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Spin Control

Posts tagged: bikers

What would the Wild One say?

A biker wearing a Bandidos patch and a 1 percenter patch poses for a picture behind Gov. Chris Gregoire at last week's signing of the motorcycle profiling law.

My image of the outlaw biker, that iconic badboy of the latter half of the last century, lost a bit of its tarnish last week in an unusual setting. The governor’s office.
Some folks who at least harbor desires to be outlaw bikers joined other motorcyclists and state legislators while Gov. Chris Gregoire signed a bill forbidding cops from “profiling” them when they get their motors running and head out on the highway. Under the law, being on a motorcycle is not a reason for being pulled over…not that police would ever do that, mind you.
The governor’s conference room hosts all manner of characters when bills that work their way through the Legislature get signed, so there’s no way to say this was the motliest crew ever to gather round the conference table and smile for the cameras after Gregoire signed on the solid line.
But they may have been the most ostentatious in their display of professed disregard for law – an odd bit of irony, considering they were attending the christening of a new law. Along with club colors for the Bandidos, which was once a target of major law enforcement actions in Washington, several of the signature observers sported the diamond shaped, red and yellow 1%-er patch…

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Bikers win a round

OLYMPIA – One of the surest things about this legislative session is that police officers will be honored.
The only real question is how many proposals, from better pension benefits for slain officers’ families to constitutional amendments to keep more bad guys in jail, will be buttressed by references to six officers killed in two months on the West Side.
Opposition to one bill was denounced last week as an invitation for Washington to be the “cop killer capital of the country.” Should a resolution be introduced to beatify all six, the only likely argument would be whether they should skip the interim step and go straight to sainthood.
With this increased attention to law enforcement, it’s possible the most surprised group to make a pilgrimage to the Capitol last week were bikers. Not the kind of bikers who pedal, but the kind who don leather and “get their motors running.”
A couple dozen bikers, some in the colors of their individual motorcycle clubs, showed up at a hearing of the House Public Safety Committee, asking for a law protecting them from the cops.
They told of being targeted by police, stopped for no apparent reason, searched, questioned and generally harassed simply because they ride around on two wheels instead of four. They call it profiling, and liken it to what minorities, particularly young black males driving nice cars in predominantly white neighborhoods, complain about.
It’s illegal to profile minorities, it should be illegal to profile motorcycle riders, the bikers said.

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About this blog

Jim Camden is a veteran political reporter for The Spokesman-Review.

Jonathan Brunt is an enterprise reporter for The Spokesman-Review.

Kip Hill is a general assignments reporter for The Spokesman-Review.

Nick Deshais covers Spokane City Hall for The Spokesman-Review.

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