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Wash. passes police profiling law for bikers

Many motorcycle riders say they have been stopped, questioned, searched, or arrested without legal reason

By PoliceOne Staff

VANCOUVER, Wash. — Washington State has passed a bill that prohibits police from singling out bikers for stops without clear and “legitimate” reason.

The law is modeled after a racial profiling law the state passed in 2002.

Motorcycle profiling is defined as when police single out motorcycle riders or those dressed in typical “biker” gear. Many say they have been stopped, questioned, searched, or arrested without legal reason.

One piece of evidence shown by motorcycle enthusiasts in pushing the law was a video that showed a state trooper crawling through bushes near the legislative building in Olympia, Wash. and writing down motorcycle plate numbers during a rally, according to the Seattle Times.

A motorcycle arrest video was posted to YouTube in 2008, and it shows a trooper pulling over a biker and ordering him to take off his helmet, which the biker refuses to do. The trooper then arrests the man.

Washington State Patrol was forced to pay $90,000 for that arrest, as it was determined that there is no “statutory basis” for removal of the helmet.

Here is the full story from the Seattle Times. It does not include the perspective of law enforcement, so please offer any thoughts or opinions.

What do you think of the law? Does an issue with motorcyclists exist, or is this a solution to a non-existent problem?

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