Monthly Archives: July 2017

Pressure Causes San Marcos Police to Condemn Motorcycle Profiling

By David “Double D” Devereaux

San Marcos (TX)- The San Marcos Police Department (SMPD) has publicly rejected motorcycle profiling and discrimination in response to an inquiry regarding a recent Motorcycle Profiling Project (MPP) request that the SMPD cease and desist from recommending that private owners make their establishments unwelcome to motorcycle clubs by adopting “no motorcycle colors” policies. The department explains that such recommendations are the result of one well-intentioned but misguided officer’s actions that are “not in line with the policies of the San Marcos Police Department.” The SMPD reminds KXAN that the department “has a policy against profiling and discrimination” and “support[s] the rights of people to peaceably assemble regardless of their appearance, clothing or affiliation with any group.”

Although, as of this writing, the SMPD has not directly responded to the MPP’s request, KXAN News in Austin reached out to the MPP and the SMPD for comment, and ran a follow up to the original story exposing the SMPD recommendations.(click to view) In a statement sent to KXAN, in answer to KXAN’s inquiries, the SMPD rejects profiling and separates the agency from the recommendations that private owners exclude club members.

From KXAN- The full statement received from the City of San Marcos:

A San Marcos police officer gave well intentioned advice to some local business owners in response to incidents that took place at their establishments. While well meaning, some of that advice is not in line with the polices of the San Marcos Police Department. In fact, the San Marcos Police Department has a policy against profiling and discrimination.

Our department is here to serve and assist the entire community, that includes both business owners and their patrons. We are sometimes called upon to assist in situations that may arise at a business, and in some cases to assist when a person is criminally trespassing. We also support the rights of people to peaceably assemble regardless of their appearance, clothing or affiliation with any group.

Our downtown, and our entire community welcomes all law-abiding citizens and visitors.

The post Pressure Causes San Marcos Police to Condemn Motorcycle Profiling appeared first on Motorcycle Profiling Project.

…read more

Source:: Motorcycle Profiling Project

Police in Texas Pressuring Bars to Ban “Motorcycle Colors”

By David “Double D” Devereaux

Motorcyclists from Texas and around the US, many wearing motorcycle-related patches and colors, regularly visit public establishments and bars in San Marcos, Texas.

Recently, the San Marcos Police Department (SMPD) made a prejudicial recommendation to downtown San Marcos businesses to implement a broad policy of discrimination against any individual wearing motorcycle-related insignia or colors.

These recommendations amount to coercive pressure from a government actor to implement policies of discrimination. It is settled law that motorcycle patches and colors are Constitutionally protected by the 1st Amendment from acts of government discrimination. Prohibiting individuals from expressing themselves with patches or insignia exposes the government to liability under 42 USC §1983.

No agent of the government may pressure or coerce any establishment to impose a dress code that prohibits attendees from wearing clothing displaying the name or symbols associated with a motorcycle organization.

The Motorcycle Profiling Project (MPP), an organization representing the interests of motorcyclists in Texas and across America, is requesting that the San Marcos PD cease and desist from any further discriminatory recommendations relating to motorcycle clubs and has sent the following letter:

July 25, 2017

Chase Stapp – Chief of Police

San Marcos Police Department

cstapp@sanmarcostx.gov

tel: 512-753-2110

Dear Chief Stapp,

Recently, the San Marcos Police Department (SMPD) issued a prejudicial recommendation to downtown San Marcos businesses to implement a broad policy of discrimination against any individual wearing motorcycle-related insignia or colors. These recommendations amount to coercive pressure from a government actor to implement policies of discrimination. It is settled law that motorcycle patches and colors are Constitutionally protected by the 1st Amendment from acts of government discrimination.

No agent of the government may recommend, pressure or coerce any establishment to impose a dress code that prohibits attendees from wearing clothing displaying the name or symbols associated with a motorcycle organization. Prohibiting individuals from expressing themselves with patches or insignia exposes the government to liability under 42 USC §1983.

The Motorcycle Profiling Project (MPP), an organization representing the interests of motorcyclists in Texas and across America, is requesting that the San Marcos PD cease and desist from any further discriminatory recommendations relating to motorcycle clubs and issue a statement informing the public based on the attached analysis. (See pages 2-4)

The MPP looks forward to your response and resolution of this issue.

