The Bandidos Motorcycle Club will host a biker rally in Amarillo this weekend which will be heavily monitored by law enforcement.
The Randall County Sheriff’s Office is leading a task force made up of federal, state, and local agencies to mitigate risk at the event.
Randall County Sheriff Christopher Forbis said his office learned a couple of weeks ago from the Department of Public Safety about the event.
“So, this is a national rally that happens every year for the Bandidos. One of the events is happening at Amarillo Dragway,” Sheriff Forbis said. “They’re having motorcycle races here on a two-day event. There are other things that are associated with that event.”
According to the sheriff, there will be a large number of club members across Potter and Randall Counties this weekend. For that reason, Sheriff Forbis said there will be an increased law enforcement presence.
“They have been designated through the Department of Justice and Texas Department of Public Safety as an outlaw motorcycle gang,” he said. “Once we understood that it was going to be more than 1,000 people gathered, then we decided that we would partner with all our local agencies, state agencies, federal agencies to ensure that the public would be safe.”
He said they are also focused on making sure the event goes off without any problems and no criminal activity will occur.
He said there is no history of conflict between the RCSO and the Bandidos, although they have had interactions before and some members have ended up in their facility.
“But there’s not any rub between us in the Bandidos as a large organization. It’s like anything else. As long as people are peaceful and they’re lawful, then they’re free to exercise their constitutional rights and move about freely. Whenever they start to violate the law, and break the law, and infringe on other people’s constitutional rights, that’s whenever we get involved.”
Sheriff Forbis said the task force has the weekend planned out and they have also had communication with the Bandidos leadership.
“They’ve told us that they want everything to be peaceful and not any incidents to happen. So, we hope that they keep their word and if so, then it’ll be a peaceful event and then everybody can move on,” Sheriff Forbis said.
He said ensuring the safety of the community is the main goal.
“For the most part, the incidents like happened in Twin Peaks are our outliers. They don’t happen very often. Most of the things that happen are more isolated events but we’re preparing to make sure that we don’t have an event like that occur in Amarillo.”
Sheriff Forbis also said they expect increased traffic in the area of the Amarillo Dragway.
“So, if you’ve got to travel to that area, you may choose an alternate route than driving route by that area just because of the traffic congestion that may happen,” he continued. “Or maybe traffic accidents and things of that nature in that area because of the increased traffic.”
MyHighPlains.com reached out to the Bandidos leadership and have not received comment.