NCOM Biker Newsbytes

By | Biker's Rights | No Comments
Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedin

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

By | Biker's Rights | No Comments
Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedin

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.”

Read More:

Message from MRF President

By | Biker's Rights | No Comments
Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedin

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

By | Biker's Rights | No Comments
Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedin

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

By | Biker's Rights | No Comments
Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedin

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.”

 

Read the story

Feds Move Forward with Motorcyclist Advisory Council

By | Biker's Rights | No Comments
Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedin

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.

Read more:

Visit the Motorcycle Riders Foundation website for information.

Texas Biker Movement Alive and Strong After Waco Tragedy

By | Biker's Rights | No Comments
Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedin

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.

Read more:

American Motorcyclist Association Opposes Profiling of Motorcyclists

By | Biker's Rights | No Comments
Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedin

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

By | Biker's Rights | No Comments
Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedin

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.

Read More:

 

Arizona Helmet Law Defeated!

By | Biker's Rights | No Comments
Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedin

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

Read More

NCOM Biker Newsbytes

By | Biker's Rights | No Comments
Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedin

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

By | Biker's Rights | No Comments
Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedin

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.

Read the whole story

Arizona: Immediate Call To Action—Proposed Helmet Regulation

By | Biker's Rights | No Comments
Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedin

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

By | Biker's Rights | No Comments
Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedin

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

Read More

Video Proves Austin Police Trampled Bikers Rights

By | Biker's Rights | No Comments
Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedin

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.

Read the rest of the story

NCOM Biker Newsbytes

By | Biker's Rights | No Comments
Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedin

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.

Read More

Why Conviction of Pagans MC Member was Overturned

By | Biker's Rights | No Comments
Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedin

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.

Read More:

Independent Motorcyclists in Idaho Uniting to Fight Motorcycle Profiling

By | Biker's Rights | No Comments
Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedin

BLOG!

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.

Read the story

The Twin Peaks Ambush

By | Biker's Rights, New Product News | No Comments
Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedin

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

By | Biker's Rights | No Comments
Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedin

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.

Read the Whole Article

2017 Renewable Fuel Standard Raises Risk For Riders 

By | Biker's Rights | No Comments
Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedin

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.

Read More:

Wearing a Bandana Could Get You Arrested?

By | Biker's Rights | No Comments
Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedin

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.)

Read More: 

Russ Brown Motorcycle Attorneys Steps Up to Assist Rights Movement

By | Biker's Rights | No Comments
Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedin

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.

Read more:

Filming Police in Public is a Constitutional Right

By | Biker's Rights | No Comments
Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedin

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:

Read the whole story

NCOM Biker Newsbytes

By | Biker's Rights | No Comments
Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedin

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

By | Biker's Rights | No Comments
Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedin

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.

Read more:

Is Law Enforcement Training To Terminate Bikers? UPDATED!

By | Biker's Rights | No Comments
Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedin

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

By | Biker's Rights | No Comments
Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedin

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?

By | Biker's Rights | No Comments
Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedin

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.

Read the story:

Being a Biker Could Mean Losing Your Gun Rights

By | Biker's Rights | No Comments
Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedin

2nd_amendment_coalition_featured_image-620x350Being a Biker Could Mean Losing Your Gun Rights

by David “Double D” Devereaux
Motorcycle Profiling Project

John is a member of a motorcycle club and a proud Texas biker. He is a hard working family man, a degree professional, and has never been charged with a crime. Recently, while riding his motorcycle, and wearing his club colors, he was pulled over by police in Fort Worth for failure to signal before changing lanes. He immediately gave the police his CHL, his license and insurance.

But the real motive of officers soon became apparent, and John was harassed with questions regarding his club and the patches on his black denim vest. They asked to search his motorcycle but he refused to consent without a search warrant. There was no basis for a warrant and the officers knew it. But after the officers spoke back and forth with their Sgt., he was arrested for failure to use a turn signal.

Pictures were then taken of John, his vest, and his bike. Officers then proceeded to search his motorcycle incident to the arrest for a minor traffic infraction. Officers broke his locked saddlebags in order to search them. They found nothing! But his legal weapon was confiscated and the police are refused to release it. Moreover, officers in Fort Worth have filed with the state to have his CHL rights taken away.

