The next meeting for the Front Range Colorado COC Will be held;
January 26th, 2020 @ NOON
Location: VFW 4171, 15625 W 10th Ave, Golden, CO 80401
Location: VFW 4171, 15625 W 10th Ave, Golden, CO 80401
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 email@example.com, 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.
By Motocycle Profiling Project By Dave “Irish” Dohrmann Motorcycle profiling is an issue that knows no state bounds. From coast to coast, police and other governmental agencies are violating the constitutional rights of Motorcycle Club members. Typical of this trend, six members of a motorcycle club in Utah were recently stopped on three separate occasions, all within an hour,…
The New Jersey State Commission of Investigations recently held public hearings on the Pagan’s Motorcycle Club (PMC) and it was business as usual. 1The NJSCI, in a trend being repeated by government and media sources nationwide, continued the process of eroding and ignoring the 1st Amendment in an attempt to vilify motorcycle clubs, in this instance the PMC due to the club’s alleged rapid growth recently. The actions of the few do not, and should not, dictate policy towards an entire demographic. Yet, that is the exact tactic being employed by the NJSCI by exploiting and sensationalizing the alleged actions of a few members in an attempt to encourage policy condemning the entire organization. That is simply not how the 1st Amendment works.
The NJSCI hearing was intended to expose policymakers to the allegedly growing threat presented by the PMC. The NJSCI has no power to prosecute. They do, however, provide guidance to policymakers that directly influence legislation and law. Ignoring the fundamental liberties embodied in the 1st Amendment, the NJSCI presented a familiar narrative echoing a biased and inaccurate stereotype by presenting as evidence actions of individual members in an attempt to condemn all PMC members. Moreover, many of the examples presented have not been subjected to judicial scrutiny or due process. Although no one goes to prison as a direct result, the NJSCI directly influences legislation without the requirement that an individual is innocent until proven guilty.
NJSCI investigative agent Edwin Torres begins by advancing the falsehood that being a 1%’ER is synonymous with being a criminal. This assertion is an attempt to condemn an entire community and constitutionally protected symbol and association.
“Make no mistake. They are gangs”, says Torres. He then breaks into the apocryphal AMA narrative dating back to Hollister, California in 1947 in which the AMA declared that 1% of motorcyclists were not law-abiding citizens. Torres testified that 1%’ERS “wear a patch advertising that they are not law-abiding citizens.”
The assertion is ridiculous to members of the 1% club community. At worst, 1’ERS are advertising rebellion against mainstream society’s rules, not its’ laws. Things like long hair, tattoos, loud motorcycles, and parties.
The truth is that 1% clubs are considered elite among clubs, generally with higher levels of commitment and participation requirements, not criminality requirements. 1% clubs are a lifestyle, not a hobby. The truth is that the vast majority of 1%’ERS are employed, many have families, and don’t have criminal records. The statistics strongly dispute claims of criminality.
In an attempt to provoke fear in policymakers and the public, NJSCI investigators assert women are abused and mistreated. Nicole McCann, investigative analyst for NJSCI testified, “According to the Pagan Motorcycle Club, women are below dogs. Women are treated like their property … shared sexually among the group. They are typically given as many drugs or drinks as they want.”
This assertion is highly oﬀensive to PMC members and their Ol’ Ladies. One self-proclaimed proud Pagan Ol’ Lady writes to the MPP: “Lower than dogs?!” Come on! My Pagan Ol’Lady sisters are top quality wives, girlfriends, and mothers! My property patch indicates that I’m loved, valued, and cherished by my man. And in return, we honor, love and respect our men.”
Although not as sensational as Hollywood’s version of biker culture, the claims regarding the intrinsic abuse of women are simply not true.
The NJSCI also claims that 90% of Pagan’s MC members do narcotics, in addition to all being criminals as signified by the 1% patch. Members also dispute this claim. One proud PMC member, family man, business owner, and law-abiding citizen writes the MPP, “Any intelligent person who believes this line of crap these oﬃcials are spewing is just as hypocritical and judgmental as those fabricating this nonsense. Talk about fake news and slanderous rhetoric! The percentage of club members who actually abuse drugs and commit crimes is far less than statistics have proven in law enforcement, clergy, and even government. The Doctors and priests molesting and abusing children and corruption in government and law enforcement is public knowledge. The men and women in motorcycle clubs around the world are widely comprised of hard-working, family loving, community support, and yes, law-abiding citizens from ALL walks of life. Lets face the facts and stop the spread of fake news on all levels. Get real.”
