AMA Amicus Brief

November 21, 2017

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AMA Amicus Brief

Yesterday, the American Motorcyclist Association filed an amicus brief with the United States Supreme Court in a little publicized motorcyclist’s rights case titled Ryan Austin Collins v. Commonwealth of Virginia. It is a Suzuki case which is one of the reasons readers here may not have heard of it. You may care about it anyway.

“On June 4, 2013, Officer Matthew McCall of the Albemarle County Police Department was patrolling on Route 29 near the border of Albemarle County and the City of Charlottesville when he observed a traffic infraction by the operator of an orange and black motorcycle with an extended frame. Officer McCall activated his emergency lights and attempted to stop the motorcycle, but the motorcycle eluded him at a high rate of speed.”

Several weeks later the Suzuki outran David Rhodes, another Albemarle County cop. Rhodes eventually came to suspect that the speedy rider was Ryan Collins. Collins denied he had the Suzuki.

No Warrant

Eventually, Rhodes entered Collins’ property while Collins was gone without a warrant and found the speeding motorcycle under a motorcycle cover. When he looked at the VIN, Rhodes determined that the bike was stolen. When Collins returned, he denied having ridden the motorcycle. Rhodes then searched Collins and found the bike key in Collins pocket.

Collins argued that the warrantless search was illegal. Eventually, the Supreme Court of Virginia ruled that, because Collins’ vehicle was a motorcycle and not a car or truck, the officer who searched under Collins’ motorcycle cover did not need a warrant to do so.”

In yesterday’s friend of the court brief, the AMA argued that the police should have a warrant before they can legally search a parked motorcycle. The brief argues that the “Court’s analysis should not be affected by the fact the vehicle searched was a motorcycle rather than a car or truck…. There is nothing inherently suspicious – and no inherent justification for a search – in the use or ownership of a motorcycle.”

In a press release issued today, AMA President and CEO Rob Dingman said that “motorcyclists’ rights can be threatened at all levels – and branches – of government.’

“The AMA and its members must be vigilant at all times, because we can never know where the next threat will be,” Dingman said. “The U.S. Supreme Court is the final arbiter on matters of Constitutional rights, and the Court’s decisions direct the enforcement of law across the country at all levels. When motorcyclists’ freedoms are before the Court, it’s critical that we speak forcefully and convincingly to defend those rights.”


63 Responses to “AMA Amicus Brief”

  1. Va.Bob Says:

    This case,involving a stolen rice rocket,is now headed for the U.S.Supreme Court,per today’s Richmond Times-Dispatch.

  2. ed Says:

    “Speedy Rider”. I like that. I am glad I live where even cops know better than to come on the property uninvited or without a warrant.

  3. Dutchboy Says:

    Interesting how a story about a motorcycle thief and a lazy cop became such a deep philosophical debate about the good, the bad and the ugly of The Life. Gandalf has the truth of it. I’ve seen good honorable men in both police blues and in 1%er patches. I’ve known lying skid marks both riding choppers and driving squad cars. Like a wise old Patch once told me “The Patch does not make the man, the men make the Patch.”. The same is true of the Badge. Fair Winds

  4. Gandalf Says:

    @JWC. I have no doubt that I do it too sometimes. Rule #1- I am human too and do the same things others do naturally. I am as crazy and sane as the next guy.

  5. James W Crawford Says:

    Re Gandolf,

    A well reasoned response to my poorly worded statement.

    While clearance rates for homicide are abysmally low, we know with certainty the gender, race and age of almost all homicide victims. About half of all homicide victims are African American.

    As bad as the clearance rates are, the number and percentage of solved cases is high enough to be a statistically significant sample. The percentage of unsolved homicides is about the same for Whites as Blacks,nso we do not have any statistical bias there. These solved cases confirm that murder victims are in the vast majority of cases murdered by someone of their own race.

    I have no doubt that if the unsolved murders of African Americans were the result of the KKK doing drive by shootings in the hood, the police would be exploiting the propaganda value.

    Since the police can not solve so many homicides, they need scapegoats to divert public attention. Guns, gun owners and the NRA are a favorite target. However; conducting mass prosecutions of OMCs is more photogenic.

  6. Gandalf Says:

    JWC. LOL. You just did it. “It is also politically incorrect for police to too aggressively investigate the over 1/2 of homicides that are committed by African Americans.” That part of your comment I don’t even consider. Impossible to prove and 2 words designed to upset me. “Politically Incorrect” You might be right but How does a person really know a black guy committed the Murder? Hard Facts + No fancy descriptions or alleged motives. When I read, “8 members of The Cossack Motorcycle Club were killed in a brawl with The Notorious Outlaw Bandido Biker Gang. Police Swat Snipers shot some of the bikers” All I heard was 8 Cossacks were killed and Police did the Killing. Ya gotta filter the “good” and/or “bad” descriptive crap. Otherwise you could have just taken a wrong turn on the road to the Truth. You might be right but I’m not believing either way. Grey File. Not 1 word of that sentence had even 1 hard fact. I ain’t defending any race… Just trying to follow the hard facts without following bunny trails.

