Category Archives: Motorcycle Profiling Project

Louisiana Unanimously Passes Anti-Motorcycle Profiling Law

By David “Double D” Devereaux

On June 3, 2019 Louisiana became the third state in America to unanimously pass legislation addressing the issue of motorcycle profiling when the Louisiana House voted 103-0 in favor of HB 141, and concurred with the Louisiana Senate’s 38-0 approval with amendments the day before. Following similar laws in Washington State (2011) and Maryland (2016), HB 141 requires motorcyclist profiling training to be integrated into current training on biased policing. Notably, Louisiana is the first state to pass a law following the US Senate’s unanimous approval on December 11, 2018 of a resolution directing every state to follow Washington and Maryland’s lead.

Louisiana’s victory, a result of Representative Howard sponsoring ABATE of Louisiana Inc.’s grassroots driven efforts- with the support of the Louisiana Confederation of Clubs, the National Council of Clubs and the MPP- are important for a number of reasons. HB 141 will reduce incidents of profiling in the short and long-term. Also, HB 141 demonstrates that motorcycle profiling is a non-partisan issue impacting motorcyclists in blue and red states alike, regardless of party affiliation. This, in turn, will likely make things a bit easier for the next state, and even the federal government, to address the issue.

Reducing incidents of profiling.

Mandatory motorcycle profiling training will bring a greater awareness of the issue to law enforcement in Louisiana. This will, in turn, reduce incidents of motorcycle profiling. But even before the first officer is trained, the increase in awareness of the issue as a result of legislative action will likely have a more short-term impact.

Using Washington State as the example with the most data, based on the
reduction in reports to the WA State Council of Clubs, integrating
motorcycle profiling training into current training on profiling noticeably reduced incidents of profiling in the state. The impact was immediate and, the MPP believes, most likely the result of an immediate increase in awareness.

Although some profiling incidents do still occur, reported incidents are
nowhere near pre-2011 levels. Importantly, when challenged in court, most
incidents that do occur result in dismissals. But the key to maintaining a
reduction has been continued diligence from the same community that pushed for a new law in the first place.

Unanimous Consent

Notably, laws addressing motorcycle profiling have been the result of
legislation passed without a single no vote, in any committee or on the floor, in Washington State and Maryland. Louisiana proudly continues this trend with HB 141, also passing all legislative stages unanimously.

Laws addressing motorcycle profiling are nonpartisan, speaking to a broad base of legislators on both sides of the aisle. Louisiana is far more
conservative than Washington State or Maryland. HB 141 demonstrates that discriminatory policing is equally condemnable by the left and the right, particularly the targeting of an entire community defined by the 1st Amendment. Motorcycle profiling is an issue providing the opportunity for collaboration and cooperation unbound by party affiliation that every legislator should openly support.

A Word of Caution

Passing a law addressing motorcycle profiling is a noticeable
accomplishment that should not be undersold. ABATE of Louisiana has driven a grassroots effort into the end zone. Although nowhere near pre-2011 levels- the year the law passed- motorcycle profiling incidents still do occur in Washington State. Maintaining a grassroots infrastructure in the form of the Washington State Council of Clubs and Washington State ABATE provides a place for victims of profiling to report their incidents and receive advice and in some cases legal assistance.

Many dismissals have been granted since 2011. Many of these individuals
received advice or assistance from the COC. The MPP believes maintaining a grassroots infrastructure in Louisiana will be directly connected to the new law’s ultimate effectiveness.

There are considerations beyond dismissals as well. For example,
motorcycle profiling sensitivity training will be official law enforcement policy in Louisiana providing a tangible basis for official complaints filed against offending officers. An efficient organizational response to incidents that do occur will help insure the new law addressing motorcycle profiling is as effective as possible.

May the dominoes fall

Every state that passes laws addressing motorcycle profiling makes the
next state considering the issue more likely to act. This is particularly true when, in the legislative efforts that have seen success, there has not been a single vote of opposition by an elected official at the state or federal level.

Every successful effort addressing motorcycle profiling has also been
centered around a grassroots movement consisting of collaboration between independent motorcyclists and the motorcycle club community. Indeed,
Louisiana is the most recent living example of why the MPP was founded and
proof of the results that can be obtained, without opposition, by
implementing the best practices and principles developed at the state and national level.

Congratulations Louisiana.

The post Louisiana Unanimously Passes Anti-Motorcycle Profiling Law appeared first on Motorcycle Profiling Project.

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What Every MC Needs to Know About the Mongols MC Sentencing

By David “Double D” Devereaux

Entire Mongol Nation Gets 500k Fine, 5 Years Federal Probation.

The National Council of Clubs (NCOC), representing the interests of
motorcycle clubs nationwide, is extremely alarmed that the recent sentence
imposed in US v. Mongol Nation case will be seen as a green-light for the federal government to target innocent members of other motorcycle clubs that have had members found guilty under RICO.

