The next Colorado Front Range COC Meeting
Will be held Sunday July 26th, 2020 @ Noon.
Location: VFW Post 4171, 15625 W 10th Ave, Golden, CO
The next Colorado Front Range COC Meeting
Will be held Sunday July 26th, 2020 @ Noon.
Location: VFW Post 4171, 15625 W 10th Ave, Golden, CO
On July 2nd, 2020, a Canyon County, Idaho Sheriff denied a prospect for the Vagos Motorcycle Club access to the Canyon County Department of Motor Vehicles to renew his license. It has been long established that an employee of the government is constitutionally prohibited from denying access to an individual wearing motorcycle club colors, or otherwise discriminating against them in any way. The actions of the Canyon County DMV are a blatant violation of the 1st and 14th Amendments and expose public officials to liability under 42 USC Section 1983. The Canyon County Sheriff’s Department and DMV should immediately cease and desist the practice of denying access to individuals engaged in protected expressive conduct, such as wearing motorcycle club colors. The actions of the Canyon County DMV, although not in direct violation, are 100% inconsistent with the new law prohibiting motorcycle profiling that went into effect July 1st, 2020.
ABATE of Idaho reported this incident to the MPP and provided the following statement from the individual denied his Constitutional right of expression:
“I, Justin Burchard, on the 2nd of July 2020, went to Canyon County DMV in Caldwell ID. At approximately 8:35 am I walked up to entrance and was stopped by an officer [Canyon County Sheriff] and told I could not enter the facility wearing my motorcycle club vest. I did not argue with the officer… His description was Caucasian male in his mid 40’s dark hair slender build. I felt it was a violation of my rights.”
Cohen v. California (1971) established that individuals have a 1st Amendment right to wear clothing which displays writing or designs in public spaces. The Supreme Court concluded that an individual wearing a shirt reading “F*#K THE DRAFT was protected expression in a courthouse. See Cohen v. California, 403 U.S. 15 (1971).
In Sammartano v. First Judicial District Court (2002) the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals applied Cohen and said that wearing of motorcycle club colors in a government building is protected speech under the 1st Amendment. Arguments relating to intimidation or the potential for violence based on general stereotypes do not overwhelm this right. See Sammartano v. First Judicial District Court, 303 F.3d 959 (9th Cir.2002).
In Coles v. Carlini (2015), relying on Supreme Court precedent, a US District Court recently concluded that the government may not impose restrictions on an individual solely because of displaying membership in a motorcycle club. Importantly, these protections extend to members of clubs that law enforcement has labeled gangs or criminal organizations.
There is “no evidence that by merely wearing [motorcycle club] “colors,” an individual is “involved in or associated with the alleged violent or criminal activity of other [motorcycle club] members. It is a fundamental principle that the government may not impose restrictions on an individual “merely because an individual belong[s] to a group, some members of which committed acts of violence.” In fact, the Supreme Court has long “disapproved governmental action . . . denying rights and privileges solely because of a citizen’s association with an unpopular organization.” Healy v. James, 408 U.S. 169, 185-86 (1972) (See Coles v. Carlini, US District Court for the District of New Jersey, Civil No. 10-6132 OPINION, 9/30/2015, p.28)
Federal Courts say, “On balance, a motorcycle club member’s hardship in not being able to express their views and the public interest in protecting speech outweigh the Government’s interest in suppressing an intimidating symbol.” 1 “Though the symbol may at times function as a mouthpiece for unlawful or violent behavior, this is not sufficient to strip speech of its First Amendment protection.” 2 Prohibiting speech of this nature constitutes an attack on a particular viewpoint.
The post Idaho DMV Unconstitutionally Denies Service For Motorcycle Club Colors appeared first on Motorcycle Profiling Project.
