from Rochester MN. Jahnke was a union iron worker for 30 years. In the course of his work, Jahnke successfully passed stringent IBM and Mayo clinic security background checks that were required when working on sensitive facilities.

Cornish’s commentary is an example the inaccurate propaganda that results in profiling stops in the first place. Rep. Cornish is ignorant of relevant statistical data, improperly writes that current laws ban motorcycle profiling, embraces a discriminatory  stereotype when talking about motorcycle clubs, and fails to disclose that he is a former law enforcement officer. Cornish’s obvious bias presents a potential conflict of interest relating to police accountability. Motorcycle profiling is an issue in Minnesota that can be fixed with a simple and cost-efficient solution.

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