The idea that all, or even most, 1%’ers are criminals is shattered by the only available statistics. The 2016-2019 National Motorcycle Profiling Surveys (NMPS) demonstrate that members of motorcycle clubs simply do not fit the demographic profile of criminals or gang members. The NMPS, the only statistical attempt to quantify the motorcycle profiling epidemic in America, is an extremely reliable data set, with 99% reliability and a 1.4% margin of error.
Torres is advancing a perception about all PMC members and 1%’ERS based on the actions of individual members. Certainly, individuals in clubs commit crimes. Some individuals in all large organizations and communities do, including government and law enforcement. But this fact does not mean every member of these groups are criminals.
This blanket assertion of criminality is completely inconsistent with established constitutional principles. And this is not the first time New Jersey law enforcement has attempted to condemn members of the PMC for mere association.
In 2015, a federal court in New Jersey found “no evidence that by merely wearing Pagan’s “colors,” an individual is “involved in or associated with the alleged violent or criminal activity of other Pagan’s 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).
Condemning any person “who wears the insignia of the Pagan’s motorcycle club, without regard to or knowledge of that individual’s specific intent to engage in the alleged violent activities committed by other members, is antithetical to the basic principles enshrined in the First Amendment and repugnant to the fundamental doctrine of personal guilt that is a hallmark of American jurisprudence.” see Coles v. Carlini 162 F.Supp.3d 380 (2015)
1 https://www.njleg.state.nj.us/media/mp.asp?M=A/2019/CIR/1023-1000AM- M0-1.m4a&S=2018
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The National Council of Clubs, representing the interests of motorcycle clubs and thousands of their members in every state in America, is both concerned and appalled at recent reports of Veterans organizations, including some VFW, American Legion, and Eagles posts, among others, denying access to individuals expressing membership in motorcycle clubs.
So what’s the solution? The Texas Council of Clubs & Independents recent campaign in response to a policy of discrimination announced by the state VFW serves as an example of a successful strategy for others facing similar acts of discrimination by private Veterans organizations in their states.
Dated October 2019, the Department of Texas VFW sent General Orders to all VFW Posts throughout the state outlining a new written policy which includes a provision excluding all 1% MC members, employing gang labeling, from VFW events and property.
The TCOC&I quickly became aware of the General Orders through local VFW posts in numerous areas of the state and immediately began a campaign responding to the new policy of discrimination. Motorcycle clubs have a long history of having events at VFW posts, many motorcyclists are members, and relationships are strong in many places in Texas, as they are throughout America.
Representatives of the TCOC&I began spreading the VFW letter through social media channels. Thousands in Texas and across the country became aware. On October 9th, a direct response from the TCOC&I in the form of a formal letter was sent to the Texas VFW outlining the community’s request that the policy be reversed. The TCOC&I emphasized the historical ties between the MC community and VFW’s throughout Texas. 38% of the club community are Veterans, more than five times the national average. MC meetings, benefits, and social events are a common occurrence.
According to a TCOC&I representative, this letter resulted in a meeting between representatives of both the Texas VFW and TCOC&I, including the local Austin VFW President. On Saturday, October 12, 2019, the TCOC&I emphasized the importance of not allowing the actions of the few influence how the VFW regards all motorcycle clubs, including 1%’ERS, and how they are treated. The TCOC&I also made a formal request for written explanation of the specifics that led to the General Orders and confirmation of a policy reversal. VFW representatives committed to bringing the TCOC&I’s concerns to Keith King, Texas VFW State Commander.
On October 22, 2019 Paul Landers, representing the TCOC&I, reached out to the Texas VFW for an update or statement following the October 12 meeting. Landers was notified that King would meet the following day to personally discuss the General Orders at Issue.