Motorcycle Profiling and Gun Rights
John’s story epitomizes the issue of motorcycle profiling, most often taking the form of a pre-textual traffic stop initiated to harass and search motorcyclists based on appearance and protected associations. In many states, traffic infractions are crimes subject to arrest, which in turn allows officers to legally search you and your vehicle.

John’s story also demonstrates a newly emerging trend where members of motorcycle clubs have their weapons seized and/or their legally obtained concealed carry licenses revoked for no other reason than appearance and association.

Targeting individuals with concealed carry permits makes little sense from a law enforcement perspective. In order to obtain a permit, an individual must pass extensive background checks and have no relevant criminal history. Individuals with permits, even motorcycle club members, are not convicted gang members or violent criminals. Is stereotype really that much stronger than reality? And even if it is, shouldn’t motorcyclists attempt to do something about it?

Read more:

NCOM Biker Newsbytes

By | Biker's Rights | No Comments
Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedin
Award-V1-NCOM

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

ROAD TO ZERO MOTORCYCLES
For decades, motorcycle rights advocates have warned the riding community that advances in Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) and the advent of autonomous (self-driving) vehicles could signal the end of motorcycles on public roadways.  Indeed, “Vision Zero” has been under development primarily in Europe to remove human interaction from the operation of vehicles in public transit, therefore eliminating human error that results in traffic accidents…and since motorcycles require human operation they do not fit into the Vision Zero scenario.

Now, the U.S. Department of Transportation has unveiled plans for a new initiative called “Road to Zero” in concert with other federal agencies and the National Safety Council with the lofty goal of eliminating all traffic-related fatalities by the year 2030, and although bicyclists and pedestrians are taken into account, their plan makes no specific mention of motorcycles.

Citing increases in traffic deaths nationwide, accounting for more than 35,000 lives lost mostly due to human error and behaviors such as distracted and drowsy driving and driving under the influence, Road to Zero will focus on proactive vehicle safety, advances in automotive technology and cultivating human behavior.

But the new federal safety initiative, announced October 5, 2016 completely ignores a significant portion of America’s road users, as Road to Zero apparently makes no accommodation for millions of motorcyclists vying to survive in an increasingly automated traffic mix. Read More

Supreme Court Legalizes Bribery?

By | Biker's Rights | No Comments
Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedin

supreme-court-legalizes-bribery_featured_image-620x350

by David “Double D” Devereaux
Motorcycle Profiling Project

A recent SCOTUS (Supreme Court Of The United States) decision legalizing previously corrupt practices impacts many special interests, including the movement to end motorcycle profiling.

With no media attention, the Supreme Court of the United States this summer issued McDonnell v. US (2016), a decision that makes the ability for corrupt special interest lobbyists and politicians to legally peddle influence. Although this impacts all Americans in some way because special interests touch a broad range of issues, why is this decision particularly important to the movement to end motorcycle profiling? Because the law enforcement lobby consistently opposes anti-profiling laws, is one of the most powerful lobbying groups at both the state and federal level, and the Supreme Court has just legalized lobbying practices that have historically been considered corrupt and illegal. The solution is a grassroots manpower driven movement combined with targeted lobbying strategies to overcome a politically powerful opposition.

How SCOTUS Legalized Corrupt Lobbying Practices
As explained by the Court, former Virginia Governor Robert McDonnell, and his wife, Maureen McDonnell, were indicted by the Federal Government on fraud related to their acceptance of $175,000 in loans, gifts, and other benefits from Virginia businessman Jonnie Williams, while Governor McDonnell was in office. A jury convicted the McDonnell’s and the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed the District Court’s conviction. But the Supreme Court disagreed and reversed the conviction.

The Supreme Court decided that “every action that is within the range of official duty” is not to be considered an “official act”, “contrary to the well-settled understanding of the term established by the Supreme Court a century ago, and followed by the federal courts ever since.”

Under the Court’s new interpretation, “setting up a meeting, calling another public official, or hosting an event” does not, standing alone, qualify as an ‘official act.’ The Court reasoned that this interpretation was less wide open and vague.