A video recently released capturing Colorado law enforcement discussing shooting a Hells Angel during a traffic stop without cause was not a mere threat. Although law enforcement has made every attempt to conceal the truth through fictitious statements to the mainstream media, a Colorado Sheriff attempted to kill another unarmed Hells Angel a little more than a year later by shooting him in the stomach while serving a warrant in late 2019. Until now, this story has not been fully told. The victim was in a coma following the shooting while his location was being being hidden from his attorney and family by law enforcement for 13 days before a court order was granted by a judge, not surprisingly at the absurd objection of prosecutors and law enforcement. The situation very was uncertain. But recent revelations confirming a broader policy of targeting Hells Angels with an explicit willingness to kill without cause demands widespread attention and public outrage. So this story must now be told.
The National Council of Clubs (NCOC), representing the legitimate interests of motorcycle clubs and their members nationwide, stands in unified opposition to law enforcement targeting and attempting to murder members of motorcycle clubs. The NCOC hopes lives are saved by holding the officer(s) involved accountable, both for the shooting and the blatant lies relayed to the public in an obvious attempt to downplay the severity of law enforcement actions. Motorcycle Profiling is real and the loss of life is the ultimate impact.
The Basic Details While serving one of 19 warrants in Jefferson County, Colorado on November 7th, 2019, a SWAT team officer shot a member of the Hells Angels Motorcycle Club (HAMC) in the stomach with a shotgun round intended to breach a locked door (not shoot a human being) when he opened the door unarmed to peacefully greet approaching officers. Independent of the many unanswered questions that remain, the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office (JCSO) reported that the suspect sustained a non-life threatening injury. That was a blatant lie. The victim almost died.
Law enforcement’s version of events.
As reported by law enforcement officials to NBC affiliate 9news.com on November 7th, 2019:
Although Dusty stabilized after being in a coma, the fact that the injuries he sustained were life-threatening is an important detail that the public has a right to know and that law enforcement has an ethical duty not to lie about. Adding insult to injury, before he was fully recovered, on Christmas Eve 2019 law enforcement officers rushed into his already secured hospital room, placed him under arrest, and announced that he was being charged under the state organized crime law. They then took him to Denver County jail in a wheelchair. Dusty bonded out a few days later and is at home with an ankle monitor awaiting trial.
Why was it necessary to fire a breaching round in the first place? Dusty has no criminal record and he has never been convicted of a violent crime. He was home alone with his wife and obviously had no intention of resisting based on the fact that he opened the door unarmed to greet them. What is the probability of the officer firing a breaching round at the exact moment Dusty was opening the door? Based on the opinion of one combat military veteran with extensive experience in breaching residential dwellings, it’s highly improbable. Bobby Colella, retired Army 1st Sergeant and NCOC participant, breached countless residential dwellings in a war theater and not once was an occupant struck by a breaching round when they opened the door. How far away was the Sheriff when he shot the breaching round? Colella explains that “breaching rounds of the sort used in this instance are low velocity and must be fired at very close range. Within a foot or two. It makes more sense that the officer was startled, despite training to control impulsive deadly force responses when startled or stressed.” If the sheriff deputy was farther away, that makes a non-accidental shooting even more likely. From farther away, shooting Dusty, not breaching the door, is the only logical intent of the shot.
A Call To Action
What’s happening in Colorado is a microcosm of a national epidemic. The evidence is clear. Under the status quo, motorcycle clubs are targeted as a matter of policy to the degree that killing a Biker without cause is an acceptable method of law enforcement. Discrimination and profiling against motorcyclists demands immediate public policy attention at the state and national level. The issue is literally one of life and death.
HELP END MOTORCYCLE PROFILING!
CLICK HERE AND TAKE THE NATIONAL MOTORCYCLE PROFILING SURVEY
The post Colorado Sheriffs Cover-Up Shooting Hells Angel In Stomach appeared first on Motorcycle Profiling Project.
In the midst of the global corona virus pandemic there is not much “good news”. But for motorcyclists in Idaho there is a sliver of positivity in a sea of crisis. On March 18th, 2020 the state of Idaho became the 4th state to pass a law addressing the issue of motorcycle proﬁling. Awaiting the governor’s signature, S 1292, sponsored by Representative Robert Anderst, passed the Idaho House of Representatives on a 37-30 vote after previously passing the Senate 25-9.
