Pattern of Evidence

Published on November 29th, 2016 | by David "Double D" Devereaux

21

Bikers Arrested for Wearing Bandanas

Louisiana motorcyclists in the Bossier/Shreveport area may be experiencing a mechanism of profiling that many are unaware of. It has been reported to the MPP that 17 motorcyclists in the area have recently been arrested for wearing bandanas, scarves, and even a bubble shield while riding because it conceals their identities in public. Local law enforcement contends that covering your face in public is a violation of Louisiana’s anti-mask law, LSA-R.S. 14:313, which carries a 6 month to 3 year term of imprisonment. Although every incident has not been confirmed, the MPP spoke to one motorcyclist directly and confirmed that he was arrested for concealing his identity on November 8, 2016.

 

The law used to justify targeting motorcyclists for wearing masks in Louisiana exists elsewhere. At least 15 states have what experts call “general anti-mask laws” that could be applied to motorcyclists. Applying anti-masking laws to motorcyclists covering their heads and faces with protective gear is an abuse of statute and demonstrative of motorcycle profiling. An exemption for public safety ought to be obvious.

 

Motorcyclist Arrested For Concealing Identity

 

While visiting Louisiana to attend and speak at a state Confederation of Clubs and Independents meeting in Alexandria, the MPP became aware of the alleged arrests for concealing identities in public. The MPP spoke to a member of a motorcycle club in the Bossier/Shreveport area that was able to confirm the validity of the rumors.

 

Although a traffic pretext was used to justify the stop, the MPP evaluated his citation and he was indeed arrested for concealing his identity, an alleged violation of state code LSA-R.S. 14:313.  This individual  was on his way to vote in the 2016 National Election. He was denied this opportunity. He was forced to pay a bond in order to obtain his release and as of this writing the issue has not yet been resolved.

 

(Notably, this same individual has been experiencing a pattern of harassment while riding his motorcycle. 9 days after the mask arrest he was again stopped and harassed for a series of pre-textual infractions preceding more questions about his club affiliations.)

 

LSA-R.S. 14:313

 

 

LSA-R.S. 14:313

 

Masks or hoods, wearing in public places prohibited; penalty; exceptions; permit to conduct Mardi Gras festivities, how obtained.

 

No person shall use or wear in any public place of any character whatsoever, or in any open place in view thereof, a hood or mask, or anything in the nature of either, or any facial disguise of any kind or description, calculated to conceal or hide the identity of the person or to prevent his being readily recognized.

 

Whoever violates this Section shall be imprisoned for not less than six months nor more than three years.

 

This Section shall not apply:

 

  • To activities of children on Halloween, to persons participating in any public parade or exhibition of an educational, religious, or historical character given by any school, church, or public governing authority, or to persons in any private residence, club, or lodge room; or,

 

  • To persons participating in masquerade balls or entertainments, to persons participating in carnival parades or exhibitions during the period of Mardi Gras festivities, to persons participating in parades or exhibitions of minstrel troupes, circuses, or other dramatic or amusement shows, or to promiscuous masking on Mardi Gras which are duly authorized by the governing authorities of the municipality in which they are held or by the sheriff of the parish if held outside of an incorporated

 

All persons having charge or control of any of the festivities set forth in paragraph (2) of this Section shall, in order to bring the persons participating therein within the exceptions contained in paragraph (2), make written application for and shall obtain in advance of the festivities from the mayor of the city, town, or village in which the festivities are to be held, or  when  the festivities are to be held outside of an incorporated city, town, or village, from the sheriff of the parish, a written permit to conduct the festivities. A general public proclamation by the mayor or sheriff authorizing the festivities shall be equivalent to an application and permit.

 

 

Applying Law To Motorcycle Safety Gear Is Absurd

 

Originally the Louisiana law against wearing masks and hoods in public was motivated by the Ku Klux Klan wearing hoods and masks concealing their identity while they terrorized and intimidated others.[1] Louisiana’s law makes exemptions for Halloween and Mardi Gras, but none for public safety. Although clearly not the intent of the law, motorcyclists covering their faces to avoid bugs, wind, and rain may be subject to arrest.

