Cops And Street Gangs

May 11, 2017

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Cops And Street Gangs

There is a law in Texas, Section 46.02 of the state penal code, that declares: “A person commits an offense if the person intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly carries on or about his or her person a handgun, illegal knife, or club if the person is…a member of a criminal street gang, as defined by Section 71.01.” And that section of the Lone Star State’s big book of dos and many don’ts defines a criminal street gang as “three or more persons having a common identifying sign or symbol or an identifiable leadership who continuously or regularly associate in the commission of criminal activities.”

Now a lawyer in Texas named William S. Morian, Jr. has filed a motion to dismiss charges against an alleged member of the Bandidos Motorcycle Club named Arvin L. Bartlett, III who has been charged with riding in a car with a gun while being a Bandido. Morian, who has numerous Bandido clients, plans to file similar motions “in Bandido cases across the state where they are being charged with unlawful carry of a firearm just because the Bandidos are classified as a ‘criminal street gang’ by various Texas law enforcement agencies.”


The concept of “gangs” has been significantly redefined since University of Chicago sociologist Frederic Thrasher published his landmark book, The Gang: A Study of 1313 Gangs in Chicago, in 1929. Thrasher saw gangs as surrogate families.

According to James Hagedorn, a criminologist at the University of Illinois at Chicago and one of the nation’s leading authorities on the gradual redefinition of the term “gang,”  “gang research experienced a revival” in the 1950s and 1960s. “As concern for minority gangs grew among nervous whites in central cities,” Hagedorn has written, “some researchers reframed the definition of gangs from being primarily a problem of wild peer groups to being primarily a law enforcement problem. This refocus from the Thrasher definition was in keeping with stepped up suppression efforts by police and a ‘war on gangs.’”

Hagedorn thinks that today gangs are best defined as “an arena for the acting out of gender. Most gangs today are unsupervised peer groups, but many have institutionalized in urban ghettos, barrios, and prisons. Male gang members typically display an aggressive masculinity expressing values of respect and honor and condoning violence as a means to settle disputes.”

Most current definitions of “gang” are intended to stigmatize criminal defendants and to deprive them of rights other defendants enjoy.

Overly Broad

In his motion, Morian writes “The (Texas) definition of a criminal street gang is overly broad and unconstitutionally vague because it captures activity outside the intended scope of the statute.”

“It seemingly categorizes a criminal street gang as a group of three or more people who share a common identifying sign or symbol;” Morian argues, “or, in the alternative a group of three or more people who have an identifiable leadership who continuously or regularly associate in the commission of criminal activity. By this definition, members of a political party who work together during elections to engage in voter fraud are to be considered members of a criminal street gang. Status as a member of a criminal street gang could extend to members of the political party who had no part in the voter fraud.”

“For example,” the motion continues, “the officer could have found the defendant was a member of a criminal street gang if he was riding his motorcycle with two other people while the three were wearing the same t-shirt with a ‘common identifying sign,’ or a ‘common identifying symbol,’ or if one of them decided to lead the group on an afternoon ride. Because the statutory definition of a criminal street gang does not define what conduct is proscribed with sufficient definiteness that ordinary people can understand and in a manner that does not permit arbitrary and discriminatory enforcement it is unconstitutionally vague.”

Police Gangsters

Morian thinks the same general argument that Texas prosecutors are trying to use on the Bandidos and members of other clubs can also be used against police departments.

In support of his motion, Morian commissioned a study of “the number of licensed peace officers, including jailers, street cops and other detectives, who have lost their state peace officer certification for cause in 2014, 2015 and 2016.” The study was limited to “peace officer licenses, reserve officer licenses or those with joint peace officer/jailer certifications.”