S 1292 defines the term “motorcycle proﬁling” and prohibits the practice. And like the 3 states that have previously addressed the issue- Washington State (2011), Maryland (2016) and Louisiana (2019)- S1292 doesn’t allow monetary claims against law enforcement. The Federal Civil Rights Act remains the mechanism of monetary relief for victims of proﬁling. Rather, state anti-motorcycle proﬁling legislation provides a mechanism for targeted individuals to receive dismissals and exclusion of evidence based on an illegal stop, in addition to enhanced law enforcement training intended to curtail the discriminatory practice.
The law in Idaho is the direct result of a 5-year long grassroots effort led by Idaho ABATE. Idaho ABATE is a quintessential example of the democratic process at work. With persistence and preparation, legislative opposition can be reversed. Legislators deal with hundreds/ thousands of pieces of legislation annually. Idaho ABATE did not allow previous failures since 2017 to discourage the legislative effort. Instead of giving up, Idaho ABATE persisted and was eventually successful educating and gaining the support of legislators that previously opposed the idea.
The Motorcycle Proﬁling Project congratulates Idaho ABATE, Representative Anderst, and those that supported the effort- you know who you are! Working with you was a pleasure!
Stay healthy. Stay safe. And Fight The Good Fight!
A Blueprint For Successfully Protesting “No Motorcycle Colors” Nationwide the act of law enforcement coercing private establishments to prohibit motorcycle club-related clothing and paraphernalia has grown to epidemic levels. The National Council of Clubs, representing motorcycle clubs and their member’s legitimate interests in all 50 states, stands in opposition to law enforcement coercion and encourages motorcyclists to organize and fight back!
A recent example in the state of Pennsylvania not only highlights the issue, but also provides a viable blueprint for successfully reversing law enforcement motivated discrimination in public accommodations. Ephrata Police attempted to coerce a local Elks Lodge into breaking a contract with the Lancaster County Motorcycle Club (LCMC) that planned on holding their annual Halloween party to benefit the Ronald McDonald House. Fortunately, the LCMC, the NCOC, and Motorcycle Profiling Project (MPP), organized a successful campaign blocking law enforcement’s efforts.
Lancaster County Motorcycle Club is “a family friendly group using our love of riding motorcycles to help charities and benefits in our community.” LCMC as a collective, have never had any interactions with any law enforcement agency, and has references from many facilities that have hosted them, or that they participated in events with. On August 15th, 2019, LCMC signed a rental contract with the Elks Lodge 1933 to hold their annual Halloween party to take place on October 26, 2019. LCMC had hired a band, and planned on renting a taxi for any intoxicated drivers, and had a motorcycle trailer on standby as well. With food, entertainment, and safety measures in place, everything was going as planned, and shaping up to be a successful charity fundraiser. That is until the Ephrata Police decided to get involved.
On September 23rd, a board member of the Elks Lodge informed LCMC that their party was canceled at the behest of Lt. Christopher McKim of the Ephrata Police Department. Lt. McKim, acting under the color of state law in a official capacity, and who is also a member of the Elks lodge, had several conservations with a board member and the president of the lodge, “advising” them “not to have the party because of the possible ramifications that could happen from it.” The board members of the lodge decided to have a meeting to discuss what they believed was a directive from the local police department. Lt. McKim told the board members that he was ‘tipped off’ by agencies that were higher than his. Lt. McKim falsely claimed that LCMC had ties to a Motorcycle ‘Gang’, and employed a scare tactic of asking the lodge what they would do in the event that something ‘bad’ happened. Based on the erroneous and sensationalized misinformation that was presented to them, the Elks Lodge decided to cancel the planned event.
Lancaster County Motorcycle Club was not happy about the slanderous information that was being spread about them, and made the decision to push back. The President of LCMC made several phone calls to the president of the Elks Lodge, as well as too Lt. McKim seeking an explanation as to why he would illegally influence a private business under the color of the law.
After several days and multiple attempts unanswered, LCMC President contacted the NCOC. On September 27th, 2019, I called Lt. McKim and requested an interview. Initially, he stated that he did not have time, and did not know what the questions were going to be in reference too. I informed him that I would be writing an article about his illegal actions, and would like to get quotes and/or his side of the story. Once this information was presented, Lt. McKim made time and decided to speak with this writer.