After meeting on October 23 the VFW State Commander opened his mind and listened, according to. Landers.
“King explained that the policy was due to publicized incidents of violence and 1% MC’s in Texas. But after listening to our perspective he changed his perspective. The actions of the few should not impact the rights of the whole. King agreed to a written policy change that does NOT exclude MC’s and 1% clubs from VFW property”, says Landers.
The Texas VFW Commander King writes, “The Texas VFW leadership met with representatives of the Texas Council of Clubs & Independents about General Order #2 issued October 2019 and received input from them that further clarification was requested to separate “Gangs” from MC’s. Motorcycle Clubs are Not Street Gangs. This was a very informative meeting with all attending sharing valuable information concerning the groups
We all agreed that our organizations did many good things for the communities in their areas. We all agreed that respect for one another is vital. As the original General Order stated, posts will have the right to permit the groups they have good working relationships with on their property. Notice that this means they will have the right to wear their patch as well if the post allows it. We all agreed to police ourselves. We believe that by working together we can strengthen our community involvement as many riders are in fact veterans themselves.
We hope this clears up the situation concerning motorcycle groups and the VFW in Texas.”
The TCOC&I serves as a model example on how to respond to Veteran organization discrimination against the motorcycling community.
First, social media channels were flooded with the VFW’s General Orders in order to increase awareness and generate independent complaint streams. The more individuals that reach out and complain means the more leverage an oﬃcial complaint will have.
Second, an oﬃcial complaint and request for policy reversal was drafted and sent to the Texas VFW. The complaint outlined the close connection between MC’s and Veterans and argued the VFW is profiling and discriminating against the very people they exist to serve.
Third, meetings were arranged with VFW representatives in order to resolve the issue. Capable spokespersons persuaded the VFW to not punish all MC members for the actions of the few. The final result was a reversing a discriminatory policy.
The entire TCOC&I campaign was implemented and completed within days of the original letter being sent by the VFW. The campaign was cost-free and 100% relied upon active volunteer participation.
The shortsighted policy of excluding MC’s from Veteran’s organizations is appalling and unacceptable. Many in the MC community are loyal veterans, and Americans, and should not be the target of discrimination at home, particularly at the hands of other Veterans.
The TCOC&I blueprint can be modeled and implemented anywhere, in any state. No need to recreate the wheel.
Silence is consent.
There has been a one-sided war going on between law enforcement and motorcycle clubs for many years. This war is not a literal physical conflict in the traditional sense, but rather a war of words most often played out in the media and courtrooms across America. A war over public perception. And there is no better example than government authorities and the media applying the term “gang” to vilify and persecute motorcycle clubs and their members.
The National Council of Clubs (NCOC), representing the interests of motorcycle clubs and thousands of their members nationwide, is adamantly opposed to using the term “gang” to describe motorcycle clubs. The NCOC requests that media outlets and public oﬃcials immediately discontinue the practice.
The term “gang” in the legislative or legal arena has a much more specific definition than in media circles and even law enforcement. In the legal context, the Due Process Clause and the 1st Amendment require that an individual be directly connected to criminal activity of the alleged gang before they are considered a gang member. This is a more stringent standard than the mere “membership in an organization” standard that the media uses for reporting and that law enforcement uses for inclusion into a gang database, for example.
In fact, when prosecuting a member of an alleged gang, evidence of criminal wrongdoing by other members of an organization that don’t involve the defendant are properly excluded by the Federal Rules of Evidence because such evidence is cumulative and unduly prejudicial. This interpretation of the term “gang” or “gang member” is consistent with the First Amendment to the US Constitution. On the other hand, targeting an individual based on the “gang” label for mere membership in any organization is unconstitutional.
It’s a matter of semantics with tangible implications. Being put into a gang database does not mean that an individual is considered a gang member by statute because gang databases are intended only for investigation, not as evidence. So, a direct connection to criminal activity is not required before entering and individual into a gang database. The problem occurs when law enforcement makes a gang member determination based on the mere membership standard when enforcing statutes that legally require a direct connection to gang crimes.
