Police Profiling – It Ain’t Just For Cagers Anymore
...and it probably never was, to be honest. I was a bit alarmed to see the AMA fighting legislative bills that allow motorcycle-only roadblocks and checkpoints. Not that I think they should have those roadblocks. I’m alarmed that the legislation is out there to allow it and the AMA is forced to fight it.
It’s far from being a black-and-white issue, but there are three distinct shades of gray at work here. First up, we have our vast majority of riders that are law-abiding citizens that just happen to ride a motorcycle. Most are independent with no club affiliations, though some are in clubs and are the ones who suffer the most under anti-motorcycling police profiling practices. Secondly, we have a group that one could argue asks for police attention through overt, club-related patches and devices on their gear, but still are American citizens who deserve the same rights and considerations shown to all. Then there’s group three, a category that I am personally guilty of maligning, but one that also should be considered innocent until proven guilty: sportbike riders.
Continue reading for my views on profiling practices.
What Does It Mean?
Sure, we’ve all seen examples of riders, usually of a recent vintage, acting like an assclown by splitting lanes way too fast or riding a wheelie all the way through town, but unless you actually see that particular power ranger using his special abilities then you can’t pull him over. Just because he looks like that guy, doesn’t mean he is that guy. With increasing vigor, the Po-Po are after the latter two groups, but the net winds up grabbing far too many of the first group and frequently, undeserving members of the other two groups as well.
Police unions wail their outrage whenever they are painted with too broad a brush (at least in their own estimation...), but we see that they are perfectly willing to visit the same bigotry on others. Funny how that works. I’d like to say that it’s a good thing that almost half the States forbid motorcycle-only roadblocks/checkpoints, but unfortunately it’s just too sad of a commentary that we needed another law to protect us from the practice. As always, the AMA is active in the fight for all motorcyclists’ rights, and I urge you all to support this effort to protect your brother’s and sister’s right to ride free.