On May 17, 2019, ironically the 4th anniversary of the Waco biker tragedy, Judge David Carter, presiding in the Federal District Court of Central California, sentenced the Mongol Nation following a trial in which a jury found the club as an entity guilty of RICO Racketeering and Conspiracy. On a positive note, Judge Carter again denied all requests related to forfeiting the club’s patch and collective marks. On a not-so- positive note, Judge Carter imposed a $500,000 sentencing fine to be paid in monthly installments of $8,475 until paid in full. Finally, and most concerning to the NCOC, Judge Carter placed the entire Mongol Nation on Federal probation for a term of 5 years. Essentially, Judge Carter has opened the door to a legal campaign of profiling and harassment targeting
the entire Mongols Motorcycle Club.

Smoke and mirrors

While the majority of the focus has understandably been on issues related to saving the patch and the government’s attempts to seize the Mongols collective membership marks, there has been little discussion related to the Mongols Nation being indicted as an entity under RICO for the first time in history.

The government’s goal for more than a decade has been seizure of the club’s patch as a form of sentence under RICO. Although rebuked at every
juncture, the strategy of indicting the Mongol Nation as an entity was yet another attempt to take the patch. Although Judge Carter has consistently denied patch forfeiture requests, the other independent consequences of being indicted as an entity are beginning to surface.

Carter orders $500k in sentencing fines

When Judge Carter denied patch, forfeiture based on 1st and 8th Amendment grounds, he also made it clear that the government had an interest in targeting the financial foundations of the Mongols Nation. Judge Carter writes, “It is beyond question that the government has a legitimate interest in attacking the economic roots of a criminal organization like the Mongol Nation.”

At the May 17th sentencing hearing Judge Carter reinforced this belief.
Judge Carter ordered the Mongol Nation to pay $500k in sentencing fines, $250k per RICO count. Carter rejected the government’s request for $1 million in fines. The club is required to pay monthly installments of $8,475 until the fine is paid.

With hundreds of members nationwide, attorney Stephen Stubbs has stated
the Mongol Nation is capable of paying this fine. However, the magnitude of this fine has serious implications for the majority of the motorcycle club world if this strategy is employed against other clubs. Simply put, $500k in sentencing fines would likely financially crush all but the biggest clubs.

Mongol Nation sentencing fine ignores personal guilt.

Independent of the practical ability to pay massive fines, consider that
these fines are being collected from individuals that did not commit any of the crimes the Mongol Nation was found guilty of. Many of the crimes used to establish a RICO violation go back more than a decade. Those culpable individuals have already been sentenced and many have already paid their debt to society.

The idea that restrictions and punishment are being applied to innocent
individuals; runs counter to long-established judicial principles. There is “no evidence that by merely wearing [Mongols MC] “colors,” an individual is “involved in or associated with the alleged violent or criminal activity of other [Mongols MC] members. It is a fundamental principle that the government may not impose restrictions on an individual “merely because an individual belongs[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 [the Mongols MC], 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)

The entire Mongol Nation gets 5 years federal probation.

The NCOC believes that the most concerning element of sentencing is Carter’s decision to place the entire Mongol Nation (defined as all official or full-patched members) on federal probation for a period of 5 years. Nothing like this has ever been done, which creates a great deal of ambiguity and potential for abuse. This is particularly true considering that Assistant US Attorney Steve Welk and ATF agent John Ciccone are in charge of the Mongol Nation probation and both of these men have demonstrated the desire to dissolve the Mongols Nation by any legal means.

Understanding federal probation placed on an individual is clear-cut and
defined. For example, an individual on probation is always prohibited from
possessing and carrying firearms and has no defense against search and seizure while on probation. But when those same restrictions are placed on the Mongol Nation as an entity, what about individuals that legally possess and carry weapons?

Mongol Nation Attorney Stephen Stubbs asked Judge Carter for clarification. Judge Carter explained, for example, that the firearm
restriction would not prohibit individuals that legally carry in their
individual capacities. However, if there is a nexus or an implied connection to the Mongol Nation leadership then the prohibition applies.

But even Judge Carter’s explanation is ambiguous, which creates more questions than answers. Does this mean individuals wearing a Mongols patch cannot carry a weapon? Does this mean no one can possess a weapon in a Mongol Nation clubhouse or at a Mongol Nation event? If so, what about
associates and friends? Does this mean that no one can carry a weapon when around the leadership of the Mongol Nation?

In terms of search and seizure, what is considered Mongol Nation property or a Mongol Nation clubhouse? If a club meeting is held at an individual’s home does that mean it is functioning as a
clubhouse? Can any member or associate be freely searched without reasonable suspicion or probable cause if they are inside a Mongol Nation clubhouse?

Beyond the Mongol Nation

Regardless of any personal opinions, the fate of the Mongols MC is in
many ways creating a blueprint for the destruction of motorcycle club culture across the board, particularly 1% clubs. Indeed, it is even more accurate to argue that the fate of the Mongols MC is creating a blueprint for the destruction of civil liberties in general, far beyond just motorcycle clubs. Unification of energy, intellect and resources may be the only chance motorcycle club culture has to resist the monolithic power of the federal government and the attempts to extinguish an entire community.

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Motorcycle Profiling Bill Unanimously Passes Louisiana House

By David “Double D” Devereaux

The State of
Louisiana is on pace to become the third state to pass a law addressing the
issue of motorcycle profiling. On Tuesday, May 15th, on a vote of 91-0, the Louisiana House Of Representatives unanimously approved HB 141 which requires mandatory motorcycle profiling sensitivity training be integrated in the current policing curriculum. The measure now goes on to the Louisiana Senate, moving one step closer to becoming law.

