Arizona, the police state that claims to be anti-government, is ramping up its war on bikers. At the forefront of this war is a ridiculous police force with a ridiculous name: The Gang And Immigration Intelligence Team Enforcement Mission State Gang Task Force, or as they would prefer to be called GIITEM.
GIITEM is supposed to be pronounced “Git ‘em,” like “Sic ‘em Bowser.” In 2009 GIITEM rolled into the previously friendly, Colorado River town of Kingman and started harassing every biker it could find. The harassment was in response to a nasty, grown man fist fight in nearby Bullhead City.
In Kingman civilian, weekend riders were surveilled and photographed. Patriot Guard Riders were harassed and ticketed at a funeral. Restaurants were pressured into adopting “no colors” policies. “Colors” was defined as a leather or denim vest with decoration. So, a middle-aged man named Sam Kormos was thrown out of a drag race because he was wearing a vest that had “Harley-Davidson” on the back.
Last December, a Kingman city personnel “technician” named Melissa Summerson was fired after eleven years because her husband William is a member of a motorcycle club called the Desert Roadriders. Her dismissal notice stated “Your association with an OMG (which is police-speak for Outlaw Motorcycle Gang) coupled with your access to sensitive employee information has our law enforcement, legal, dispatch and judicial system employees very concerned with regard to their personal information.” Summerson hired a lawyer named David Kresin to try to get her job back.
About a month ago Kresin told the Kingman Standard, “She was terminated for the stated reason of her husband’s membership in a family motorcycle club – the Desert Roadriders. There’s no allegation that Mrs. Summerson personally did anything wrong in her job or engaged in any conduct personally that violated any of the city’s rules and we believe there’s no cause for termination as she’s been an outstanding employee with a great record for her entire employment.”
Kresin went on to say that the dismissal violated Summerson’s “Constitutional right to freedom of association.”
In a public hearing on the matter last week, Kingman cited a 2009 search warrant affidavit that stated, “The Desert Road Riders are being utilized by the Hells Angels as a ‘reserve force’ for the ongoing ‘biker war’ in Mohave County.”
Apparently, there is no shortage of money to fund GIITEM for the ongoing “biker war.” Last month the Town Council of Clarkdale, Arizona voted to accept GIITEM’s generous offer of $10,000, a car, and 75 percent of one officer’s salary so that a new officer could join the GIITEM gang office in nearby Cottonwood. Clarkdale has a population of 3,836. Cottonwood has a population of 11,171.
Clarkdale Police Chief Randy Taylor told the Council, “There are currently adequate resources available in Clarkdale’s RICO funds to cover the town’s matching cost (25 percent of a patrolman’s salary) for participation on the task force.”
Taylor said he decided to hire a new cop to work for GIITEM after learning that Clarkdale would be “excluded from (GIITEM) intelligence about gangs and outlaw motorcycle clubs until the town has an officer involved in the task force.”
According to Philip Wright of the Verde Independent the partnership between Clarkdale and GIITEM is already paying off. Wright reported that Chief Taylor now has “information about a shootout several years ago between two outlaw motorcycle gangs in Laughlin, Nevada. He also learned that five members of one of the outlaw gangs lives in the Verde Valley and one member lives in Clarkdale.”