This decision further opens the door to legalized influence peddling to special interest lobbies. In simple terms, these previously corrupt and illegal acts are now considered legal. It stands to reason that lobbyists will seize the opportunity and freely operate inside the Court’s newly drawn lines.

Interestingly, the unanimous 8 to 0 decision was neglected by the media on a news day distracted by other events.

Read the whole Story at the Motorcycle Profiling Project:

Reports Say Maryland’s New Law Reduces Motorcycle Profiling

By | Biker's Rights | No Comments
Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedin

No-Motorcycle-Profiling-Shirts-2016_draft3-620x350Reports Say Maryland’s New Law Reduces Motorcycle Profiling

David “Double D” Devereaux
MPP – Motorcycle Profiling Project

On Saturday, October 1, 2016 Maryland’s new anti-motorcycle profiling law went into effect. Maryland is now officially the second state to have an anti-motorcycle profiling law on the  books. Washington State passed a similar measure in 2011 and has enjoyed a reduction in profiling incidents since then. Will the new law result in a similar reduction in Maryland? Early indicators suggest the answer is yes.

Although the law went into effect less than a week ago. Senate Bill 233 landed on the Governor’s desk after unanimously passing through both chambers of the statehouse and was signed into law on May 19, 2016.  The MPP reached out to two individuals that have their finger on the  pulse of the community (Bill “Colt” Kaitz from the Maryland US Defenders and Michael “Bighead” Abbott from Thunder Roads Magazine.) to determine whether there has been any reduction in profiling incidents involving motorcyclists in Maryland.

No Profiling Incidents Are Being Reported
Bill “Colt” Kaitz, head of the Maryland US Defenders, served as the main lobbyist for the anti- motorcycle profiling effort in 2016 and regularly communicates with both legislators and Maryland bikers. The Maryland US Defenders is the only network connecting many clubs and independents involved in the state’s motorcycle rights movement. Kaitz is also the co-founder of the MPP and a member of the Legion MC from the Baltimore area.

Although not necessarily dispositive proof, Kaitz says, “I have not received any validated reports of motorcycle profiling since the Governor signed the bill into law in May. And being the main spokesperson and lobbyist for the motorcycle profiling effort in Maryland, I regularly received reports of profiling incidents before the law passed.  If  profiling were occurring at the same level, then logic says I would be receiving at least some reports.”

Read the rest of the story

Police and 1% Motorcycle Clubs – Don’t Believe the Hype

By | Biker's Rights | No Comments
Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedin

1percent-clubs-police-hype-featured-image-620x350Don’t Believe the Hype

By David Devereaux,
The Motorcycle Profiling Project

Being in a motorcycle club is not illegal. Law enforcement action should be based on behavior, not appearance. So being in a motorcycle club should not influence law enforcement’s decision to take action against a person. Despite this, however, there is a common misconception that being a member of a 1% motorcycle club is a self-admission of criminality. Many in law enforcement and some prosecutors label all members of 1% clubs gang members, and the media is all too willing to perpetuate a sensationalized perspective.

Maybe even more troubling, the stereotype is so powerful that even other bikers are susceptible. The truth is that many are wary of clubs and many buy into the sensationalized hype and stereotypes, particularly about 1%’ers. But through education regarding the 1st Amendment maybe these perceptions can be overcome in favor of reality.  Then the real work of protecting bikers can be more effectively achieved.

Do Independent Bikers Stereotype 1%’ers as Criminals?
Not all independents believe the hype. But the fact remains, many do.  A perfect example of this perception became evident to me at the recent “Meeting of The Minds” event hosted by the Motorcycle Riders Foundation, this year held in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, June 22-25. The theme this year was “Bridging The Gap” in the motorcycle rights movement among all of the different organizations and elements of the motorcycling community that have common political, legislative and legal interests. And the issue that is beginning to galvanize the unification process is motorcycle profiling.

One of the primary gaps to be bridged is between independent bikers and motorcycle club members, often called “Patch Holders”. Although it is becoming more common for independents and patch holders to work together on legislative goals in some areas of the country, in many places there is still resistance.

At the end of a panel I was participating in titled “Bridging The Gap”, an independent raised his hand and said he had to ask the obvious question. What about 1%’ers being gangs and being involved in criminal activity?