A Grassroots Effort

HB 141 is the result of the cooperative efforts of ABATE and the Confederation of Clubs of Louisiana, with support from the Motorcycle Profiling Project and the 2018 National Motorcycle Profiling Survey.

On the heels of a successful campaign to exclude motorcyclists from the state masking laws which were being used as a mechanism of profiling, ABATE and the COC took the next logical step by advocating a law addressing motorcycle profiling at a broader level. With the help of legislators, particularly primary sponsor
Representative Frank Howard, HB 141 has yet to receive a no vote in either the judicial committee or the House Floor.

Mandatory Training

Recognizing that improper training is a primary cause of profiling, HB 141 requires motorcyclist profiling sensitivity training and defines the concept. HB 141 reads:

  • (1) The council shall include motorcyclist profiling awareness training in the current bias recognition policing curriculum. The training shall consist of at least one-half hour of classroom or internet instruction, or a combination of classroom and internet instruction. This training shall address issues related to motorcyclist profiling and shall be provided to peace officers as defined in R.S. 40:2402(3)(a).
  • (2) For purposes of this Subsection, “motorcyclist profiling” shall mean the arbitrary use of the fact that an individual rides a motorcycle or wears motorcycle- related clothing or paraphernalia as a factor in deciding to stop, question, take enforcement action, arrest, or search the individual or his motorcycle or motor vehicle.

A National Discussion

Motorcycle profiling is now a legitimate policy discussion. In fact, on December 11, 2019 the US Senate unanimously approved a resolution directing all states to follow the lead of Washington State and Maryland and implement policies addressing the issue. An identical resolution is now making its way through the US House of Representatives.

Louisiana appears to be responding to this federal directive.

*for HB 141 tracking and bill text go to: https://legiscan.com/LA/text/HB141/2019

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The REAL Reason Behind Waco Biker Dismissals

By David “Double D” Devereaux

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 history of motorcycle club culture and the fight against motorcycle profiling and discrimination. Although this concludes the criminal chapter of Twin Peaks, the legal battles are far from over. There are currently over 100 civil rights claims pending and the official press release announcing the dismissals makes it obvious that the new DA is attempting to cover Waco’s interests from a liability standpoint. There is no apology and no admission of wrongdoing related to the mass arrests. Instead, Johnson puts all the blame on former DA Abel Reyna, arguing that viable prosecutions could have occurred after the initial arrests had correct procedures been followed. The stakes are massive. In total, these lawsuits are seeking hundreds of millions of dollars in damages for a list of obvious constitutional infringements from false arrest to excessive bail.

A Brief Timeline of Events

It has been nearly 4 years (May 17, 2015) since 9 bikers were killed and 20 injured, many at the hands of law enforcement, after gunfire erupted in the parking lot of a Twin Peaks restaurant in Waco preceding a scheduled Texas Confederation of Clubs and Independents meeting intended to discuss motorcycle rights issues.

Surrounded by pre-staged law enforcement obviously expecting an issue, the violence erupted after Bandidos MC members from the Dallas area pulled into the Twin Peaks parking lot. A club called the Cossacks, not members of the Texas COC&I, were already there. A verbal altercation ensued quickly followed by pushing, shoving, and then gunshots from every direction, many coming from law enforcement.

After the violence, instead of questioning and releasing witnesses, law enforcement, at the direction of the former McLennan County District Attorney Abel Reyna, used identical generic affidavits and arrested nearly 200 people charging them with Engaging in Organized Crime solely based on their association with a motorcycle club. Every individual was also held on excessive $1-$2 million-dollar bails.

After nearly 2 years, Bandidos MC member Jake Carrizal from Dallas was the first person to be tried. The trial ended in a mistrial and near acquittal after the county spent $1.5 million dollars on its unsuccessful attempt.

The End of Reyna’s Reign.

After the Carrizal trial, the McLennan County DA’s Officer began to implode culminating in Reyna’s election defeat by a 20% margin largely as a result of the grassroots efforts of Texas motorcyclists that vocally and visibly campaigned against Reyna.

After being defeated, Reyna’s administration dismissed charges against all but 24 individuals. These 24 individuals were then charged with Riot, 3 of them also being charged with murder. The sentence for Riot can be at the level of the most serious crime committed during the riot, which in this case means all 24 charged could have potentially faced life in prison.

Johnson Takes Over.

In January 2019, Barry Johnson became the new McLennan County DA and has publicly stated that he has spent 75% of his time reviewing the Twin Peaks cases. Initially, Johnson stated that most of the 24 cases would be dismissed and a handful of the most viable cases would proceed. On April 2, 2019 the number of viable cases in Johnson’s opinion is zero. It was announced that all charges against all individuals would be dismissed.

Johnson Playing CYA for Waco

Although this is a significant win for those facing charges, Johnson’s statements regarding the dismissals are in no way an apology. Johnson argues that there was reasonable suspicion for the arrest of nearly 200 people and the subsequent grand jury indictments of 154 of those arrested. Johnson is attempting to argue that the arrests were constitutional, despite the generic fill-in-the-blank nature of the affidavit. Johnson further argues that the $1 million-dollar bonds were also reasonable and justified surely in answer to lawsuits charging excessive bail in violation of the 8th Amendment.