Sincerely,

Motorcycle Profiling Project

info@motorcycleprofilingproject.com

motorcycleprofilingproject.com

The San Marcos PD is Encouraging Private Discrimination

  1. Members of motorcycle clubs and motorcycle organizations regularly frequent public establishments in San Marcos, Texas to engage in protected expressive conduct such as charitable and political benefits and political benefits and fundraisers.
  1. As reported in the San Marcos Record, the President of the Downtown Association of San Marcos has publicly stated that the San Marcos Police Department has seen “an increase in the presence of the Bandidos Motorcycle Gang in the city and in downtown in recent weeks” and are “recommending that downtown establishments to keep an eye out and consider implementing strategies to make their space unwelcoming to this group.” One of those strategies is to post dress code signage at the door to include rules against “Gang related ‘cuts,’ ‘vests,’ or other insignia” in addition to any dress code rules. 1

Police Encouraging Private Discrimination Amounts to State Action

  1. Prohibited state involvement can be found “even where the state can be charged with only encouraging,” rather than commanding discrimination, such as state actors encouraging owners to exercise their “right to privately discriminate on grounds which admittedly would be unavailable under the Fourteenth Amendment should state action be involved.” 2
  1. Public statements by city officials encouraging private discrimination can have as much coercive potential as an actual ordinance. 3 Authorizing private discrimination
    significantly involves the state with invidious discrimination. “The right to discriminate is now one of the basic policies of the State.” State action that encourages private discrimination “establishes the right to discriminate as a basic state policy,”” and “will significantly encourage and involve the State in private discrimination.4
  1. State action “which authorize[s] private discrimination” makes the State “at least a partner in the instant act of discrimination. . . .” The courts “conceive of no other purpose for an application of” such state recommendations “aside from authorizing the perpetration of a purported private discrimination. . . .” Such a recommendation “unconstitutionally involves the State in…discrimination, and is therefore invalid under the Fourteenth Amendment.” 5
  1. Police recommendations invoke state authority to discriminate so those practicing discrimination “need no longer rely solely on their personal choice.” They can now invoke express state authority, “free from censure or interference of any kind from official sources. All individuals, partnerships, corporations and other legal entities, as well as their agents and representatives, will now discriminate…” 6
  1. Private Owners are acting on the state’s authority to discriminate in San Marcos. The President of the Downtown Association of San Marcos has publicly endorsed the SMPD’s recommendations at a recent Downtown Association of San Marcos organizational meeting, as reported by the San Marcos Register. (See Supra note #1)
  1. If police recommend private discrimination, and are also responsible for enforcing violations of that private policy of discrimination, then both the recommendation and enforcement of violations are unconstitutional. Even when a state recommendation is neutral in its terms, if the result of its application would be to invoke the sanctions of the State to enforce a concededly discriminatory private rule, such as arresting violators for trespassing, then those recommendations and sanctions would violate the Fourteenth Amendment. 7 The Supreme Court has made clear the impetus for the forbidden discrimination need not originate with the State if it is state action that enforces privately originated discrimination. 8Imagine if the recommendation was to make public establishments unwelcoming to people wearing clothing or insignia indicating that they are republicans, democrats, environmentalists, or Cowboys fans.
  1. Private owners confirm pressure from SMPD recommendations, against their …read more

    Source:: Motorcycle Profiling Project

ABATE of Pennsylvania Turns Their Back on Motorcycle Clubs

By David “Double D” Devereaux

ABATE of Pa. Mercer County Chapter is holding its 39th Annual Kickin’ it in the Stix Poker Run in Transfer, Pa July 7-9, 2017. Although the excerpt on the ABATE of Pa. Mercer County Chapter Facebook page post says “Everyone welcome” the event Flyer makes it clear that “no colors” are allowed.

ABATE is supposed to stand for the ideals of motorcycle rights, including freedom of expression and association. To ban motorcycle club colors at an ABATE event is antithetical to these ideals and runs counter to the historical origins of ABATE and the motorcycle rights movement.

Club members started ABATE in most states. Currently, many patch holders are members of ABATE and regularly attend ABATE functions in many states. Clubs and ABATE are also working together well in many states and even at the federal level.

The Motorcycle Riders Foundation (MRF), an organization largely made up of ABATE chapters nationwide, is committed to combating motorcycle profiling and discrimination against motorcycle club colors. In 2015, ABATE of Pa. was advocating for HB 1580, an anti- motorcycle profiling bill that 47 legislators sponsored. How can the current ABATE of Pa. be so far off the mark relative to their own advocacy in 2015, the rest of the country, the movement’s mission, and constitutional liberties?

The MPP has worked with independents and ABATE members all over America that are passionately dedicated to fighting discrimination. Motorcycle profiling and discrimination is a motorcycling problem, not just a club problem. The MPP is appalled that an ABATE event in any state would ban motorcycle club colors or that a paying membership would not stand up and immediately demand a change in policy.

It’s bad enough having to combat government and law enforcement discrimination. But when an organization that exists to educate and protect the rights of motorcyclists turns their back on motorcycle clubs it is a sign that something is very wrong in Pennsylvania.

The post ABATE of Pennsylvania Turns Their Back on Motorcycle Clubs appeared first on Motorcycle Profiling Project.

…read more

Source:: Motorcycle Profiling Project