By James “Hollywood” Macecari Author of New Age of Biking and Brotherhood
The “gang member” label that federal authorities have been gleaning from gang databases is not based on the determination of a court, and is applied without due process. A local officer’s observation about attire, tattoos, affiliation or in my case, vandalism, can set a life-altering legal process in motion – Stefano Bloch
Today’s segment of Motorcycle Madhouse Ep 476 I discuss an article recently published in the New York Times Opinion section titled, “Are You in a Gang Database?”
As many of you know I’ve been highlighting the concerning uptick in police using this list to target members of motorcycle clubs. The gang list is a nationwide databased which is collected at the state level and shared between agencies. To get on the list all a officer has to do is enter your information into it. It’s basically up to their opinion and you usually don’t even know you’re on it.
As the quote from Stefano Bloch states, “gang databases are not based on the determination of a court.”
Since when did we relinquish our 4th amendment rights?
When has it become alright in this country for law enforcement to run rough shot over our rights to a hearing in a court of law? How is it that the courts have allowed this practice? Two very important issues that need to be addressed in my opinion.
I know that there is a concerted effort by MRO’s to address profiling issues, but what about this gang database practice? I get it, MRO’s don’t want to rock the boat to much with law enforcement, but sometimes you have to. Enough with the grass clipping campaigns and get into some real issues that effect the scene.
I’m hoping that MRO’s don’t think it’s alright for cops to determine if a person is a gang member or not. Motorcycle clubs actually make up a large portion of the motorcycle scene and should be defended when it comes to these lists. Bikers are loosing jobs, as well as facing harassment, because someone took it upon themselves to dictate whether or not someone is a gang member.
Check out the show and leave your thoughts in the comment section. Do you think it should be legal for LEO to put someone on a gang list without due process through the court?
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- Longtime member of The Loners Motorcycle Club had been shot to death