Johnson’s statements regarding the dismissals puts 100% of the blame on Reyna’s decision- making post the arrests. Johnson argues that Reyna should have charged individuals with crimes that could be demonstrated beyond a reasonable doubt such as aggravated assault and attempted murder, charges in which statute of limitations has now run out.

Johnson contends that the Riot charges, even if successful, would unlikely survive an appeal because it was an attempt to charge a misdemeanor as a felony. The likelihood of failure at the appellate level, in Johnson’s assessment, means the only prudent decision was dismissal of all charges.

Johnson is Wrong: Arrests Were False and Bail Was Excessive.

Considering his position, Johnson’s strategy is completely understandable. Johnson feels that dismissal is demanded because of the high likelihood of failure, but that no constitutional violations occurred. No one goes to jail. Waco doesn’t go bankrupt for civil rights violations.

Although understandable, Johnson’s position is incorrect and a clearly veiled political attempt to protect against civil liability. The MPP believes that constitutional violations certainly occurred in terms of the 4th and 8th Amendments. And so do many legal scholars.

There was absolutely no particularized and specific reasonable suspicion or probable cause justifying the arrest of nearly 200 people. Absolutely none. Generic affidavits were used to initiate the arrests. Nothing specific beyond association with a motorcycle club, which does not meet the legal threshold.

It is anyone’s guess how the civil proceedings will ultimately play out. But what is certain is that we will not know for a very long time.

The post The REAL Reason Behind Waco Biker Dismissals appeared first on Motorcycle Profiling Project.

Source:: The REAL Reason Behind Waco Biker Dismissals

The REAL Reason Behind Waco Biker Dismissals

By David “Double D” Devereaux

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 history of motorcycle club culture and the fight against motorcycle profiling and discrimination. Although this concludes the criminal chapter of Twin Peaks, the legal battles are far from over. There are currently over 100 civil rights claims pending and the official press release announcing the dismissals makes it obvious that the new DA is attempting to cover Waco’s interests from a liability standpoint. There is no apology and no admission of wrongdoing related to the mass arrests. Instead, Johnson puts all the blame on former DA Abel Reyna, arguing that viable prosecutions could have occurred after the initial arrests had correct procedures been followed. The stakes are massive. In total, these lawsuits are seeking hundreds of millions of dollars in damages for a list of obvious constitutional infringements from false arrest to excessive bail.

A Brief Timeline of Events

It has been nearly 4 years (May 17, 2015) since 9 bikers were killed and 20 injured, many at the hands of law enforcement, after gunfire erupted in the parking lot of a Twin Peaks restaurant in Waco preceding a scheduled Texas Confederation of Clubs and Independents meeting intended to discuss motorcycle rights issues.

Surrounded by pre-staged law enforcement obviously expecting an issue, the violence erupted after Bandidos MC members from the Dallas area pulled into the Twin Peaks parking lot. A club called the Cossacks, not members of the Texas COC&I, were already there. A verbal altercation ensued quickly followed by pushing, shoving, and then gunshots from every direction, many coming from law enforcement.

After the violence, instead of questioning and releasing witnesses, law enforcement, at the direction of the former McLennan County District Attorney Abel Reyna, used identical generic affidavits and arrested nearly 200 people charging them with Engaging in Organized Crime solely based on their association with a motorcycle club. Every individual was also held on excessive $1-$2 million-dollar bails.

After nearly 2 years, Bandidos MC member Jake Carrizal from Dallas was the first person to be tried. The trial ended in a mistrial and near acquittal after the county spent $1.5 million dollars on its unsuccessful attempt.

The End of Reyna’s Reign.

After the Carrizal trial, the McLennan County DA’s Officer began to implode culminating in Reyna’s election defeat by a 20% margin largely as a result of the grassroots efforts of Texas motorcyclists that vocally and visibly campaigned against Reyna.

After being defeated, Reyna’s administration dismissed charges against all but 24 individuals. These 24 individuals were then charged with Riot, 3 of them also being charged with murder. The sentence for Riot can be at the level of the most serious crime committed during the riot, which in this case means all 24 charged could have potentially faced life in prison.

Johnson Takes Over.

In January 2019, Barry Johnson became the new McLennan County DA and has publicly stated that he has spent 75% of his time reviewing the Twin Peaks cases. Initially, Johnson stated that most of the 24 cases would be dismissed and a handful of the most viable cases would proceed. On April 2, 2019 the number of viable cases in Johnson’s opinion is zero. It was announced that all charges against all individuals would be dismissed.

Johnson Playing CYA for Waco

Although this is a significant win for those facing charges, Johnson’s statements regarding the dismissals are in no way an apology. Johnson argues that there was reasonable suspicion for the arrest of nearly 200 people and the subsequent grand jury indictments of 154 of those arrested. Johnson is attempting to argue that the arrests were constitutional, despite the generic fill-in-the-blank nature of the affidavit. Johnson further argues that the $1 million-dollar bonds were also reasonable and justified surely in answer to lawsuits charging excessive bail in violation of the 8th Amendment.

