Monthly Archives: May 2018

Texas Sheriff Dave Mann Resigns from City Council After Bikers Honored

By David “Double D” Devereaux

White Settlement, Texas City Councilman Dave Mann, also a Tarrant County Deputy Sheriff, abruptly resigned Tuesday night, a week after the city, he said, “recognized local Bandidos motorcycle gang members during a proclamation for Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month.” Mann is extensively quoted by local media vilifying the Bandidos Motorcycle Club, even members participating in protected political conduct, suggesting that Bandidos not be recognized for any civic achievements or even be allowed at public events.

The comments by employees of the Tarrant County Sheriff’s Department reveal a fundamental flaw in law enforcement’s understanding of the 1st Amendment and the rights of expression and association embodied within. This fundamental flaw, to treat all members of the Bandidos or their associates as criminals, based on the actions of other members, increases the probability of illegal profiling and other acts of discrimination targeting individuals for their associations, not behaviors.

Tarrant County Sheriff Department’s Discriminatory Mindset

On May 8th, 2018 members of motorcycle clubs openly displaying support for the Bandidos MC were among a group recognized by the city council for their efforts during Motorcycle Awareness Month. Because of this recognition, local news media reports Dave Mann as saying that he could no longer serve on a council that did not value and protect its citizens.

The Star-Telegram reports Mann writing in his letter of resignation, “It is a sad day when city officials invite violent criminal street gangs into our city who thrive on selling heroin, marijuana, methamphetamine and other narcotics and promote prostitution, human trafficking, gun trafficking, murder and other criminal activities.”

This discriminatory mindset extends to Mann’s direct supervisor. “I commend you for taking the higher road,” Capt. B Hardin wrote. “Not just as a City Councilman but as a Texas Peace Officer. We really have to watch who we associate with and it’s obvious there are some people on your City Council who prefer to associate with the wrong people.”

Mann doesn’t even think members should be allowed at public events. The Star Telegram reports, “The letter also stated that when the motorcycle gang members were leaving the city hall, a city official “openly” invited them to the Fourth of July parade, a family friendly activity. “I cannot be a part of a council who openly honors criminals and their illicit activities. Council members are sworn to protect our citizens!”

(See Star-Telegram, “Did White Settlement honor Bandidos? This councilman says so, and now he has resigned,” May 15, 2018)

Associating With Bandidos Is A Constitutionally Protected Right

It’s a good thing Dave Mann has resigned. Unfortunately, he and his supervisor are law enforcement officers and their discriminatory mindset follows the former council member to the streets where real damage can occur. Mann’s desire to exclude Bandido supporters from public events or political activities in the community would violate the 1st Amendment.

Motorcycle clubs, including those clubs labeled organized or criminal gangs by authorities, are 1st Amendment protected associations. Restrictions such as Mann appears to endorse, solely based on association in a motorcycle club, would violate the 1st Amendment.

There is “no evidence that by merely wearing [1% motorcycle club] “colors,” an individual is “involved in or associated with the alleged violent or criminal activity of other [1% 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).

If Mann were permitted to impose restrictions on any person “who wears the insignia of [a 1% motorcycle club], without regard to or knowledge of that individual’s specific intent to engage in the alleged violent activities committed by other members,” it would be “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))

Addressing Motorcycle Profiling

If Mann responds to Motorcycle Awareness Month with such venomous rage, how do you think he treats club members on the side of the road? Mann’s abusive and discriminatory rhetoric is unacceptable as a public servant and serves to demonstrate why legislation addressing the issue of motorcycle profiling is so important.

Maybe it’s time that Dave Mann writes another letter of resignation.

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How to Help End Motorcycle Profiling In America

By David “Double D” Devereaux

If you believe that motorcycle profiling by law enforcement agencies is wrong and should not be tolerated, please use the link below contact your representatives in Congress and ask them to support the Motorcycle Profiling Resolution (H.Res.318 and S.Res.154).

The Motorcycle Riders Foundation is working with the National Council of Clubs and the Motorcycle Profiling Project to call on our elected officials to end unconstitutional profiling of motorcyclists across our county. If your member of congress has signed on, you can still ask them to lean on their colleagues to support these resolutions.

TAKE ACTION NOW: Tell Congress that pulling over a motorcyclist because of his clothes, cut or bike is discriminatory

http://cqrcengage.com/mrf/app/write-a-letter?2&engagementId=444013

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Charges Against Key Motorcycle Rights Activist Dismissed in Waco

By David “Double D” Devereaux

As the McLennan County District Attorney’s Twin Peaks debacle continues to crumble, an important and previously prolific motorcycle rights activist has emerged from the dust. Thomas Paul Landers, along with most of those arrested in May 17, 2015, has had all charges against him related to Twin Peaks tragedy recently dismissed. Paul, although very relieved, is still angry about the continued prosecution of innocent people also arrested and jailed that day that continue to face the prospect of life in prison for being ambushed at a political gathering.

Mass Arrests at a Political Gathering

On May 17th, 2015 I arrived home after a 350 mile ride following a club event in Oregon, to my son telling me to watch CNN because they were reporting a shooting at a biker event in Texas. I began watching the news coverage and immediately called my friend Paul Landers when I realized it was a COC meeting. Paul is a prominent motorcycle rights activist and always attended COC events in Texas, so I immediately began worrying about him.

Paul answered the phone from the parking lot of the Twin Peaks. I asked him if he was alright. He said he wasn’t injured but didn’t know what was going to happen. We hung up, and the rest of the story has been a 3 year nightmare for Paul and nearly 200 others arrested, jailed, and held on $1-$2 million dollar punitive bonds. Paul’s nightmare ended Monday, May 14th, 2018 when his charges were dismissed by the McLennan County District Attorney. In fact, most of the charges have been dropped against most individuals.

But, unfortunately, the nightmare is not over for 24 individuals re-indicted and charged with rioting, three of them also charged with murder. And because a murder occurred, the sentence can be enhanced to the same level of life in prison.

The Persecution Continues for Many

The McLennan County DA’s office refuses to let go, has shifted from organized crime to rioting, and persists in charging individuals that irrefutably “retired” from any conflict and still others acting in self defense of themselves or others.

Take the examples of Marshall Mitchell and Jacob Carrizal, both obviously not guilty for different reasons. Marshall Mitchell never engages in any conflict, can be seen shaking a Cossacks hand on video, and quickly “retired” from the area of the ambush and gunshots, just as most that were able. Jake Carrizal, on the other hand, was unable to retreat from an ambush in which he clearly acted in self defense, as the video, his mistrial, and reports of overwhelming support for not guilty from most jurors demonstrates.

The Good Fight Continues

The fight to free those that are not guilty must not end. In fact, now is the time to further unite the motorcycle club community and continue he fight to protect the right to associate with a motorcycle club without fear of targeted prosecution. And now that the shackles on one of the most important motorcycle rights activists of our time have been removed, we all stand a better chance of succeeding. #FightTheGoodFight.

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