Probable Cause On Forehead

May 19, 2020

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Probable Cause On Forehead

There was a hearing last week in the Court of Appeals for the Seventh Judicial District of Texas that might finally put a stop to the enforcement of a 2014 Texas law that prohibits members of motorcycle clubs from legally carrying firearms. If the four judges who heard the case are very bold, their decision may also effect the notorious Texas Gang Intelligence Index which is a database of people who have been reported by some cop as being in some way associated with “criminal street gangs.”

The appellee is Ashley Becker and he may or may not be a member of the Bandidos Motorcycle Club. But he made it into the gang database because someone said he was. Becker’s ironic predicament is that he has a state issued permit to carry a concealed weapon and it is illegal for “criminal street gang members to carry a firearm.”

It is a blatant way to harass motorcycle club members.

Traffic Stops

Becker has suffered numerous traffic stops: For bumping against a white line, for riding too slow on a rural road and for failing to signal his intent to turn. Almost any reasonable person understands the traffic stops were contrived and each time he was stopped Each time he is stopped, Becker immediately presented the arresting officer with his Texas permit to carry and told him the location of his weapon because the Texas law required him to do that. Then when Becker’s credentials were checked, each arresting officer would “discover” that Becker’s name was in the gang database. So, another charge was manufactured.

This charge against Becker was dismissed in 2018 and then refiled in February, 2019. He was convicted of Unlawful Carry, The affidavit identifies Becker’s membership in the Bandidos as the only probable cause for arrest. Becker is appealing that.

Becker’s lawyer, Keith Hampton, told the four judges, “It is not enough to get him acquitted. Anytime this guy wants to get on his bike and just ride around he’s got probable cause written on his forehead.”
“The DPS has a database of everybody they have decided is a gang member,” Hampton said. “They’ve also got a database of everybody who has a license to carry a weapon. All they have to do is look at these two databases, all they have to do is collate them, and then find the people.”

It is hard to tell whether the state has already given up on this or not. Hampton was informed, logical and relaxed and he seemed to genuinely connect with the appeals court. The state was represented by Jeffrey Ford who made the argument that guilt by association should be a crime. Ford seemed to be reading his presentation off index cards.

It may seem like a small case because the hearing was ignored by most press outlets in Texas. But it may be more important than it may seem at first glance.

“This is important,” Bandidos Club Counsel Bill Morian said when approached for comment. “This case may put a stop to this sort of harassment and it is important not just for the Bandidos but for all the other clubs like the Mongols and the Hells Angels.”

The court should render a decision this November.

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6 Responses to “Probable Cause On Forehead”

  1. James W Crawford Says:

    Meanwhile, in Yamhill County Oregon, one of the Gaston Pythians is lodged in the Yamhill County jail awaiting trial for the abductions and murders of his former girlfiend, Karissa Fretwell, and their two year old child. It is reported that he shot the woman in the head. They will not say how the vchild was killed. The Big Bad Michael John Wolfe who lives within rifle range of my home dumped their bodies within a few miles of my home. So far the Gaston Puthians haven’t been identified as a criminal street gang nor has membership in this esteemed organization been deemed suffecient cause to invalidate their Concealed Weapons Permits. One Pythian who crasshed his truck on his way home from a lodge meeting on the night bbefore Thanksgiving and refused sobriety testing wasn’t arrested for carrying a pistol without a valiid permit. The Gaston Pythians met last Wednesday in violation of the Governor’s quarantine decree.

    I guess the judges are discriminating based on the number of wheels on your vehicle. Two wheels, bad! Four wheels, good. Six wheels (big ass dually pickup), better!!

  2. NoOneInParticular Says:

    @Stoney +1 Every precedent set, no matter with what group, is another nail in the coffin of the civil rights of all people.

  3. commonsense Says:

    So the same people who gave him the permit (The State of Texas) are the same people who are arresting him ? Unless he was notified in writing that they rescinded his permit I would think he’s good .

  4. Stoney Says:

    Day by day, bit by bit the government is taking small rights away from the people. Yet what John Q Public does not understand is that these small rights build up into a major reduction in rights and that they are next.
    People need to wake up. Just because I wear a vest and ride a motorcycle those same rights you think are ok to take from me will be used to take yours.

  5. freebird Says:

    Some way associated

    The State may consider approaching Waco and having them develop

    A fill in the blank arrest affidavit for this

    Criminal Street Gang, religious or political association

    The sky is the limit……

  6. Vince Says:

    Fucking fascists! They will stop at nothing. We truly need to overhaul our justice system.

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