Johnson’s statements regarding the dismissals puts 100% of the blame on Reyna’s decision- making post the arrests. Johnson argues that Reyna should have charged individuals with crimes that could be demonstrated beyond a reasonable doubt such as aggravated assault and attempted murder, charges in which statute of limitations has now run out.

Johnson contends that the Riot charges, even if successful, would unlikely survive an appeal because it was an attempt to charge a misdemeanor as a felony. The likelihood of failure at the appellate level, in Johnson’s assessment, means the only prudent decision was dismissal of all charges.

Johnson is Wrong: Arrests Were False and Bail Was Excessive.

Considering his position, Johnson’s strategy is completely understandable. Johnson feels that dismissal is demanded because of the high likelihood of failure, but that no constitutional violations occurred. No one goes to jail. Waco doesn’t go bankrupt for civil rights violations.

Although understandable, Johnson’s position is incorrect and a clearly veiled political attempt to protect against civil liability. The MPP believes that constitutional violations certainly occurred in terms of the 4th and 8th Amendments. And so do many legal scholars.

There was absolutely no particularized and specific reasonable suspicion or probable cause justifying the arrest of nearly 200 people. Absolutely none. Generic affidavits were used to initiate the arrests. Nothing specific beyond association with a motorcycle club, which does not meet the legal threshold.

It is anyone’s guess how the civil proceedings will ultimately play out. But what is certain is that we will not know for a very long time.

The post The REAL Reason Behind Waco Biker Dismissals appeared first on Motorcycle Profiling Project.

Source:: The REAL Reason Behind Waco Biker Dismissals

Why US v Mongol Nation is Still a Threat Despite Trademark Win

By David “Double D” Devereaux

The recent decision by Judge David Carter in US v. Mongol Nation that the First and Eighth Amendments to the US Constitution prohibits the government’s request to seize the collective membership marks of the Mongols MC, including their club name patch and center-patch, is a victory for all. A victory that should be discussed and celebrated. However, the MPP also believes that part of this discussion should focus on the other implications to Judge Carter’s decision. Implications that aren’t being discussed because the focus has understandably been on the patch forfeiture issues. What other implications? Beyond the issues of forfeiture, a brand-new strategy to target motorcycle clubs under RICO has been born and legally confirmed. The idea that a motorcycle club can be indicted under RICO as an entity, regardless of other members personal guilt, for crimes committed by individuals already punished for those crimes, should equally alarm everyone. Although the government can’t take a club’s patch, they can seize a club’s property and impose huge fines. What else could the government do with this new theory of prosecution?

A Brief History

In the government’s more than decade long mission to take the Mongols MC’s collective membership marks, and property bearing those marks, they stumbled upon a new theory of prosecution after previous attempts to take the patch were ultimately unsuccessful. The 9th Circuit ruled that the government couldn’t take patches and property from members of the club that had not been indicted because that would violate the First Amendment.

However, the court provided a blueprint for the government’s next move. The court concluded that the Mongol Nation, the unincorporated association that owns the collective membership marks in question, would have to be indicted as an entity for the theory to work. So, that’s exactly what the US Attorney decided to do.

US v. Mongol Nation has been the most recent result of the government’s new strategy. The Mongol Nation, as an entity, defined as all full patched members of the club, was charged and found guilty by a federal jury of racketeering and conspiracy to engage in racketeering under the RICO statute. That jury also granted the government’s request for forfeiture of collective membership marks, which Judge Carter set aside for Constitutional reasons. However, Judge Carter upheld the jury’s decision to convict and conditionally granted forfeiture of seized property. Specific items to be seized will be decided at a sentencing hearing set for April 24th, 2019.

They can’t take a club’s patch, but guilty verdict on MC as an entity upheld.

Although Carter doesn’t believe the government can take a club’s collective membership marks, he “agrees with the Government that an unincorporated association including the Mongol Nation can be held liable for each predicate act alleged in the indictment.”(The predicate acts in this indictment include everything from drugs to assault and murder charges)

The Court sees no meaningful distinction between corporate criminal responsibility and liability of unincorporated associations. The Supreme Court addressed the criminal liability of a partnership and specifically held that “the business entity cannot be left free to break the law merely because its owners, stockholders … partners … do not participate in the infraction.

Leadership v. Rogue Actors- determining guilt for an association.

It is not enough that various members and associates of a motorcycle club “are involved in spontaneous criminal acts as an individual or as a small group of individuals. In other words, the spontaneous rogue acts of individual members and associates do not create guilt for an association.”

What element is required to find an association guilty of RICO? An implied connection to leadership is enough. “[T]o the extent that an illegal act was committed at the express or implied direction of the leadership of the defendant Mongol Nation, the entity may be found guilty. This is entirely consistent with corporate criminal responsibility, and is precisely what Congress intended in passing RICO, which expressly targets criminal organizations.

The concerning terms “implied direction of the leadership…”

Further analysis of Carter’s decision may shed some light. Carter argues that Congress may constitutionally impose criminal liability upon an entity for acts of its agents. “Such liability may attach without proof that the conduct was within the agent’s actual authority, and even though it may have been contrary to express instructions.” Carter also argues that it’s not necessary for the government to prove that the act was authorized by the entity formally or in writing. Sounds like the government has a very low threshold of proof to establish that an act was committed “at the implied direction of leadership.”