Lt. McKim denied pressuring the Elks Lodge to cancel event, stating that “we”, the Ephrata Police, “just wanted them to be aware of the situation, aware of the connection.” He stated that he had received information from other confidential sources that “trouble can arise, not that it will arise.” He stated that the police department contacts any venue that is holding an event discusses how they would handle the situation “if anything bad happened.” When asked whether he, or the Ephrata Police Department is against the Elks Lodge hosting the LCMC parties, he responded “NO, not at all.”
While this writer was informing the LCMC President of the conservation with Lt. McKim, the Lt. coincidentally decided to return the President’s phone call. Armed with this new information, LCMC was able to secure an audience with the Elks Lodge board members to discuss the issue of having their party cancelled.
Majority of the LCMC, as well as this writer, were present for a meeting with board of the Elks Lodge. Many of tired and true misconception about Motorcycle Clubs were brought up in the meeting. One board member, a retired Ephrata Police officer, even insinuated that if a certain Motorcycle Club was not invited, that there was going to be violence. This same board member reaffirmed what was believed when he stated that “we were basically told not to have the party.”
Armed with statistical data and evidence, as well as compelling personal and collective stories, LCMC was able to able to convince the board members that having the party would not result in any violence, and that Lt. McKims mischaracterization of them was exactly that. After the meeting LCMC was informed that all but one board member voted to allow the party to take place as originally planned.
On October 26th, LCMC held their Halloween party as planned. There were zero incidences of violence, zero complaints from neighbors, and zero involvement from any law enforcement agency. Most importantly, proceeds were able to benefit the Ronald McDonald House, which helps the families of sick children at Penn State Milton S. Hershey Children’s Hospital.
This is yet another example of what can be accomplished when the Motorcycle Club community works together for Our 1st Amendment Rights.
The post A Blueprint For Successfully Protesting “No Motorcycle Colors” appeared first on Motorcycle Profiling Project.
Waco Biker Dismissals an Attempt to Avoid Millions in Lawsuits In the interests of justice, on April 2, 2019 all remaining charges related to the May 17, 2015 Twin Peaks shootings in Waco, Texas have been dismissed by the newly elected McLennan County District Attorney Barry Johnson. These dismissals are a significant victory in…
The McMinnville Tennessee Police Department has been refusing to release any public information related to the death of 21-year-old motorcyclist Jay Alan Webster, probate member of the Silent Creed Motorcycle Club, killed on July 7th, 2018, after former Warren County Sheriff Kenneth Taylor failed to yield and hit Webster while driving his Toyota SUV. But…
The post Report Released Under Pressure After Ex-Sheriff Kills TN Biker appeared first on National Council of Motorcycle Clubs.
Press Release July 10, 2018 National Council of Clubs Re: The imaginary war between MC’s and government. Contact: David Devereaux-Spokespersonmedia@councilofclubs.org, councilofclubs.org The National Council of Clubs (NCOC), dedicated to protecting the legal and political interests of motorcycle clubs coast-to-coast, is extremely concerned about an imaginary war between motorcycle clubs and the government, created in…
The tragic murder of Outlaw Motorcycle Club member Paul Anderson on December 21, 2017 near Tampa Bay has been used by Pasco Sheriff Chris Nocco to perpetuate fear about motorcycle clubs generally and to desecrate the memory of a decorated military Veteran. The National Council of Clubs, representing motorcyclists around America, issued a press release…
The post Police Respectful at Outlaws Funeral After Media Reports Public Outrage appeared first on National Council of Motorcycle Clubs.
Press Release January 5, 2018 National Council of Clubs Re: LE statements following Outlaws MC Paul Anderson killing. Contact: David Devereaux-Spokesperson firstname.lastname@example.org, councilofclubs.org The National Council of Clubs, an organization dedicated to protecting the political, legal and legislative interests of motorcyclists nationwide, is very concerned that law enforcement is using the tragic murder of…
The post All FL Bikers at Risk After LE Statements Regarding Murdered Outlaw. appeared first on National Council of Motorcycle Clubs.