Monthly Archives: January 2017

Texas Biker Movement Alive and Strong After Waco Tragedy

By David “Double D” Devereaux

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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, 2017 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.

Bikers from Across America Show Support for Texas Bikers

After Waco, many motorcyclists view the state of Texas as ground zero in the effort to preserve motorcyclist’s civil liberties and the fight against profiling and discrimination. Although there was some discussion relating to pending motorcycle safety legislation like lane-filtering, the clear message from the community was that motorcycle profiling and discrimination is the most important issue currently facing Texas bikers.

In search of support and sponsorship, the mass of bikers gathered at the steps of the Capitol to deliver their message. Impressively, many of them were not from Texas. Indeed, the NCOC showed their support with a contingent from Washington State, California, New York, Maryland, Nevada North Carolina and Utah. Long Island ABATE was also present and displaying a banner declaring support for Texas bikers. The Motorcycle Riders Foundation, another organization dedicated to the fight against profiling, was also present.

Guest speakers included Dr. Will Dulaney from North Carolina and David “Double D” Devereaux from Washington State, as representatives of the NCOC and MPP. Double D spoke about Texas being at the epicenter in the battle against motorcycle profiling. “Texas showed us all that grassroots manpower worked when they brought the country the US Defenders program. Now it’s time to use the model to protect Texas bikers!”

Dulaney introduced a new program from the MPP providing consultation and expert witnesses to bikers with public defenders facing criminal charges. “Public defenders are often overwhelmed with caseloads and uninformed about issues specific to the biker and club community”, explained Dulaney.

Russell Radke, representing the MRF, discussed the national organization’s commitment to pass federal legislation addressing motorcycle profiling. Radke explained that the MRF is one of the only organizations with an infrastructure firmly rooted in Washington DC.

Finally, recently elected District Attorney Mark Gonzales, a motorcycle club member himself, confirmed that even he has been the victim of motorcycle profiling during his recent campaign. Gonzales explained that his named popped up as a gang member during a traffic stop. He’s the newly elected District Attorney! Gonzales is proof positive that motorcycle profiling impacts everyday bikers simply based on a stereotype. There is obviously a problem when the District Attorney has been labeled a gang member with NO due process.

The post Texas Biker Movement Alive and Strong After Waco Tragedy appeared first on Motorcycle Profiling Project.

Source:: Texas Biker Movement Alive and Strong After Waco Tragedy

Jury Finds Mongols Not Guilty After Motorcycle Profiling Arrest

By David “Double D” Devereaux

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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.

Mongols Arrested For Get Back Whips

Dr. William Dulaney, an established expert witness in cases involving motorcycle clubs, recently wrote to the MPP regarding a recent case in which he consulted.

The Story- Two members of the Mongols MC were arrested on illegal weapons charges south of San Diego, California in May 2015 while riding with over 30 other Mongols members and five friends. “Specifically, two members were arrested and charged with illegally possessing “slung shots”, commonly called get back whips,” says Dulaney. (Note that at the time of the incident one of the men was not yet a member.) The group was on its way to their annual World Run held in Mexico.

After exiting the U.S. border, the entire pack of riders were directed to a large inspection area bounded by concrete barriers. There ATF Special Agent Ciccone and other police officers searched several members of the Mongols, including the 2 ultimately charged, “but it was San Diego Detective Timothy Coyle who interpreted a key chain and a decorative braided belt chain as slung shots,” says Dulaney.

Mongols Acquitted in Chula Vista Trial

The prosecution was based on Detective Coyle’s claims he submitted in his report to the court for trial and under oath that, “These slung shots are commonly carried by outlaw motorcycle gang members to be used as a readily available weapon. The weapon is swung at the intended target with the metal clip striking the victim.” (Official Report, “Investigation” section, pg. 6). Indeed, “Coyle goes on to claim that he has ONLY observed these items used as weapons,” writes Dulaney.

But the jury did not agree and both Mongol MC defendants were acquitted. Perhaps they were persuaded by the fact that the defendants were not wearing weapons or whips? Indeed, one defendant was wearing, clipped to his vest, “a 10” keychain made of braided nylon parachute cord and a metal clip similar to clips used on dog leashes.” The other defendant wore “attached to his belt a roughly two-foot decorative chain with nylon parachute cord wound through the chain links.

According to Dulaney, Coyle was unable to answer, under oath, when asked about the history of the slung shot. He stated into the record that he is unaware of any such history. Ever hear the one about David and Goliath?

But maybe most telling was the fact that the officer ordered to take the defendants into custody and to jail “apologized to them both for not having a clue why they were being arrested. Evidence corroborating the claims here is found in the very words used by the arresting officer on the official report,” says Dulaney.

Upcoming Chosen Few Trial

Indeed, “Coyle is making a name for himself as the biker slung shot expert,” says Dulaney. Unfortunately, the Mongols incident is not isolated. Members of the Chosen a Few MC are still awaiting their trials for identical charges. Again, Detective Coyle is involved in their incident as well.

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.

One Chosen Few member confirmed to the MPP that he was charged with possessing a slungshot- the decorative zip-tied whip- and both men were charged with possessing brass knuckles for wearing rings, including wedding rings. Both men were also given gang enhancements for participating in a criminal street gang. Both men were also given $120,000 bail.

Official complaints have been filed against the officers involved, and one can only hope that another jury will see through this type of discriminatory policing in San Diego particularly considering that Detective Coyle appears to be a common denominator in these recent incidents of discrimination.

Conclusions

The actions of the SDPD are inexcusable. Targeted harassment of motorcycle clubs based solely on association is a baseline violation of an individual’s civil liberties. A simple legislative solution exists that immediately reduces profiling. Other states like Washington and Maryland faced similar discrimination and responded by passing laws prohibiting motorcycle profiling. These laws have been effective reducing discriminatory stops and preserving the right of motorcyclists to travel free from harassment.

The post Jury Finds Mongols Not Guilty After Motorcycle Profiling Arrest appeared first on Motorcycle Profiling Project.

Source:: Jury Finds Mongols Not Guilty After Motorcycle Profiling Arrest

National Survey

 

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Recently, the National Motorcycle Profiling Survey 2015-2016 concluded and the results definitively demonstrate that motorcycle profiling is an epidemic in America. Many motorcyclists in America have been targeted based on appearance, not behavior. The NMPS 2015-2016 is 99% reliable with only a 1.4% deviation.

 

The 2016-2017 NMPS is intended to more accurately define profiling trends so resources and attention can be focused on the areas that need it the most. As the movement to end motorcycle profiling continues to gain momentum, statistical data and demographic information are an important tool in the efforts to obtain legislative relief across the country.

 

Please take the time to take the survey. Note: NO PERSONAL DATA IS REQUIRED! YOUR PRIVACY AND ANONYMITY ARE IMPORTANT AND RESPECTED. By asking for no more than your zip code and email, which is completely voluntary, there is no personal information to maintain or protect.

 

Participation is critical and will have long lasting, positive impacts on the community. Remember. Silence is consent.

Click the link below to take the Survey
http://www.motorcycleprofilingproject.com/national-motorcycle-profling-survey/