So, what sentence will Judge Carter impose?

Judge Carter has been very explicit about what he intends to do on April 24th. Carter writes, “The Mongol Nation is guilty of substantive RICO and RICO conspiracy. The criminal organization is subject to sentencing fines and criminal forfeiture consistent with this Order.

Items to be forfeited include weapons, ammunition, body armor, and related items originally seized during ATF raids. This comes as no surprise to the MPP as it seems consistent with other RICO forfeitures.

However, sentencing fines for criminal liability are not explained in-depth. How much can the fine be? Are there limits? Who pays the fine? The leadership? The membership?

What sentences will we see in the future?

Independent of sentencing fines and asset forfeitures, what else could the government seek in terms of criminal liability when a club is indicted as an entity? I’m not sure many people have a solid answer to this question. But I think the question is definitely worth exploring.

After a club is found guilty as an entity under RICO, can the government feasibly obtain an order against any member of the club possessing or carrying a firearm? The answer may vary depending on what state you are in, but even the very pro-2nd Amendment state of Texas is revoking gun rights from individuals solely for membership in a motorcycle club authority label a gang. The sky may not be falling, but possible impacts to gun rights are at least a possibility, particularly in “may issue” states.

What about employment? An individual without a criminal record is a member of an entity found guilty under RICO of Racketeering and Racketeering Conspiracy. Their employment contract requires that all employees not have a criminal record. Could it be argued that they now in violation of their employment contract?

There is no way to predict what the federal government will do moving forward with the newfound strategy of targeting a motorcycle club as an entity under RICO. But there are empirical reasons to believe that whatever strategy authorities employ will not advance civil liberties. Who could have predicted the strategy to completely redefine the First Amendment before they initially tried to take the Mongols MC’s patch? Who would have predicted the government’s initial success? Who would have predicted that nearly 200 individuals in Waco would be arrested on generic affidavits and incarcerated on $1-$2 million dollars bail instead of being questioned and released? Who would have guessed an individual could be arrested for Unlawful Carry in Texas as a LTC holder solely for being a member of a motorcycle club?

The Constitution does not seem to be a barrier in the decision-making calculus of authorities’ intent on targeting motorcycle clubs.

The post Why US v Mongol Nation is Still a Threat Despite Trademark Win appeared first on Motorcycle Profiling Project.

Source:: Why US v Mongol Nation is Still a Threat Despite Trademark Win

Why US v Mongol Nation is Still a Threat Despite Trademark Win

By David “Double D” Devereaux

The recent decision by Judge David Carter in US v. Mongol Nation that the First and Eighth Amendments to the US Constitution prohibits the government’s request to seize the collective membership marks of the Mongols MC, including their club name patch and center-patch, is a victory for all. A victory that should be discussed and celebrated. However, the MPP also believes that part of this discussion should focus on the other implications to Judge Carter’s decision. Implications that aren’t being discussed because the focus has understandably been on the patch forfeiture issues. What other implications? Beyond the issues of forfeiture, a brand-new strategy to target motorcycle clubs under RICO has been born and legally confirmed. The idea that a motorcycle club can be indicted under RICO as an entity, regardless of other members personal guilt, for crimes committed by individuals already punished for those crimes, should equally alarm everyone. Although the government can’t take a club’s patch, they can seize a club’s property and impose huge fines. What else could the government do with this new theory of prosecution?

A Brief History

In the government’s more than decade long mission to take the Mongols MC’s collective membership marks, and property bearing those marks, they stumbled upon a new theory of prosecution after previous attempts to take the patch were ultimately unsuccessful. The 9th Circuit ruled that the government couldn’t take patches and property from members of the club that had not been indicted because that would violate the First Amendment.

However, the court provided a blueprint for the government’s next move. The court concluded that the Mongol Nation, the unincorporated association that owns the collective membership marks in question, would have to be indicted as an entity for the theory to work. So, that’s exactly what the US Attorney decided to do.

US v. Mongol Nation has been the most recent result of the government’s new strategy. The Mongol Nation, as an entity, defined as all full patched members of the club, was charged and found guilty by a federal jury of racketeering and conspiracy to engage in racketeering under the RICO statute. That jury also granted the government’s request for forfeiture of collective membership marks, which Judge Carter set aside for Constitutional reasons. However, Judge Carter upheld the jury’s decision to convict and conditionally granted forfeiture of seized property. Specific items to be seized will be decided at a sentencing hearing set for April 24th, 2019.

They can’t take a club’s patch, but guilty verdict on MC as an entity upheld.

Although Carter doesn’t believe the government can take a club’s collective membership marks, he “agrees with the Government that an unincorporated association including the Mongol Nation can be held liable for each predicate act alleged in the indictment.”(The predicate acts in this indictment include everything from drugs to assault and murder charges)

The Court sees no meaningful distinction between corporate criminal responsibility and liability of unincorporated associations. The Supreme Court addressed the criminal liability of a partnership and specifically held that “the business entity cannot be left free to break the law merely because its owners, stockholders … partners … do not participate in the infraction.