It was the perfect opportunity to explain how that perception violates the fundamental principles of association and expression enshrined in the 1st Amendment. It was an opportunity to educate.

Read the whole story

Majority of Veterans Motorcycle Clubs Denied Access to Public Accommodations

By | Biker's Rights | No Comments
Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedin

VETS-4By David “Double D.” Devereaux
For Russ Brown Motorcycle

Bobby Colella served in the infantry for 21 years and spent much of that time overseas helping protect citizens of other countries from threats of brutal dictators. He fought in Operation Iraqi Freedom in 05-06, in Ramadi and Fallujah, and Baqubah in 07-08. Bobby says, “I knew I was forfeiting my personal freedoms as an American to protect and preserve our civil liberties and freedoms on the home front – and like many of you, it was a sacrifice I was willing to make for the greater good of our nation.”

oktouse

Upon leaving the Army in November 2010, Bobby found himself trying to find his place in society. He met and joined the Bikers for Christ Motorcycle Ministry where the pastor was a Vietnam veteran that Bobby easily connected with. Soon  after becoming a member, Bobby and his pastor were denied entrance to a motorcycle event because they were wearing motorcycle colors. Bobby was shocked, describing “a moment of enlightenment that came in the form of a simple ‘No Colors’ sign….I was denied access to an event simply for what I was wearing. It turns out that the freedom I thought I was fighting for was a myth, especially when it came to the First Amendment and freedom to express yourself….This wasn’t the America I fought for, and it certainly wasn’t the America our brothers, fathers, uncles and friends fought and died for either.”

Unfortunately, Bobby’s experience is not unique among returning veterans. In fact, a majority of Veteran motorcycle club members have been denied access to public accommodations in this way at home after devoting themselves to fighting for the freedom of expression and association. According to the NMPS, there are an estimated 934,000 members of Veterans motorcycle clubs and almost every motorcycle club has veterans even if they are not a military club.

Read More:

Understanding the Waco Biker Prosecution

By | Biker's Rights | No Comments
Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedin

understanding-waco-prosecution-featured-image-620x350

Motorcycle Profiling Project – For Bikers By Bikers

David “Double D” Devereaux

On May 17, 2015, Paul Landers was looking for a place to hang a Texas Confederation of Clubs and Independents banner in preparation for a scheduled political gathering to discuss motorcycle rights issues when gunfire erupted at a Twin Peaks in Waco, Texas. Paul was there to provide the region updates following the National Coalition of Motorcyclists National Convention that was held in Denver the previous week.

Despite being a dedicated political rights advocate with an indisputable track record, Paul and 176 other individuals were arrested and charged under the state’s organized crime statute for engaging in organized crime and committing or conspiring to commit capital murder. 154 of those arrested have had their cases presented to a grand jury, have been indicted, and are currently awaiting trial.

The significance of Waco to the motorcycle club community cannot be over-stated. What law could possibly allow 177 motorcyclists to be arrested for mere association? A simple analysis of the Texas Organized Crime Statute is key to understanding the prosecutor’s strategy and the legal argument 154 defendants will have to overcome.

Read the whole story

Gun Control Is Treason

By | Biker's Rights, Opinion | No Comments
Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedin

lns_frontpage-180x180Gun Control Is Treason

by L. Neil Smith

Yesterday I saw a headline on Breitbart.com. It wasn’t much of a headline as these things go, a minor story slipped in between two more important subjects, but it started my mind ambling down a path it has followed many times before, yet for some reason I have never written about.

The Breitbart headline reported that Hillary Clinton was screeching that the problem of terrorism (she actually said the word, apparently) will never be solved until America has more gun control. Now, I freely and unashamedly confess that I didn’t read the rest of the article; I have heard everything this brain-damaged, bloody-fingered collectivist harridan has to say on the subject of victim disarmament what seems like at least a hundred million times since I first regretfully became aware of her miserable existence back in the 1990s. To the best of my ability, I cannot remember ever hearing her (or her disgusting specimen of a husband or their ill-spawned daughter) utter anything that even remotely resembled the truth.

It makes me wonder whether pathological lying is genetic.