The report found that: “Since 2014, 2,733 statewide have lost their certification for offenses raging from official oppressions to conspiracy to murder. One thousand six hundred twenty-one – 60 percent – of those removed certificates came from peace officers. The most common infraction is assault – 428 of the revocations are linked to assault, including family violence. Eighteen officers have lost their certifications from charges related to engaging in organized criminal activity, including drug dealing and protecting drug dealers. Also in there are ten murders, five incidents of money laundering and 38 cases of perjury.”

“In Harris County,” where Arvin L. Bartlett is charged with being a “gang member,” “137 officers have had their peace officer license revoked over the past three years, 89 of them officers, or 65 percent, more than the state average. Of those relieved of their certification for cause, 22 were for violent actions, including sexual assault, assault and intoxication manslaughter. Others have had their certificates pulled for terroristic threats, violation of the Hobbs Act, unlawful restraint, and harassment.”

“Revocations from misconduct as a percentage of overall decertifications vary by county. In Collin County, 13 percent of those revoked have been for cause in the past three years. In McLennan, the figure is close to 10 percent.”

Morian describes the statistics as “interesting.”

He said, “I think some of these  agencies should themselves be worried about being classified the same way,” as street gangs..


37 Responses to “Cops And Street Gangs”

  1. Robert Says:

    TX Biker Agree police crimes are common. Agree MC crime is nowhere near the level that should justify the wrath they receive. There are over a million LE officers in God Bless America vs (you say) 44,000 outlaw bikers I have heard similar arguments and stats and they sound like comparing apples to catchers mitts to me, but I failed math more than once.

  2. Davr Says:

    Yo Jim Bob, the ICP insane clown posse has committed murder in furtherance of their organization. Washington state, look it up.

  3. rw Says:

    Just reading all that math made my head hurt.

  4. TX_Biker Says:

    Even if all 44,000 members of clubs labeled OMG’s were convicted felons, the overall impact on felony convictions would be minuscule. Do the math. 44,000 members/24,000,000 convicted felons=0.00183333 or .183333%. The impact on those currently under correctional supervision would be similarly insignificant. 44,000 members/6,851,000 currently under supervision=0.00642242 or .64%. A fraction of 1% does not justify the stereotype of criminality. (citation MPP Motorcycle profiling project). on the other hand a study by the National Institute of Justice and commissioned by the Justice Department found police crimes are not uncommon. The study identified 6,724 arrest cases from 2005-2011 involving 5,545 sworn law enforcement officers. The arrested sworn law enforcement officers were employed by 2,529 state and local law enforcement agencies located in 1,205 counties and independent cities in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. Sworn law
    enforcement officers were arrested at a rate of 0.72 per 1,000 officers and 1.7 per 100,000 of the population nationwide.
    So there is your per capita number and it is twice as high as any motorcycle club related threat.

  5. Robert Says:

    Heard somebody say they don’t go to church anymore because they saw their Sunday school teacher go in the liquor store. I don’t go to church because I don’t fucking like church. I don’t expect anybody to be any less fucked up than me. Fair argument either way but how about some per capita stats on criminal activity. I don’t like cops because I saw one go in the liquor store. Weak shit.

  6. Iron Rider Says:

    @ Paladin

    Appreciate you sharing the link to the Police stats and the second story link as well. Find some of those stats tell quite a story. The question is how many Law Enforcement entities try to hide or obfuscate their departments stats? My bet would be more than we know.

    One thing that does seem ironic is if a member of the public is charged with a crime, there seems to be a higher degree of wanting to prosecute to the fullest extent of the law. If you in Law Enforcement the crime you are charged with seems to be downplayed by Prosecutors and the Judge’s when it comes to sentencing, and it seems like this is more the norm than an anomaly.

    IMHO I am of the belief that their is a two tier justice system when it comes to someone from Law Enforcement committing a crime and some average schmuck who was charged with a crime and that is a little more than troubling when those in Law Enforcement are receiving way more of a benefit of a doubt than average joe will.

