This story was published on March 4, 2015 and edited on March 27 as follows:
The orginal version of this story contained the following two sentences: “Both Joseph Hamilton, a prominent Meridian attorney and Donald Jenkins, a Meridian Police Officer, appear in an Iron Order membership directory. It seems probable that two officers of the court could provide both the police and the public with a full and honest account of what happened Saturday night.” Hamilton says that both he and Jenkins resigned from the Iron Order nine months ago, implies that they are embarrassed by their association with the club and states that neither he nor Jenkins know anything about the incident beyond what has been published here. Consequently, those sentences in the original story have been deleted.
The Iron Order Motorcycle Club, which has branded itself as a “law abiding motorcycle club,” was involved in another gunfight Saturday night. This one was in Meridian, Mississippi. Three men were wounded. Local police declined to speak to The Aging Rebel about the incident. Iron Order President Patrick “Brit” Ward has also declined to comment.
The shootings began as a brawl in the parking lot outside the Echo Lounge in Meridian about 7:30 p.m. The brawl became a running gun fight that continued into the parking lot of a nearby bank. Speaking to Cheryl Owens of the Meridian Star, a local detective named Dareall Thompson said, “A fight broke out on the outside of the lounge and that was when the shooting started. Three people were transported to local hospitals and one was later airlifted to Jackson. We don’t know what the conditions are of the victims at this time.”
The Aging Rebel has been told that the other club involved in the shooting wears Red and Gold. Both the Iron Order and the Pistoleros Motorcycle Club have chapters in Meridian. The source said members of both clubs were wounded. A fourth combatant was hit in the head with a collapsible baton.
The Meridian Police are obviously concealing information about the case. Both Joseph Hamilton, a prominent Meridian attorney and Donald Jenkins, a Meridian Police Officer, appear in an Iron Order membership directory. It seems probable that two officers of the court could provide both the police and the public with a full and honest account of what happened Saturday night.
More than half the members of the self dramatizing Iron Order are either sworn peace officers or active duty military personnel. The club was founded in August 2004 (in order to buff the club’s public image, club officers would later claim that the club was founded on July 4) by dissident members of a police motorcycle club called the Blue Knights. Founding members included a United States Secret Service Agent named Carl “Iceman” Janisch.
A 2014 report issued by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives said:
“The Iron Order is one of the fastest growing motorcycle clubs in the United States. Members wear a traditional three-piece patch with a State bottom rocker. The fact that they wear the State bottom rocker has infuriated the HAMC, Outlaws, Iron Horsemen, Pagans and Bandidos. More importantly, many of their members are police and corrections officers, active-duty military and/or government employees and contractors. Over the past 4 years, the Iron Order has had several violent confrontations with each of the aforementioned OMGs.”
The club’s branding as “law abiding” is largely the contrivance of former club President and former Cinnabon marketing executive Ray “Izod” Lubesky. After a confrontation with Bandidos, Lubesky deliberately set out to create the appearance of an alliance between the Iron Order and local police departments cemented by a common enemy – one percenter motorcycle clubs.
After a 2013 confrontation with the Bandidos in Texas, Lubesky wrote: “The Bandidos in San Antonio will lose three of their members who will now become guests in the Gray Bar Hotel for a long time and for what? What did they really gain? Not a damn thing. We will continue wearing the Texas state rocker. We will not shut down. We will not change what we do, how we do it, where we go, what we wear or anything else. We will continue on and those three morons will spend the next ten to twenty years playing bitch to La Eme and the Texas Mafia in prison. Our brothers in the Shiprock, New Mexico chapter are all prison guards. They tell us the first thing that happens to one percenters when they get to prison is they get their asses beat just to let them know they ain’t shit in prison. Most of the time they need to be separated from the population because they are targets. That is the life they will lead while our brothers they assaulted and this great MC continue on enjoying the liberties and freedoms we are entitled to.”
Because they have aligned themselves with police, members of the Iron Order have been particularly aggressive about initiating armed confrontations with members of other motorcycle clubs. One of the authors of this policy of militancy is the club’s current Vice-President, an Army Lieutenant Colonel named Michael “Cgar” Crouse. Last year Crouse said, “I know our club has the advantage. One percenters won’t call the cops. So what the fuck, destroy any fucker that confronts you. It’s a free ticket….”
The Iron Order has used their perceived alliance with police to influence investigations of other violent incidents. For example last year after an Iron Order prospect named Kristopher Stone shot and killed a Black Piston named Zachariah “Nas T” Tipton in Jacksonville Beach, Florida an Iron Order officer named John C. “Shark” Whifield, who is also the Nortonville, Kentucky City Attorney, wrote “I have been in contact with law enforcement,” in Jacksonville Beach, “and offered my services in any way they deem appropriate.”
The Aging Rebel has not determined whether Whitfield has yet visited Meridian.