Motorcycle clubs are First Amendment protected associations. Restrictions solely based on association in a motorcycle club violate the First Amendment. 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). To impose restrictions on any person “who wears the insignia of [motorcycle club], without regard to or knowledge of that individual’s specific intent to engage in the alleged violent activities committed by other members, is antithetical to the basic principles enshrined in the First Amendment and repugnant to the fundamental doctrine of personal guilt that is a hallmark of American jurisprudence.” see Coles v. Carlini 162 F.Supp.3d 380 (2015)
This war of words and the perceptions they create are currently a determining factor shaping the future of motorcycle club culture because words have tangible impacts. In fact, the gang label has caused some law enforcement to unconstitutionally use membership in a motorcycle club as probable cause or reasonable suspicion for investigation or arrest without any particularized or specific justification. The recently common practice in some states of targeting and arresting members of clubs for possessing legal firearms based solely on alleged gang associations is another alarming example.
The 2016-2019 National Motorcycle Profiling Surveys (NMPS) demonstrate that members of motorcycle clubs simply do not fit the demographic profile of gangs or gang members. The NMPS, the only statistical attempt to quantify the motorcycle profiling epidemic in America, is an extremely reliable data set, with 99% reliability and a 1.4% margin of error.
Academic and government studies have long established that gang members are “less likely to be employed and more likely to not participate in the labor force.” (For an example see https:// www.ncjrs.gov/pdﬃles1/nij/grants/239241.pdf )
According to the NMPS, 73% of survey participants are employed, 68% of them on a full-time basis. Only 3% of the community is unemployed, and many of them are actively seeking employment. Interestingly, nearly 17% of survey participants are retired.
Employment demographics in motorcycle club culture are simply not consistent with gang membership or the broadly applied gang label by law enforcement or the news and entertainment media.
Although far less sensational than Sons of Anarchy or Gangland, the reality is that most members of motorcycle clubs, including 1% clubs, wake up in the morning, put their boots on, and go to work.
Political activism is protected expressive conduct under the First Amendment, not gang activity. Motorcycle clubs and their members are a very politically active constituency. and participate in the democratic process.
NMPS data establishes that 87% of motorcyclists voted in the 2016 presidential elections and that 86% voted in national elections over the last decade. This equates to millions of votes. The US DOT estimates that there are 8.6 million motorcyclists in the United States.
According to the NMPS, 38% of survey participants were Veterans of the US Military. Such a large percentage of veterans politically active post their service is simply not indicative of gang membership. Instead of being vilified, the NCOC believes that these Veterans should be celebrated and appreciated for their sacrifices and service.
Statistically dissolving the stereotype law enforcement and the media attempt to sell regarding motorcycle clubs, only 1.17% of members of motorcycle clubs are convicted felons. That percentage is extremely low in such a large demographic, yet the gang label persists. News and entertainment media continue to sensationalize MC culture.
Individuals should not be labeled gang members merely because they are members of a motorcycle club, even a club in which some members have been convicted of criminal activity. Employing that standard would mean that every member of law enforcement and every US and State legislator would be criminals based on the actions of the few.
Consider law enforcement. All oﬃcers should not be condemned for the actions of the few, despite the fact that crimes committed by many oﬃcers have been well documented.
(Some even suggest more oﬃcers commit crimes than motorcycle club members. Consider recent statistics published by USA Today (April 26 & May 23, 2019) revealing the 85,000 oﬃcers investigated for misconduct nationwide, or the 30,000 oﬃcers banned from law enforcement in one state, only to become oﬃcers in another.)
The First Amendment to the US Constitution protects an individual’s right to associate with whomever they choose and express that association free from government discrimination or persecution.
Although the gang label is a convenient way to characterize and vilify thousands of people simultaneously, the only statistical data in existence suggests that the gang label as applied to motorcycle clubs is highly inaccurate.
The NCOC strongly asserts that 87% of actual gang members did NOT vote in the 2016 presidential elections, that 73% of actual gang members are not employed, and that in actual gangs, far more than 1.17% of the members are convicted felons.
Simply put, motorcycle clubs are not gangs.
National Council of Clubs firstname.lastname@example.org.
Source:: Why Motorcycle Clubs Are Not Gangs