    Look at when your average citizen goes to court to fight a criminal charge, the citizen and their counsel will try to state their case (whatever that may be with witness, evidence etc etc) to prove they did not commit a crime and when it comes down to a he said she said between someone from Law Enforcement and average joe’s testimony, more than not the officer’s word is given more weight and credibility, thus putting average joe on the bad side of the equation when it comes time to a judge to render their decision.

    So in essence when it comes to someone from Law Enforcement word against you, the courts usually give the testimony from someone in Law Enforcement as if god spoke himself thus the person from Law Enforcement word is held to a higher standard
    because they are Law Enforcement then average joe citizen word.

    Yet when someone from Law Enforcement is facing a criminal charge they seem to still get that same level of a higher standard because they are connected to Law Enforcement when it comes to being investigated, charged or at court being tried. When it comes to a conviction and sentence being brought down, those connected to law enforcement seem to get treated with kid gloves compared to average joe.

    That is a double standard in the worst ways and one that still is in effect when you look at someone from law enforcement and average joe being charged with the same type of crime but average joe gets sentenced much harder than someone from law enforcement does.

    When I read or follow some of these cases I have more WTF moments then I care too. If someone from Law Enforcement word is held in such high regard to prosecutors and the court when going into a case against average joe, why is it when those in Law Enforcement commit a crime and are tried and convicted of are they not held accountable even more so because they are tied to law enforcement?

    Wouldn’t that be more appropriate since those in law enforcement charged with a crime know full well what the difference between right and wrong is since they preach it to the public every day? Yet there seems to be this inclination that being charged with a crime if your in Law Enforcement means you will get special treatment by the courts and prosecutors than average joe would.

    If anything those in Law Enforcement ought to be treated more harshly then average joe because they are in Law Enforcement, but that would mean we’d all be treated equally by the courts, and we all know that the justice system seems more than content at having that two tiered system in place and making sure average joe will always get hit with the stick harder than those in Law Enforcement will that are charged with a crime

  7. Jim Bob Says:

    The Feds classified the Insane Clown Posse fans, (known as Juggalos for anybody who may not be familiar with the band and their fan base), as a terrorist street gang. People walking around with shirts and tattoo’s of a rap band that performs with clown make up on can be subject to gang enhancement conditions the same as the Mafia…

  8. Kenny Says:

    Guilt by association.. something your mother would say. Turns out to be a mutha alright. The Feds want u to believe your breaking the law by forming a club. There are car clubs fish clubs and my god yes bike clubs. To turn a club into a gang….You gotta have structure. That’s where it leads to RICO. So this way they can slice the pie twice. Our system is set up so that no man be found guilty!!! Unless he is!!!! Even if that means some guilty go free. That’s how this whole legal system was set up. Watch what that Alabama attorney general does next. Remember your brother in jail.

  9. phil barker Says:

    Cops do more crimes a year then all the clubs combined.cops are the true gangs and get rich being cops.

  10. Robert Says:

    LAPD, Catholic Church, Masons, MCs, Mafia, UAW, etc etc. All the same. All good and all bad. The preacher is banging the married organ player, the cop is beating his wife, and the gangster is snitching away. They are all clowns trying to wade through the dark and scary water. And they all (cops, MC guys, AB, gangsters) can’t snitch fast enough when they can save their ass. Cops and judges and prosecutors should always be at the foot of the cross. They ain’t

  11. Fallendesperado Says:

    So many organizations have a symbol or patch or some sort of insignia

  12. tiopirata Says:

    By the Queensland Police Service’ own figures the rate of offending in their own ranks was greater then that of 3 piece patch wearers and of the general public. Strangely, these figures seem much harder to find then once they were. Go figure.

  13. Wild Bill Says:

    Curbside makes a good point. The issue of whether an individual is a member of a “criminal street gang” is an issue for the jury to decide. Thankfully, LE doesn’t get to be the Judge, Jury, and Executioner. What the persecutors have are whores that testify as “experts” on gangs. We all know who they are and include local “gang” experts in our metro areas in Texas.