  7. Paladin Says:

    @ Mark,

    You are under a couple of misconceptions. 1) Government grant monies are distributed to local law enforcement agencies based on stats (statistics). The more “stats” an agency has at the end of the fiscal year, the more grant money they receive. A “stat” is an arrest, not a conviction and although LE encourages “arrests for money”, an officer that wastes company time continually filing cases that get rejected by the DA, dismissed by the courts or subjected to findings of not guilty are not promoted. In some cases these officers are demoted, taken off the streets or reassigned to watching paint dry.

    I can’t speak for other Departments, but in our Department every deputy is subjected to a yearly performance review and if one was found to have a pattern of the above, they would receive a performance review rating of unsatisfactory. Receiving a second review without improvement? You are gone.

    2) Cops are indeed fired for misconduct and when found to have broken the law they’re sent to prison. After I retired, in the Department I worked for, the Sheriff, a number of supervisors and deputies were all convicted of obstruction or abuse under color of authority and sent to prison. and then there’s this: there are many more examples. Need I go on? Google can be a great resource.


  8. Mark Says:

    The reason so many in the criminal justice system are crooked and criminal is money. Here’s how and why. Let’s take cops for example, they all pretty much work with the golden egg of retirement as the carrot in front of them. The value of retirement is based on wages by far and large. So railroading people gives arrest and conviction, stats to a cop which helps for advancement, higher wages, more value in retirement. Cops compartmentalize their dirty pool, by reasoning their victim will get a fair day in court. But the yahoo lawyers in the DA’s office have the same program, higher wages, more retirement value. The system rewards corruption, in fact breeds it.
    I’m waiting for the first story where the good cops get together and drop the dime on the bad cops. I’m not holding my breath.

    @ James
    Cops and real OMC’s are not alike by any standards. When an OMC has a piece of shit in the rank and file. He gets his shit pulled and sent packing. When there is a real piece of shit cop in the PD. All the cops circle the wagons around such trash because it’s all good to them.

    @ Gandalf
    I get your point and I’m more aware than most the meaning of: “When they came for the unionist, I said nothing because I wasn’t a unionist “, and on to the next. Who was that, that was coming for so many people, the cops. I get victimizing groups of people is never good. LE is the Chief principal behind the slanderous attacks of Bikers because cops see Bikers as easy targets. Meaning an opportunity for arrest for advancement, there is no other reason. Look if the Crips and Bloods have a bloody weekend and 18 people are murdered. It’s not a big deal and goes largely unreported. 18 is twice the Twin Peaks death count. Bikers have a star quality about them and sidewalk commandos don’t. Which is a big reason cops go after Bikers, better copy. With all these bikers, the cops need more money to protect the public from those dangerous bikers. Which we all know is BS. Most people never come into contact with a or any bikers and never will.

    Respectfully to all

  9. James W Crawford Says:

    Re Mt Pockets,

    Big reason for this type of delusional or entrapment type prosecution is that the less competent police agencies need to distract public attention from their abysmal job performance. Nationally; LE claim barely 60% clearance rates for homicide. This number for clearance rate is inflated by casually blaming unsolved homicides on deceased people who happen to have criminal records. Also, large number of homicides are “solved by extraordinary means” when the illegal imigrant perp returns home to their latin american homeland. It is also politically incorrect for police to too aggressively investigate the over 1/2 of homicides that are committed by African Americans.

    Bottom line is that prosecuting scary looking OMCs is a politically correct ploy to simulate competence.

  10. Old & Jaded Says:

    @ Gandalf – Amen. Well said.

  11. MtPockets Says:

    @ Gandalf and @ JWC

    Both good comments. The reason LE feels compelled to pursue these cases against OMCs is that they are banking on enough people who see a bad guy and vote to convict.

    It didn’t work in Waco, let’s hope it’s the start of a trend.

    Respects to those who’ve earned it.


  12. rw Says:

    @ Gandalf
    Well said and correct.

  13. James W Crawford Says:

    Re Mark:

    I have had experiences with badge heavy cops almostnshooting me then trying to screw me because my CWP was expired. I am now dealing with either a corrupt cop either moonlighting as a drug manufacturer or trying to frame me for the same. However; I also had an uncommonly competent detective prevent the local parks district and its fucktard supporters try to lynch me for a series of arson fires committed by the Parks District’s own security guard. Cops are like members of OMC members in that they are not all the same.

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