Leadership v. Rogue Actors- determining guilt for an association.

It is not enough that various members and associates of a motorcycle club “are involved in spontaneous criminal acts as an individual or as a small group of individuals. In other words, the spontaneous rogue acts of individual members and associates do not create guilt for an association.”

What element is required to find an association guilty of RICO? An implied connection to leadership is enough. “[T]o the extent that an illegal act was committed at the express or implied direction of the leadership of the defendant Mongol Nation, the entity may be found guilty. This is entirely consistent with corporate criminal responsibility, and is precisely what Congress intended in passing RICO, which expressly targets criminal organizations.

The concerning terms “implied direction of the leadership…”

Further analysis of Carter’s decision may shed some light. Carter argues that Congress may constitutionally impose criminal liability upon an entity for acts of its agents. “Such liability may attach without proof that the conduct was within the agent’s actual authority, and even though it may have been contrary to express instructions.” Carter also argues that it’s not necessary for the government to prove that the act was authorized by the entity formally or in writing. Sounds like the government has a very low threshold of proof to establish that an act was committed “at the implied direction of leadership.”

So, what sentence will Judge Carter impose?

Judge Carter has been very explicit about what he intends to do on April 24th. Carter writes, “The Mongol Nation is guilty of substantive RICO and RICO conspiracy. The criminal organization is subject to sentencing fines and criminal forfeiture consistent with this Order.

Items to be forfeited include weapons, ammunition, body armor, and related items originally seized during ATF raids. This comes as no surprise to the MPP as it seems consistent with other RICO forfeitures.

However, sentencing fines for criminal liability are not explained in-depth. How much can the fine be? Are there limits? Who pays the fine? The leadership? The membership?

What sentences will we see in the future?

Independent of sentencing fines and asset forfeitures, what else could the government seek in terms of criminal liability when a club is indicted as an entity? I’m not sure many people have a solid answer to this question. But I think the question is definitely worth exploring.

After a club is found guilty as an entity under RICO, can the government feasibly obtain an order against any member of the club possessing or carrying a firearm? The answer may vary depending on what state you are in, but even the very pro-2nd Amendment state of Texas is revoking gun rights from individuals solely for membership in a motorcycle club authority label a gang. The sky may not be falling, but possible impacts to gun rights are at least a possibility, particularly in “may issue” states.

What about employment? An individual without a criminal record is a member of an entity found guilty under RICO of Racketeering and Racketeering Conspiracy. Their employment contract requires that all employees not have a criminal record. Could it be argued that they now in violation of their employment contract?

There is no way to predict what the federal government will do moving forward with the newfound strategy of targeting a motorcycle club as an entity under RICO. But there are empirical reasons to believe that whatever strategy authorities employ will not advance civil liberties. Who could have predicted the strategy to completely redefine the First Amendment before they initially tried to take the Mongols MC’s patch? Who would have predicted the government’s initial success? Who would have predicted that nearly 200 individuals in Waco would be arrested on generic affidavits and incarcerated on $1-$2 million dollars bail instead of being questioned and released? Who would have guessed an individual could be arrested for Unlawful Carry in Texas as a LTC holder solely for being a member of a motorcycle club?

The Constitution does not seem to be a barrier in the decision-making calculus of authorities’ intent on targeting motorcycle clubs.

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Source:: Why US v Mongol Nation is Still a Threat Despite Trademark Win

Idaho Senate Apologizes To Motorcyclists Forced To Remove Colors

By David “Double D” Devereaux

After individuals were forced to remove their motorcycle club colors before entering the Idaho Senate viewing chambers to observe a vote on a bill addressing motorcycle profiling on March 4th, ABATE of Idaho sent a letter to every legislator in Idaho requesting an end to this discriminatory practice on March 8th.

The President Pro Tempore, Senator Brent Hill, initially responded by apologizing for any inconvenience, but the policy going forward was not clearly stated in his response. So ABATE of Idaho pressed forward requesting an explicit policy. Senator Hill responded in writing that individuals wearing motorcycle club colors would not be denied access to Idaho Senate Chambers going forward.

Although S1109, which would have prohibited motorcycle profiling, failed by one vote on the floor of the Senate this year, this incident and outcome move motorcyclists one step closer to legislative protection and further reinforces the importance of fighting back.

ABATE sends cease and desist to every legislator in Idaho

ABATE responds to Senate’s ambiguous apology

(Cont.)

Idaho Senate clarifies MC colors allowed in Senate Chambers

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No MC Colors Allowed in Idaho Senate for Profiling Bill Vote

By David “Double D” Devereaux

On Monday March 4th, 2019 members of the motorcycle club community were victims of unconstitutional discrimination inside the Idaho State Capitol when they were told by Capitol Security personnel that they would have to remove their motorcycle club colors if they wanted to enter the Senate chambers to observe a floor vote on S 1109, a bill prohibiting motorcycle profiling. These individuals (one a member of the Brother Speed MC and one an associate of the Vagos MC) also participate in ABATE, the primary grassroots group lobbying for a law in Idaho, and complied in order to watch the vote. ABATE of Idaho responded by sending a cease and desist request to every legislator in Boise on Friday, March 8th, 2019.