    The Motion to Dismiss filed by Morian originated from Kent A. Schaffer of Houston, TX. He is a true champion for the falsely accused and a valued member of the defense bar in Texas.

    Thank you Rebel for your dedication.

  14. Paladin Says:

    @ Iron Rider,

    The following couldn’t have happened to a more deserving asshole.


  15. Shutup Says:

    The law in its equality, makes illegal for both the rich and poor, to steal food and sleep under bridges…
    Respect to those who deserve it

  16. Gandalf Says:

    The object is to post the speed limit low enough to be able to pull anyone over. Following that same rule the object is to make Laws that can be used to charge anyone…. Then Charge the people you want and not charge the people you don’t want. ALL Laws follow this rule and at any given moment anyone and everyone is guilty of some crime or another.

  17. Iron Rider Says:

    I would love to see the stats on how many of those in the various levels of Law Enforcement have been charged with a crime and how many of those in the various levels of Law Enforcement still have a criminal record or had the criminal conviction removed after completing probation or other conditions imposed by the court that would result in the conviction being wiped from the record.

    I’d bet that the information would be really skewed because most levels of Law Enforcement would be none to please to have these stats in the public eye, nor would each police department or agency want the public to know just how many people serving in a capacity of Law Enforcement have a criminal record or had one expunged due to satisfying condition imposed by the court to strike that conviction resulting in no permanent criminal record.

    I would love to see the records compared, I think we’d see some very surprising results

  18. IcemanB&W Says:

    A welcomed analogy of the criminal cartel that is the LEO community. I wouldn’t be surprised if statistically the LEO cartel commit crimes at a higher rate than persons affiliated with the motorcycle club community. They hide behind their badges and are repeatedly rewarded for their poor behavior, vs facing any restitution. In the famous words of a group of young men from Compton: “Fuck the police”.

  19. Nuke n' Pave Dave Says:

    As I noted once before, when Nixon founded the LEAA, one of the prime directives was to do a psychological study on patrolmen in metro areas of 200,000 and larger. It’d sure be nice to have Trump order that study done again. Even be nicer if he included the Waco DA’s office as well! And then the icing on the cake would be if the study wasn’t squashed like it was last time around.
    Aw, WTF, I guess I’m just dreamin…

  20. Johnny Rotten Says:

    i guess my analogy was more or less a comparison to the bullshit facing any
    motorcycle enthusiast, p.h. or not vs. leo…….

    i.e. any news published
    hell, look at how the fuckers spin a guy around to shoot a boomerang bullet
    and precisely traject out of a guys barrel!
    thats fuckin amazing shit
    penn and teller cant touch that.

    ya seldom see em abused medially…..
    slap on the wrist here, demotion, blah blah, rinse and repeat…

    and the ones i do read about dont seem to suffer a whole lot

    jus sayin

    i aint real good at typin what i mean..
    me and technology have a love hate relationship…
    thank you rebel and the regulars fer keepin us up to speed.

    respects to those deserving
    fuck the rest


  21. Paladin Says:

    Also, if a cop is convicted of a crime, he / she also loses their pension. That’s why former Sheriff Baca retired from the Department before he was indicted and then convicted.


  22. Paladin Says:

    I can’t speak for other parts of the Country, but out here in SoCal, if you’re terminated from a P.D. or S.D., you’re pretty much fucked. If you can find anyone that will hire you, it’s gonna be minimum wage.


  23. Jim Bob Says:

    @Johnny Rotten- They don’t have their lives destroyed, they’re given a nice severance check, a recommendation for whatever their next job is and oh yeah, they get to keep the 401k that’s been set up for em and get to walk out of court without serving any jail time.

  24. Skidz Says:

    We face a major hurdle in that MCs typically WILL NOT speak with the media, upholding the time-honored code of silence that is a cornerstone of MC culture. So one side is usually all that is reported.
    It might not be a bad idea to hire a PR firm lmao.