As I’m sure you know, the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution reads: “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.” It’s a sentence that every individual reading this essay has seen many, many times before. Give or take a comma or two, it is far from ambiguous; its meaning, where rights are concerned (of the individual, as it turns out), is perfectly clear, no matter what Marxists like Hillary Clinton—out of the closet and grimly determined to see their prey (that’s us) rendered helpless—claim to the contrary. Their entire cowardly purpose, theirs and their pet celebrities and their fawning sycophants in academia, is to get around our rights, and to do things to us that they can’t do as long as we have our guns.

And yet, there is another aspect of the Second Amendment (which is unique among the ten articles of the Bill of Rights in many ways) to contemplate. The great, glaring failure of the Bill of Rights and its otherwise distinguished authors is that it doesn’t include a severe and stringent penalty clause, a punishment prescribed for government officials and others who try to violate the rights that it protects. However the Second Amendment, by implication, contains its own penalty clause. It defines itself, and the liberty it enshrines, as “necessary to the security of a free State”. It doesn’t take much interpretation to infer that anyone who strives to weaken, or abolish that right altogether, is endangering the security of the free state in which we live.

A more direct way to say it is that they are committing treason.

And the customary punishment for treason is death—by hanging.

Read More:

Publisher and Senior Columnist L. Neil Smith is the author of over thirty books, mostly science fiction novels, L. Neil Smith has been a libertarian activist since 1962. His many books and those of other pro-gun libertarians may be found (and ordered) at L. Neil Smith’s THE LIBERTARIAN ENTERPRISE “Free Radical Book Store” The preceding essays were originally prepared for and appeared in L. Neil Smith’s THE LIBERTARIAN ENTERPRISE. Use them to fight the continuing war against tyranny.

UPDATE: SDPD Won’t Return Chosen Few MC Colors After Profiling Stop

By | Biker's Rights | No Comments
Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedin

update-sdpd-wont-return-chosen-mc-colors-profiling-stop-feature-image-620x350SDPD Targeting the Chosen Few MC?

The story relating to two members of the Chosen Few Motorcycle Club that were profiled in San Diego last week continues to develop. Although both men were arrested for wearing rings as brass knuckles (find the previous story here), including wedding rings, the District Attorney is only pursuing charges against one member for a decorative whip and keychain. Both items were zip tied to the bike nullifying the ability to use either as a weapon.

The member being charged with two felony crimes is employed as a professor and has no criminal record. Internal Affairs and Citizen Review Board Complaints have also been filed. Most troubling, it appears that one detective in particular has been targeting and harassing members of the Chosen Few MC in San Diego.

SDPD Targeting the Chosen Few MC?
According to the professor and Chosen Few member being charged, “It is interesting that the detective behind the scene, Timothy Coyle, is the same detective who has been harassing all the San Diego Chosen Few members. And the DA is the same DA (J. McLaughlin) who is prosecuting another one of our members who was jammed up under similar profiling circumstances by the same “crime suppression” unit.”

These concerns are definitely worth exploring. It is clear that police were conducting surveillance based on appearance, not behavior. A minor traffic infraction was used to conduct a stop to harass and investigate based on a discriminatory stereotype.

Read More:

SDPD Arrests Motorcyclists – Says Wedding Rings Are Brass Knuckles?

By | Biker's Rights | No Comments
Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedin

sdpd-arrests-motorcyclists-says-wedding-rings-brass-knuckles-featured-image-620x350Motorcyclist Profiling

On September 9th, 2016 at least 5 SDPD officers conducted a profiling stop on 2 members of the Chosen Few Motorcycle Club and arrested them for participation in a criminal street gang. These men committed no crimes and had no criminal records but were still given excessive bail.

This type of behavior by police deprives citizen’s basic civil liberties and risks exposure to civil liability claims against government agencies and their employees. Legislation prohibiting the practice of motorcycle profiling and providing victims an avenue of relief is the best opportunity to alleviate civil rights violations and the liability that follows.

The Story
The Motorcycle Profiling Project received a letter from one of the victims describing the incident in detail.

Two members of the Chosen Few MC were patronizing the Off Base bar on Miramar Road in San Diego. These men noticed that SDPD units had been posted up outside and we’re obviously observing them for several hours as they socialized in the bar. When these two men decided to leave they were not concerned with being pulled over because neither of them had drank any alcohol and neither of them even had a criminal record.