Constitutional Issues

ABATE’s letter to Legislators reads: “Any government agent denying an individual access to Senate Chambers because they are wearing motorcycle club colors is a clear violation of speech, association and due process rights protected by the US Constitution. Motorcycle club colors are First Amendment protected expression and wearing motorcycle club colors is considered expressive conduct, particularly when that expression is political.

Bree Walker, representing ABATE of Idaho, reported to the MPP that she talked with the Capitol Security Officer that denied MC members wearing colors access on March 4th and confirmed that the Idaho Senate Sergeant at Arms; Sarah Jane McDonald, ssgt@senate.idaho.gov, (208) 332-1400, was responsible for giving the order.

Motorcycle profiling and discrimination have literally followed motorcyclists inside the Idaho State Capitol, a place where freedom of expression in a free society is supposed to be paramount, while participating in the democratic process to address issues of profiling and discrimination. Unfortunately, S 1109, a simple measure codifying Constitutional principles, fell one floor vote shy of passing.

Denying access to individuals because they are wearing motorcycle club colors exposes the government officials involved to potential civil liability under 42 USC Section 1983 for violations of the First and Fourteenth Amendments.

Cease and Desist Request

ABATE of Idaho sent a letter to all state Senators and Representatives requesting “that the Idaho Senate, House of Representatives, and all law enforcement and other personnel involved with Capitol security, take whatever action necessary to guarantee that such unconstitutional acts of discrimination targeting those wearing motorcycle club colors at the Idaho Capitol immediately ceases.”

There is nothing in the Senate Rules that would prohibit motorcycle club colors. That’s freedom of expression. Why would there be?

It appears that evidence of motorcycle profiling in Idaho can no longer be denied.

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Source:: No MC Colors Allowed in Idaho Senate for Profiling Bill Vote

Texas Man Charged with Unlawful Carry Solely for Being a Bandido

By David “Double D” Devereaux

The MPP has heavily reported on the recent trend of individuals being arrested for possession of handguns merely for membership in a motorcycle club. This includes individuals with no criminal records and License To Carry holder’s. The MPP has even issued a travel warning to motorcyclists traveling through Texas. One such case against a member of the Bandidos Motorcycle Club (Ashley Becker) in Lubbock, TX continues with a refiling of charges for Unlawful Carry for mere membership in the club, which authorities label a criminal street gang. Law enforcement and prosecutors should dismiss all such cases in the name of justice because they rely on an unconstitutional application of statute which ignores the basic principle of personal guilt.

The Details

Texas Penal Code 46.02, the statute prohibiting gang members from carrying weapons, is being misapplied to individuals simply for being members of motorcycle clubs. Take Ashley Becker, who was originally charged with Unlawful Carry and suspicion of possessing a controlled substance in Lubbock, Texas in 2018. The weapon wasn’t illegal, and no crime was committed. He was arrested under 46.02 for being a Bandido in possession of an otherwise legal weapon. The alleged controlled substance, after being tested multiple times, turned out to be inconclusive.

While prosecutors make no admission that they misapplied statute 46.02, they filed a motion to dismiss. The motion reads, “The interest of justice cannot be served through further proceedings in this matter.”

Although the 2018 indictment was dismissed without prejudice, on February 9, 2019 charges were refilled against Becker on the Unlawful Carry charges. The affidavit identifies Becker’s membership in the Bandidos as the only probable cause for arrest.

Authorities persist despite absurd, unconstitutional interpretation of law.

Despite the fact that their interpretation of statute is unconstitutional and in violation of established state and federal rules of evidence, law enforcement and prosecutors persist in wasting public resources targeting individuals like Becker for participating in Constitutionally protected expression and association. This absurd interpretation of 46.02 would mean that carrying a weapon is unlawful for any individual that is a member of the Bandidos Motorcycle Club, with no other evidence, even with a License to Carry.

“If this seems outrageous, your instincts are correct. The MPP, after conducting cursory research on 46.02, has identified precedent, Ex Parte Flores 483 SW 3d 632 (2015), that clearly articulates how law enforcement is currently misinterpreting and misapplying Texas statute in violation of the basic rules of evidence and the US Constitution.”

“Law Enforcement and prosecutors should immediately cease and desist misapplying Texas statute. Applying Texas Penal Code 46.02 to members of clubs with no criminal records, and even LTC’s, would chill 1st Amendment Association and ignore the doctrine of personal guilt, “a cornerstone of American Jurisprudence.”

In the name of justice, prosecutors in Lubbock should again file a motion to dismiss all charges against Becker, this time with prejudice. Furthermore, prosecutors and law enforcement in El Paso, Dallas, and across the state of Texas should follow suite.

After motorcycle clubs, who’s next?

Everyone should ask themselves, “After motorcycle clubs, who’s next?” Every large identifiable group has individuals that have committed crimes. Should your civil liberties be taken based on the actions of other individuals you associate with even if you had no involvement in criminal activity?

The blatant attempt to disarm the entire community regardless of an individual’s personal involvement in criminal activity will not stop with motorcycle clubs if authorities are successful. Every American should be deeply concerned about this assault on basic civil liberties. Unpopular speech, including unpopular association, is the most important speech to protect. Or so long has held the Supreme Court.

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