 

Considering Louisiana’s mandatory helmet requirement based on public safety, the absurdity of applying anti-mask laws to motorcyclists is further demonstrated. Every helmet covers a  motorcyclists  head similar to a hood and all motorcyclists wear eye protection. The very act of riding a motorcycle legally requires concealment. A motorcyclist wearing a full face helmet could be arrested for concealing their identity if anti-mask laws apply. Remember, a full face helmet is considered the best protection among experts that advocate helmets.[2]

 

Some states that have similar laws have anticipated such conflicts and include an exemption for safety or sporting activities in their anti-mask statutes.[3]   But 15 states, including Louisiana, have more general statutes that could lead to these abusive applications.[4]    In fact, “general anti-mask laws proscribe the simple concealment of physical identity in public, regardless of coexistent criminal activity. Individuals have been prosecuted under general anti-mask laws for wearing a Ku Klux Klan hood, for dressing in the clothing and wearing the makeup of the individual’s opposite sex, and for placing a leaflet between the individual’s face and eyeglasses.”[5]

 

Possible Solutions

 

Numerous strategies may exist to combat anti-mask laws being applied to motorcyclists. Judicially, filing for a Declaratory Judgement arguing that the statute is unconstitutional is another option, although this has been attempted and has not always been successful.

 

“The conflicting court decisions, along with the varying scope of anti- mask laws themselves, reflect the uncertainty concerning when, if ever, the government can constitutionally ban public mask-wearing. Further complicating this area of the law is the apparent political bias of some of the courts that have ruled on the challenges.”[6]

 

Legislatively, an anti-motorcycle profiling law would eliminate discriminatory pretext stops at the source. Also, adding an exemption to state statute for safety and sport, including motorcycling, would prevent abuse and preserve the original intent of the law.

 

 

 

[1] https://casetext.com/case/opinion-number-95-188 Attorney General of Louisiana — Opinion 95-188 (Ops. La. Atty. Gen. 1995)

 

[2] http://helmetadvisors.com/best-motorcycle-helmet/#Full-Helmet

 

[3] Stephen J. Simoni, “Who Goes ere?” — Proposing a Model Anti-Mask Act, 61 Fordham L. Rev. 241 (1992). Available at: h p:// ir.lawnet.fordham.edu/ r/vol61/iss1/16

 

[4] See Ala. Code § 13A-11-9(a)(4) (1982); Del. Code Ann. tit. 11, § 1301(l)(g) (1987 & Supp. 1990); D.C. Code Ann. § 22-3112.3 (1989); Fla. Stat. Ann. §§ 876.11-.16 (West 1976 & Supp. 1992); Ga. Code Ann. § 16-11-38 (1988 & Supp. 1991); La. Rev. Stat.

Ann. § 14:313 (West 1986); Mich. Comp. Laws § 750.396 (1991); Minn. Stat. Ann. § 609.735 (West 1987); N.M. Stat. Ann. § 30-22-3 (Michie 1984); N.Y. Penal Law § 240.35(4) (Mc- Kinney 1989); N.C. Gen. Stat. §§ 14-12.7 to .11 (1986); Okla. Stat. Ann. tit. 21, § 1301 (C 1983); S.C. Code Ann. § 16-7-110 (Law. Co-op. 1976); Tenn. Code Ann. § 39-17-309(c) (1991); Va. Code Ann. § 18.2-422 (Iichie 1988); W. Va. Code § 61-6-22 (1989).

 

[5] Simoni, page 242

 

[6] Simoni, page 244

 

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About the Author

David

is the Spokesperson for the Washington State Council of Clubs, Founder of the Motorcycle Profiling Project, and works with motorcyclists at the national level. Contact: Send Email,



DISCLAIMER: Although comments are encouraged and appreciated, not all comments will be posted by Motorcycle Profiling Project LLC. The Motorcycle Profiling Project LLC appreciates oppositional viewpoints but will not post any comments that do not contribute to a respectful and meaningful discussion or are blatantly discriminatory or otherwise offensive. Resubmissions will be considered at the commenter's request.


21 Responses to Bikers Arrested for Wearing Bandanas

  1. Rob Coen says:

    Separate from the above article I have a simple question. What are the salaries of MPP officials, and Devereaux in particular? Aside from a coordinator and spokesperson, what has he actually accomplished? It’s easy to list a bunch of organizations that he belongs to or supports. But where’s the beef? I know you don’t have the nerve to publish this “will not post any comments that do not contribute to a respectful and meaningful discussion” -your words- which basically you hide behind to avoid any accountability to your subscribers/ financial supporters. In my case ex financial supporter. So be it. It’s your site.

    • Colt Colt says:

      Robert, To answer your question directly myself and Double D and any other MPP “officials” take no salaries.

      The money you donated would go to supporting the site, which costs money on a monthly basis to keep running. Web hosting as you may know can be costly. We can absolutely refund your contribution in it’s entirety should you wish. Just say the word.

      As far as what Double D or myself has actually accomplished, the community can speak better than we can but we travel extensively to help with other States political involvement. Double D has been instrumental in passing anti-profiling Laws in Washington AND in Maryland. Has been and is currently working with numerous states to help them pass their own Laws to prevent profiling. Has worked with numerous Clubs and Political organizations on many cases including Waco. The list is honestly too large to list and frankly a direct email to him or I would have been more appropriate in this case than this public forum.

      Beyond our personal accomplishments, articles that have appeared on the MPP have yielded tangible results beyond education. Such as helping to obtain open access to a courthouse in New Mexico, Baker Targets removing their “Bad Biker Targets”, correcting the Mainstream Media coverage of the Denver Swap Meet Shooting, if you recall the most used image that clearly identified the shooter was first seen here.

      The MPP and Double D are also integral in working on the Motorcycle Profiling issue at the Federal level. As a matter of fact the National Motorcycle Profiling Survey has served as the primary foundation of the MRF national efforts.

      But as we do not “hide behind” ANYTHING, here you have it. Next time you have an issue or question, why not be a bit more respectful and take it to the source. There are email addresses and contact forms all over the place and we are very responsive to our subscribers and followers of the MPP.

      To anyone reading this I would say look at the site, we don’t have ads for all kinds of gear or anything else here, the motive of this site is purely altruistic and for the betterment of ALL motorcyclists and patch holders.

      Your contributions are appreciated and help to keep the site and our efforts running. But to be honest we would pay out of our own pockets, as we have for years because it’s the right thing to do. Thank you to all of our contributors both online and off.

      Robert you let me know if you need that money back Sir and Good Day.

      • Kyle says:

        Definitely agreed upon, Colton! Good job guys and keep it up!

      • Dan says:

        Not sure what was driving that comment and don’t care. I’ve always found this site to do a good job at advocating for a belief. Keep it up.

      • Rob says:

        Out of respect I won’t go into the problem with being double charged on my contributions. The problem might have been with PayPal. I did contact them. I don’t want any money back. Thank you for your efforts.

  2. Paula says:

    So why is it ok for the officers on bikes to wear them? Seems double standard.

    • Crystal says:

      Amen lady, it’s discrimination for the police to be protected under a helmet, but a dirty ass biker doing charitable things in the community shouldn’t have the same protection.

      • porkchop says:

        Same goes with tinted windows, a cop can spray paint their windows black if they want to but “Joe Citizen” better not or you will be fined and made to strip it off. Cops do as they please and with no remorse, they say you can’t see out of dark tinted windows well how the hell do they see out of them? Do they install x-ray vision into a cop when he graduates the academy? I know this is not bike related but all the same it’s PROFILING and it must stop

  3. Ricky Rock says:

    These are Draconian Measures and complete profligacy. ..

  4. John Jeter says:

    With the advent of computers and radio systems it seems to me that having a valid license plate would be a means of readily establishing identity. LEO can run a plate in minutes and establish owners id, insurance status (in many areas), wants and warrants, or if the bike is stolen. This can all be done without even pulling someone over.

    • Luigi says:

      As a retired LEO, biker, and biker organization “Supporter” I frequently find myself caught thinking about things that occur like this. This “Mask Law”, was put on the books along time ago as discussed, to address, when people would run around and terrorize other with hoods and such. I honestly do not think the law should be repealed at this time, simply because, we are seemingly coming back around to people running around with shit on their heads again, terrorizing us, ( burka comes to mind). I do believe that common sense should prevail in this instance. A “sporting” or public safety clause should be put into the law allowing for such things as moto baclava’s etc. In La., this law has obviously been exploited to profile certain indiviual(s). I fully do NOT agree with this tactic.

  5. Ramman says:

    So I guess Sunglasses and a ball cap in public is also out of the question? How moronic is this law. Heaven forbid someone wear a hoodie and a pair of shades in public, that would bring in the SWAT team 😛

  6. Chuck Gunter says:

    Just another money making scheme like speed traping.

  7. Ditchem FTMC says:

    Well I guess. Full face helmet with a tinted shield will get you ass in trouble too

  8. Lacking real names of those actually ticketed I question the truth of the entire subject and think its just hype to get more web hits which results in sponsors to generate income to web site.

    real names of those arrested?
    were they all patch holders?

    Ripple Ratt

    • Colt Colt says:

      I understand your skepticism with so many fake articles out there on Social Media these days. But the author, Double D, mentioned he confirmed with 1 of the 17 as of writing this. In addition, how exactly are we monetizing web traffic? Do you see any ads? Any pop ups? Do we mention any products in our articles that our readers should purchase? You won’t find that here. Despite the site costing us money every month to maintain, not to mention the time it takes to respond to bikers requests and complaints of law enforcement action, help with legislation, write and review articles including fact checking, the list goes on. The MPP will ALWAYS confirm reports before issuing an article and we have discussed AT LENGTH ways to avoid placing ads and BS on the site. We started this to help bikers, not make money off of them.

      Thanks for reading, if you go through the site you will see we aren’t here for money and we do our homework. Ride Safe.

      Colt LMC
      Co-Founder MPP

  9. legal eagle says:

    When looking at the long list of those “exempt” from this “law” it is clear that it is meant for targeted groups; IE; profiling.
    It really isn’t any big surprise though considering the extreme low IQ of those who would not enact such a selective discriminatory “law” but those simplistic enough to enforce it as well.
    I will not be traveling to Louisiana again any time soon or ever for that matter as I try to avoid fascist and tyrannical people, unlike the politicians and “police” in Louisiana. I’ll be sure to share this with as many people as I know and encourage them to go elsewhere during Mardi Gras or any other state supporting money maker. They’ve obviously been drinking too mach swamp water.

  10. Tammy says:

    I love and appreciate the time and hard work you all do to set things right, in a very confused society, Thank You All

  11. Phil says:

    So do you have to be clean shaved to ride a bike. When I grow out my face hair I look different.

  12. Bruce says:

    Hey guys I understand the beef your having state side so have a thought for our brothers in Queensland Australia where it’s illegal for anymore than 3 bikers from the same affiliated club to socialise in public or face automatic 6mth imprisonment! There’s a case going through court ATM where this happened but 2 are brothers & the 3rd is the brother in law. So what’s your thoughts on this?

  13. Clifton Riley says:

    May 13th 2017 3 of us were pulled over just for this. The LA State officer pulled us over and told us “The reason I stopped you is because you were concealing you identity.” He was on a fishing expedition. He also told us he was “looking for other motorcycle enthusiasts” No citations were issued.

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