But being 1%’ers is enough for the SDPD. Less than a block after exiting Off Base, “the police unit that had been watching us for several hours (yes we could see him) turned his lights on” writes one of the men. “Officer Wolff from the “SDPD Crime suppression” unit told me he stopped me because of “my loud pipes and my whip”. There was no decibel meter in sight, my pipes are stock, and my whip is a decorative one that is approx. 24 inches and zip tied to my front brake so therefore not accessible.”

Read More:

Feds Withdraw Request to Seize Devils Diciples MC Trademark

By | Biker's Rights | No Comments
Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedin

devils-diciples-keep-their-patch-620x350

By David Devereaux
Motorcycle Profiling Project

The US Attorney for the Eastern District of Michigan on August 29, 2016, filed a NOTICE DISMISSING DDMC TRADEMARK FROM FIRST FORFEITURE BILL OF PARTICULARS regarding the Devils Diciples MC. The notice says,

“The government hereby provides notice that it is not seeking to forfeit the DDMC Trademark in this criminal proceeding and hereby dismisses it from the First Forfeiture Bill of Particulars.”

Attempts by the federal government to seize the Devils Diciples Motorcycle Club trademark have come to an end. For now. But remaining vigilant and unified is critical when, inevitably, the time comes to oppose the next attempt to destroy motorcycle club culture. Read More

Lane Splitting is Officially Legal in California and now the Fine Tuning Begins

By | Biker's Rights | No Comments
Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedin

Lane-SplitLane splitting, long legal in California, is now “officially” recognized as such. Let the fine tuning begin!

After years of being an accepted practice in California, “lane splitting” officially became legal in the state as of Aug. 19 when Governor Jerry Brown signed in it into law. The lane splitting bill, commonly referred to as Assembly Bill 51 or AB 51, slowly worked its way through Assembly and Senate hearings with little opposition over the past several months. As with any new legislative act, there are few rough edges to smooth over. This bill is no different in that there is some ambiguity in the wording and how it will be applied to motorcyclists– particularly when it comes to guidelines set forth by the California Highway Patrol and most importantly, how the insurance industry addresses collisions involving a rider who is splitting lanes.

The catalyst for the “official” recognition of lane splitting as legal occurred when a citizen threatened action against the CHP for posting helpful safety guidelines about the practice on their website. The complaint was that CHP was not authorized to draft legislation and that, by posting guidelines on an activity that hadn’t been specifically designated as legal by the State, the CHP was running afoul of their authority.

Read More: 

8.6 Million Motorcyclists Vote. Holding the Power To Sway Elections

By | Biker's Rights | No Comments
Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedin

voting-power-motorcyclists-featured-image-620x350By David Devereaux
Motorcycle Profiling Project

As we approach national elections in November, why is the opinion of the motorcycling community so important? The answer is simple. Motorcyclists represent a massive and powerful voting block with the ability to sway national elections. The vast majority of this demographic are registered and active voters. According to the National Motorcycle Profiling Survey 2015-16 (NMPS), 86% of motorcyclists have voted in a national election within the last 10 years. The American Motorcycle Association estimates that there are 10,000,000 registered motorcyclists in America. That means motorcyclists comprise nearly 7% of the active voting population. Many elections are decided by a smaller margin, including the 2012 presidential election. Elected officials would be wise to take note that issues of discrimination and profiling are among motorcyclists greatest concerns.

86% of Motorcyclists (8.6 Million) Vote

The NMPS shows that the vast majority of motorcyclists are active voters and participate in US elections. According to Creative Research Systems, the NMPS, with 5,000 participants, has a 99% reliability rating and a margin of error of 1.4%. There is a 99% chance that the survey results translate to the entire target population with a 1.4% margin of error. 86% of 10,000,000 registered motorcyclists in America is 8.6 million motorcyclists that are active voters in the United States.

Read More:

Excessive Force and Motorcyclists

By | Biker's Rights | No Comments
Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedin

Excessive-forceBy David Devereaux, The Motorcycle Profiling Project 

“Without a doubt, the most controversial issue in American policing is the use of force by police officers. On too many occasions, we have seen newspaper headlines reporting that an individual has been brutalized or, worse yet, killed by the police. The consequences of excessive and deadly force have been severe, affecting both police organizations and the communities they serve.” 