  25. Skidz Says:

    As a former criminal defense attorney and current member of one of the oldest MCs in the world, I have had several interactions with LEOs. Their organizational structure, culture and attitudes closely mirror those of an MC. The only reason why cops’ behavior isn’t decried by the public is because they are perceived as “protectors” while bikers are portrayed as “outlaws”.
    I find it hilarious that cops will spit venom about and at MCs and then join cop clubs and imitate the very same behavior that they are supposedly “saving” ordinary citizens from.
    Oh well, the die has been cast. We are the bad guys, and they are the good guys. Until mainstream media re-learns how to do investigative reporting and stop mimicing the blabber given to them by government “sources” and pandering to advertising dollars, most of the world will never know the truth.

  26. Steel Says:

    Politicians are the worst fucking organized criminals on the planet yet civilians are told to be scared of bikers. All a way to deflect the public’s attention away from the crimes the politicians commit; graft, corruption, extortion and the list goes on.



  27. Curbside Says:

    For reference, Texas Penal Code 71.01(d) “‘Criminal street gang’ means three or more persons having a common identifying sign or symbol or an identifiable leadership who continuously or regularly associate in the commission of criminal activities.

    If I were Mr. Morian, the basis of my defense would focus less on the TX legislature’s failure to properly utilize a comma in their statutory definitions, and more on the fact that no law enforcement agency in the state of Texas has been given statutory authority to actually declare someone a member of a “Criminal Street Gang” for the purposes of stripping away their firearm rights.

    Such a declaration should be decided by a trial court, and for a law enforcement agency to make that decision arbitrarily seems to be a gross violation of a person’s constitutional right to due process, as there is no known method of contesting such a determination.

  28. Paladin Says:

    As in all things, it boils down to the fact that those who are in charge make the rules and as long as they are in charge, they will continue to enforce their rules.

    The goal is to remove those currently in charge, replacing them with people that will discontinue the rules enforced by those that were previously in charge.


  29. Nuke n' Pave Dave Says:

    It would be interesting to ascertain just how many cops went into LE with an eye to enrichening themselves through the graft that is so available (and even prevalent in many departments) via that job. I personally know of several that are so crooked they make a corkscrew look like a freeway…

  30. Dutchboy Says:

    Something I have not seen covered regarding the Twin Peaks Massacre is this appears to be a LE coordinated assault on a LEGAL AND LIGIT political meeting of concerned citizens discussing police misconduct, among other pressing issues. This is EXACTLY the sort of Government oppression the Constitution is supposed to guard against. Thanks Rebel for keeping this issue alive in the public eye.

  31. Dutchboy Says:

    I’ve always questioned the constitutional legitimatecy of “gang enhancement” in regards to Freedom of Association (1st Adm.). If I want to hang around with a bunch who are in the Costra Nostra, a 1 percent club, or hell, even Congress that does not make ME a criminal. Guilt by association is SUPPOSED to be verboten.

  32. Paladin Says:

    Unfortunately, if the doings in Waco are any indication as to how the Texas judicial system interprets its own criminal codes, it is rather doubtful that the Texas courts will be confused by any of the facts brought to light in Mr. Morian Jr’s motion.


  33. Griz's Gal Says:

    The statistics were interesting. I wish you the best of luck, Mr. Morian.


  34. Wren Says:

    What about Motorcycle clubs that emulate Outlaw clubs packed with cops?

  35. Johnny Rotten Says:

    respectfully rebel, as always…
    i must query…
    of the piles of pigs that lost cert, due to all those charges…
    how many ya spose had their lives torn out from under em…..
    lost everyfuckinthing they hold dear……
    bad rapped in the media…..
    got put in storage…..
    had to scrape and fight to right a wrong unjustly done unto them so that they could resume a productive, peaceful life….

    i know…

    what da fuck am i thinkin?

    respects to those deserving
    fuck the rest


  36. Lurch Says:

    The worst gang in America is law enforcement!

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