Idaho House of Representatives Passes Bill Banning Motorcycle Profiling
The House of Representatives of Idaho has recently passed a bill which makes it illegal for police to detain motorcycle riders based solely on profiling. The bill is one of several that is currently under consideration by legislatures across the country, indicating a growing awareness of unfair treatment of clubs and riders by law enforcement.
The Idaho bill prohibits law enforcement from pulling over motorcycle riders or persons wearing motorcycle paraphernalia who have not violated any traffic laws. The state representative who spoke in favor of the bill called it a “tiny sliver in the right direction.” Rep. John McCrostie explained, “at the end of the day, nobody should be treated differently just because they look differently.” The bill is now being considered by the Idaho State Senate.
Local Idaho residents involved in the biking community expressed their approval of the new law. Mark Romero is a Boise resident who has been involved in the city’s riding scene and has been a strong supporter of the local POW*MIA Awareness Rally. He told reporters, “these aren’t gangs, they’re clubs. I don’t know if it’s reality TV, social media or old stigmas, but the guys that are in clubs do tend to get a lot more attention from the law.” Romero went on, “I understand law enforcement is trying to do their jobs and it’s not a good guy, bad guy kind of thing and I’m not saying every biker is a saint. But not every cop is a saint either.”
A similar bill is currently before the Texas state legislature, as well. Motorcyclists recently rallied in support of the bill, and representatives from the group noted that bikers had come under increasing scrutiny after the 2015 shootout in Waco that involved biker groups. One proponent of the Texas bill explained that more and more riders are being pulled over by law enforcement without cause, noting that “what they do is make you undress and take pictures of all your tattoos, they want to know what motorcycle club you’re in, what you’re doing and where you’re going.” Likewise, Washington state is considering a bill that would categorize “wearing motorcycle-related or motorcycle-club related paraphernalia” as a civil right in an effort to discourage motorcycle rider profiling.
If you’ve had your civil rights threatened through unfair treatment by law enforcement due to your status as a motorcycle rider, find out if you have a claim for money damages as a result of that discrimination by contacting the determined and aggressive Bay Area motorcycle rights attorney William Weiss for a consultation on your case, at 415-362-6765.