Like other targeted communities, use of force issues are prevalent during many incidents involving members of motorcycle clubs or others fitting the biker stereotype. As a biker, it is important to understand how the courts define “excessive force” and what remedies are available to victims of unreasonable force.

Excessive Force Defined
Police officers in all states are granted authority to use force to accomplish lawful objectives. This includes arrest, entry to serve a warrant or make an arrest, and detention. “An officer may use only that force which is both reasonable and necessary to effect an arrest or detention. Anything more is excessive force.”

The key phrase is “reasonable and necessary.” And since 1989, all use of force lawsuits are measured by standards established by the Supreme Court in Graham v. Connor.

Read More:

Sponsored by logo

Outlaw Motorcycle Clubs Peacefully Assemble

By | Biker's Rights | No Comments
Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedin

outlaw-motorcycle-clubs-peacefully-assemble-featured-image-620x350Many in the mainstream media have missed the historic significance of who was standing together during the National Council of Clubs Press Conference held in Austin at Shamrock Cycles on May 17, 2016. The press event announced a National Protest Against Motorcycle Profiling and Discrimination. The story took a backseat to regurgitated sensationalism focused on Waco.

Members of clubs that some media and law enforcement have vilified were standing in unity behind the common ground issue of motorcycle profiling and discrimination. There were clubs from around the country in attendance, including representatives from the Outlaws MC, the Mongols MC, the Vagos MC, the Hells Angels MC, the Sons of Silence MC, the Devils Diciples MC, the Hessians MC, the Valiants MC, the Infidels MC, the Outsiders MC, and many clubs from Texas ranging from Christian Clubs to Veterans MC’s.

To be clear, this does not represent any kind of peace treaty or end to historical rivalries among motorcycle clubs. What the NCOC does represent is a decision by participants to stand together and project a unified voice on common ground issues that impact all motorcycle clubs and their members. Issues like the 1st Amendment, discrimination and profiling.

I suppose peaceful political protest is just not interesting enough to most mainstream media outlets, particularly events that disprove and dismantle their choice to perpetuate irresponsible sensationalism relating to motorcycle clubs.

Read More: 

Statistics Prove Outlaw Motorcycle Clubs Not A Public Threat

By | Biker's Rights, General News | No Comments
Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedin

statistics-prove-motorcycle-clubs-not-threat-featured-image-620x350Authorities openly target motorcycle clubs, particularly 1% clubs, selectively enforcing the law, in order to harass or investigate individuals based on the belief that they are definitionally criminals. This perspective is based on an outdated stereotype that is ignorant of statistical reality and foundational constitutional principles that have been consistently confirmed by the Supreme Court and other federal courts.

Many federal and state authorities insist that what they call “outlaw motorcycle gangs/OMG’s” are a significant organized crime threat in America, despite the statistical data that proves criminal activity involving these clubs is negligible at best. (Note: the OMG tag is universally rejected by the clubs labeled gangs by law enforcement.)

Tens of millions of dollars are spent targeting and prosecuting motorcycle clubs based on a fallacy of composition. The regurgitated actions of the few are used to create a generalized assumption about thousands of people, regardless of statistical reality. Crimes committed by individual members of motorcycle clubs are highly sensationalized and presented to be representative of the entire community.  In fact, the statistical data that does exist, including the data generated by these same agencies, proves definitively that clubs labeled OMG’s represent a myopic percentage of criminal activity in this country.  Indeed, data suggests that law enforcement agencies commit and sanction many more major crimes than motorcycle clubs.

Read More:

Supreme Court Guts the Fourth Amendment

By | Biker's Rights | No Comments
Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedin

supreme-court-guts-fourth-amendment-620x329Incriminating evidence found during an illegal stop should be considered fruit from the poisonous tree.  The Supreme Court has long excluded incriminating evidence found as a result of an illegal stop conducted without reasonable suspicion or probable cause.  Over time the court has embraced exceptions to this rule. But recently the court created an expansive exception which gives law enforcement much more authority to search persons stopped for no reason at all. In the words of Justice Sonia Sotomayor, this decision “says that your body is subject to invasion while courts excuse the violation of your rights. It implies that you are not a citizen of a democracy.”  This new exception means that anyone can be stopped at any time, regardless of guilt or innocence.  What can be done? State legislation is one of the only mechanisms available to provide civil liberty protection beyond limited federal minimums.

