There a thread started on Bruce and Rays Forum by Madd Ray describing possible biker abuse in a certain California City. Check it out here. And following is my response:
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Cc: Bcc: Date: Fri, 27 Jul 2007 9:43 pm
Honorable Mayor and City Council It's amazing how news travels in these days of instant communications. We here in Florida are hearing of what would appear to be inexcusable behaviors (that could be interpreted as harassment) from your officers when stopping motorcyclists for "perceived" Helmet violations. We are hearing rumors of verbal abuse, possible 4th amendment violations and other egregious actions.
My hope would be that it isn't true (though it would appear that it is based on some confirmed reports we have received) for a number of reasons:
1. I have family in California (including a Naval Captain who has been assigned to insure a MC awareness program is presented on his base) who ride. If these actions are are unaddressable I feel obliged to send him the information so that he might make his fellow servicemen aware that they may wish to avoid the Fremont area.
2. An officers job is to protect and serve as well as enforce the law. They are in fact, public servants and as such have no right to treat "any" citizen with anything other than respect. If an officer for some reason is unable to do so then my suggestion would be that he or she be replaced. If an officer "believes" that a law has in fact been violated, of course he/she has an obligation to enforce the law. However a question may be asked considering the legislative and court battles currently in process in your state re: Helmet laws, as to whether or not your officers might use some discretion and most especially appropriate decorum as due to their police powers they must be held to higher standard than the general public.
3. I would would much rather believe that this is the actions of a few officers that are abusing their powers than a city attitude of discrimination and justice by intimidation. Because it is not just the citizens of your city that are aware of your actions. It will now be a large group of Motorcycle Rights Activists across the nation that will be watching.
With as much respect as I hope you will accord motorcyclists riding through your city. rc