In virtually every trial involving a member of a one percenter motorcycle club prosecutors, and a parade of cops who have branded themselves as “outlaw biker experts,” tell the jury what “one percenter” means.
The official, police version is that the American Motorcyclist Association coined the phrase after the 1947, so called, “Hollister Riot” and it means the “one percent of motorcyclists who are criminals.” During the recent Mongol Nation trial both Assistant United States Attorney Christopher Brunwin and retired Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosive Agent Darrin Kozlowski told the jury just that.
The truth is a black and white picture that changes when you magnify it.
About two years ago, Jim Witters of the AMA wrote me that it is wrong “to blame the AMA for creating the circumstances that” have lead to motorcycle profiling.
“The AMA represents all motorcyclists. And the AMA mission is to promote the motorcycle lifestyle and protect the future of motorcycling, Witters said.
“The term ‘one-percenters’ and the role of the AMA in coining that phrase has been the topic of much discussion over the years – ever since an unfortunate riot involving motorcyclists in Hollister, California, was reported in Life magazine in 1947. The AMA has spent considerable time trying to determine whether or not the term originated from the AMA: Letters to the editor of Life magazine, to San Francisco newspapers, AMA archives, etc.
“We found nothing to confirm that the AMA or an AMA official ever made that statement, though it is now a part of popular lore.
“The best any of us can figure, a local AMA member, perhaps someone with an AMA club or district, made the statement anonymously to a reporter and it stuck. But we have never found any attribution to an individual.”
The AMA has often been regarded warily by one-percenters because of the way police and prosecutors use the term now. It frequently hasn’t gotten the credit it deserves from the people police keep saying it hates.
Something happened in the United States Senate yesterday that indicates how the AMA regards both outlaws and police.
After years of lobbying, the AMA convinced the Senate to agree on something. Senate Resolution 154 urges state law enforcement officials to condemn motorcyclist profiling in their policies and training materials. The resolution also calls for increased “awareness of motorcyclist profiling and encourages collaboration and communication with the motorcycling community and law enforcement officials to prevent instances of profiling.”
Senate Res. 154 also urges state law enforcement officials to condemn motorcyclist profiling in their policies and training materials.
The Bill was sponsored by Republican Senator Ron Johnson of Wisonsin and co-sponsored by Republicans Michael D. Crapo, Joni Ernst, Dan Sullivan and Lisa Murkowski; Democrats Tammy Baldwin and Jeanne Shaheen; and independent Angus King.
Wayne Allard , who is the AMA’s Vice President of Government Relations, said “In 2015, Congress wisely acted to ban federal highway funding for motorcycle-only checkpoints, recognizing that federal funds are better spent on promoting highway safety for all vehicles and drivers. Now, the Senate has taken a big step further to help end the discriminatory and ineffective practice of profiling motorcyclists.”
The resolution does not have the force of law.
Sometimes, it is enough to stand up and talk back to the unreasonable exercise of police power.