Read More:

KCPD Officer Working for Quick Trip Threatens Sons of Silence & Mongols

By | Biker's Rights | No Comments
Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedin

video-shows-sons-silence-mc-members-threatened-false-arrest-featured-image-620x329Video obtained by the MPP captures two members of the Sons of Silence Motorcycle Club being harassed and threatened with false arrest on the night of June 25th, 2016 at a Quick Trip service station in Kansas City because, according to one KCPD officer Marchant, “1%’ers aren’t allowed at the Quick Trip while the KC police are present.”

Importantly, the employees at the Quick Trip had no issue with serving these individuals, frequent customers of this particular establishment. It is unconstitutional for an agent of the government to impose discriminatory access restrictions on anyone, including members of 1% motorcycle clubs.

This incident is one example in an extensive pattern of evidence demonstrating the epidemic of motorcycle profiling and discrimination taking place in Missouri and most pockets of America. Legislation prohibiting the practice of profiling and providing a mechanism of relief for victims is long overdue.

Read More:

 

Hells Angels Charity for Kids Blockaded by Indiana Police

By | Biker's Rights | No Comments
Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedin

Indiana-HA-Charity-Featured-Image-60-officers-620x329Police agencies in Porter County, Indiana are knowingly and publicly endorsing an unconstitutional policy of motorcycle profiling and discrimination targeting motorcycle club members and other motorcyclists attempting to participate in charitable fundraising events.

On May 11th, 60 officers from 11 different agencies began a premeditated campaign of profiling stops targeting participants in a charity event promoted by the Hells Angels for no other reason than being associated with a motorcycle club. No specific or particular evidence existed to justify this “saturation patrol” which has resulted in 1st Amendment violations and gross mismanagement of public resources.

Disturbingly, law enforcement has made it clear that the patrols will continue.  In addition to immediate action in the form of demands to cease this unconstitutional campaign of profiling, legislation at both at the state and federal level is needed to stop this epidemic impacting motorcyclists from Indiana to both coasts of America.

Read More

Victory For Kansas City Motorcyclists-Rockfest Lifts “No Colors” Ban

By | Biker's Rights | No Comments
Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedin

kansas-coc-lifts-no-colors-rockfest-2016-featured-image-620x329Promotors of Rockfest, held in Kansas City Saturday, May 14th, originally posted an announcement online that no motorcycle club colors would be allowed into the event. The Kansas Confederation of Clubs, National Council of Clubs, and concerned motorcyclists in Kansas immediately responded with a mobilized effort to change this discriminatory policy. Within 24 hours of the announcement being posted, it was reported to the MPP that a member of the Kansas Motorcycle Club community talked directly to the promoters and made “convincing arguments” ultimately resulting in an agreement to lift the “no colors” ban. Read More

Florida Media and Police Unconstitutionally Targeting Motorcycle Clubs

By | Biker's Rights | No Comments
Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedin

Florida-media-at-fault-for-biker-fear-featured-image-620x329ABC Action News in Tampa Bay recently released an expose titled “Uncovering the Tampa Bay firefighters who run with criminal motorcycle gangs” asserting that club members in public safety positions has law enforcement concerned. A few days after this expose, Tampa Bay PD tased and arrested a member of the Outlaws Motorcycle Club at a local bar claiming that he had resisted arrest and assaulted police officers. However, video footage capturing the incident shows officers tasing the club member while he had his hands behind his back in compliance with the officer’s demands. Although the officer’s actions are inexcusable and deserving of civil and criminal liability, the actions of ABC Action News are equally deplorable and should be condemned in the court of public opinion.

ABC Action News in Tampa Bay is a primary example of promoting extremely irresponsible journalism in favor of tabloid-like sensationalism. This attempt to spread fear, as opposed to truth, furthers a stereotype fueling an epidemic of motorcycle profiling and discrimination nationwide.

Read More: