First Amendment

Published on October 15th, 2015 | by David "Double D" Devereaux

15

Arizona Motorcycle Club Surrounded by Police for 3 Days

Law enforcement in Winslow, Arizona is guilty of grossly mismanaging public funds by mobilizing a multi-agency patrol and surveillance operation targeting a motorcycle club for absolutely no justifiable reason.  This incident is another example of police targeting motorcycle clubs with military like equipment and surveillance, even in instances where there is absolutely no reason or probable cause to believe that a crime has, or will, take place. This incident is a microcosm into an epidemic occurring in Arizona and across America. Fortunately there are possible solutions. A law addressing the issue of motorcycle profiling has proven to be an effective tool in the fight against military policing and discrimination against 1st Amendment protected associations.

ALMA MC NV Law Enforcement Harrassment_2_captioned

I recently received a letter from John Dreyfus, a friend, a member of ALMA MC and the Arizona Confederation of Motorcycle Clubs Designated Lobbyist. The ALMA MC was targeted by surveillance and an outrageous police presence during a 3-day celebration for a new charter held September 5th-7th in Winslow, Arizona    The letter reads:

“New problems, we have a new ALMA MC charter in Winslow, AZ….None of the members up there have criminal records. We had a party to celebrate them becoming full patch members and the LE presence was outrageous. Not a single arrest or traffic stop during the three days that people were partying there. More evidence…”

The Department of Public Safety, Gang Task Force, and Winslow PD were all involved in the operation. An operation taking place for absolutely no discernible reason other than to conduct massive and visible surveillance on a club that has no felons, a club committing no crimes, and no reason to believe that a crime would occur.

Nevada COC Meeting_Cops Asked to Leave_captioned

Dreyfus describes the surveillance. “There were unmarked vehicles. LE in body armor. And a telescoping device that we took pics of. We weren’t sure if it was intercepting phone signals or broadcasting pics they took. There is one pic of a small group of LE at the corner with the statue. It looked like they were doing the tourist thing. Taking pics with the statue at Standing On The Corner Park.”

How much does a 3-day, multi-agency, military-style operation that results in zero enforcement of the law cost in public funds?  This gross mismanagement of public funds counter-acts the extremely positive economic benefits of the club’s party on the community. According to Dreyfus, “Every hotel in town was filled. Businesses saw greatly increased sales.”

Independent of economics, the discriminatory mindset driving this operation is concerning. There is no other explanation other than stereotype driving the idea that overwhelming police presence and surveillance of clubs with no criminal records or history of criminal activity is necessary or appropriate.

Unfortunately, this is not an isolated incident in Arizona. Indeed, there has been a long history of motorcycle profiling in Arizona. For example, in 2012, while visiting Phoenix to give a profiling presentation at an Arizona Confederation of Motorcycle Clubs meeting, law enforcement targeted this political gathering with visible presence and surveillance outside the meeting. John Dreyfus immediately went outside, asked them politely what they wanted, took pictures of them, and they went away.

Again, there was absolutely zero reason to believe that a crime was occurring, or would occur, a condition that should reasonably exist before law enforcement targets a political meeting.  The only reason for law enforcement presence is a discriminatory profile of motorcycle clubs generally.

telescoping device_captioned

Confederation meetings are attended by Christian clubs, Veterans clubs, Woman’s clubs, 1% clubs, and plain old riding clubs. Confederation meetings are solely confined to legal and legislative issues that impact the motorcycle community. There is an attorney present at every meeting. There is no justification to target these constitutionally protected political gatherings.

The virtually cost-free solution is within grasp. The pattern of evidence proves that profiling is widespread, unconstitutional, and a gross misuse of public funds. This pattern of evidence creates an irrefutable argument for a law requiring all law enforcement in Arizona to adopt a written policy condemning motorcycle profiling and integrating the issue into basic training.

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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.


15 Responses to Arizona Motorcycle Club Surrounded by Police for 3 Days

  1. Avatar Calvin says:

    The telescoping device is a directional listening device. They can listen to all phone calls and listen to anybody in the building..

  2. Avatar John doe says:

    Invasion of privacy at its finest

  3. Avatar Thai Stix says:

    Could be an antenna for a Stingray. Search “stingray phone tracker”.

  4. Avatar Anonymous says:

    What is wrong with law enforcement today
    Don’t they have enough criminals in their state are they bored? Maybe they should transfer to chigaco or how bout Los Angeles they could use help lots of murdering going on to keep busy
    Waste of tax payers money and time Rookies

  5. Avatar Anonymous says:

    I have been pro law enforcement my whole life worked trained personal friends
    Until I moved to Waco tx
    Lost all respect
    Is there any law enforcement that uphold the law
    To protect and serve?
    Wtf

  6. Avatar BOLT says:

    Such bullshit….. nothing better to do than harass motorcycle enthusiasts. Last I check there are still laws against profiling, and lots of money to be made against the state and it’s municipalities…..

  7. Avatar jhrathmann says:

    the police are not to protect you and me they are here to protect the status quo

  8. Avatar Anonymous says:

    The telacopic is for monitoring communication s. You all should of had a grill out. Just think of that sweet smoke wafting up those coppers noses. Ha

  9. Avatar Woody says:

    This is all about economics, not policing. The departments want federal gang task force and homeland security money. The only way to get it is to be able to file reports that they did something. These reports will say their actions prevented any problems when in fact there wouldn’t have been any problems any way.

    Approaching this from a taxpayer centric “hey, you are wasting my money” approach is probably the best way to end this crap. Bu then they will invent new ways to harass bikers.

    Meanwhile … keep calling your legislative representatives and ask them why so many tax dollars are being wasted on profiling.

  10. Avatar Smokey says:

    The photo is pretty grainy. But it looks very similar to an an called an Anti-Jamming Array. As portable Jammers are becoming more available and cheaper to the general public tactical units are having to deploy Anti-Jammers so that the LEOs communications dont get jammed.

  11. Avatar Grumbles says:

    I actually witnessed this blatant display of LEO harassment. My wife and I were riding to Durango, CO for the Four Corners Rally and stopped in Winslow for a picture “on the corner”. We saw ALMA M/C hanging out at their clubhouse having a good time and battle dressed cops were everywhere! All I could think was WTF??? I was very uncomfortable by the LEO presence! We got the hell outta there asap!

  12. Avatar Anonymous says:

    All thay do is give us all a bad name when were not doing nothing wrong when we do charity rides then were OK I don’t understand thay need to watch the bad one quit lableing us

  13. Avatar Shorty says:

    All thay do is give us all a bad name when were not doing nothing wrong when we do charity rides then were OK I don’t understand thay need to watch the bad one quit lableing us

  14. Avatar Executive Director/ CEO says:

    There is a civil rights violation here with this law enforcement developing a policy, procedure, or a practice that has developed into a custom that violates an individual’s rights. A person must show how it harms him. Like losing a $150,000.00 a year job after already starting because of photos by law enforcement assumed criminal behavior. In order to shut them down you need a person to physically become apart of and be damaged by the violation of their civil rights ( U.S. 1983 Claim in Federal District Court ) and show multitudes of harm past, present and future. Your could easily get an S. M. I. determination for anex ity and depression, and show it made you homeless ( about a $2,000,000.00 settlement in court without going to trial…..the good thing is that you can write the complaint your self and use the Federal district court website and file “in forma pauperis” so all filing fees and service of summons are paid by the court ….your club should always be on the lookout for creating their own civil rights violation against them by assigning a member to be place in harm’s way to document the unconstitutional behavior of law enforcement against them….meaning you have to create a condition whereby that person had good standing to bring his case to court.
    ,

  15. Avatar Executive Director/ CEO says:

    “mbk” stands for ” my brothers keeper “…a memory of the best patch you can wear… which originally stated ” I Am My Brothers Keeper ” ( just my opinion anyway and please assume no disrespect in anyway to any honor given to other more significant patches respected by any other individual ).
    Thank you for your time and consideration in reading my post and as always your most wise judgement.

    Sincerely,. Leo W. Lewis
    Executive Director/ CEO
    mbknonprofit@outlook.com

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