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Oct-27-2010 14:46printcomments

Charitable Biker Event Incites 'Criminal Profiling' from Police

Profiling can happen in any community and is based upon the biases of local law enforcement. Such is the situation that occurred in our little town on Saturday, Oct. 23.

Biker event to benefit the Mario Pastega House
Images from the event to raise funds for Mario Pastega House in Corvallis, Oregon courtesy: Brad Bentz

(CORVALLIS, Ore.) - Some would say that profiling is not common in our little neck of the woods, but others would suggest that it occurs every day. Some would argue that it is an effective crime fighting tool, while others would protest that it is a violation of civil liberties.

The reality is that profiling has evolved over the course of American history. During World War II, profiling was used as an excuse to detain Japanese Americans and to seize their hard-earned property.

The emergence of a strong Latino American community has seen Hispanics profiled as illegal immigrants and potential drug dealers. In a post 9-11 America, profiling has become an acceptable deterrent to “preventing” terrorist activity, but in truth serves to legitimize discrimination of people who appear to be Middle Eastern. It is well documented that police have historically detained black drivers due only to the color of their skin. But potential victims of profiling are not solely limited by racial or ethnic backgrounds.

Profiling can happen in any community and is based upon the biases of local law enforcement. Such is the situation that occurred in our little town on Saturday, Oct. 23.

Advertisements had gone out weeks in advance to announce a fundraiser to support a local non-profit, the Mario Pastega House. The intentions were admirable, the cause not uncommon, but the hosts were quickly labeled as social deviants because they wore leather jackets and rode motorcycles.

A local club, known as the Linn County Raiders, arranged the event in an attempt to “give back” to the community. As a result of their efforts, the Albany City Police Department dispatched a photographer and undercover detectives to record all of the people who attended and supported this charity fundraiser.

License plates were documented and reported, faces were photographed; all in the name of fighting crime. There was only one problem - no criminals were identified, no outstanding warrants were issued, and no DUIs were written.

Tax payer money was used to thwart the enemy at the gate, but none arrived. This misguided justification of singling out certain groups for police attention is narrow minded and ineffective. If local police continue to limit their definition of what a criminal “looks like”, they will overlook the obvious results. Their unjust profiling, and the ensuing tension between officers and community, will eventually manifest as an irreparable broken trust.

Police profiling is a reminder of an ugly historical bias in America. There is no excuse why any law-abiding American citizen should feel they are being singled out and falsely accused by those who should exemplify trust and fairness. Profiling in America promotes discrimination, strips individuals of their security, and continues to scar the face of Lady Liberty.

Note: The Mario Pastega House, on the campus of Good Samaritan Regional Medical Center in Corvallis, is a comfortable “home away from home” for out-of-area patients and families traveling to Corvallis for specialized medical care. Learn more: Mario Pastega House - Samaritan Health Services



Past related articles:
U.S. Defenders Take Oregon Motorcycle Rights to the Streets - Tim King and Bonnie King Salem-News.com
Southern Oregon Motorcycle Club Member Sentenced - Tim King Salem-News.com
Biker Club Members Keep Salem Home From Going Up in Smoke - Story by Tim King Video by Mike Kondash for Salem-News.com
American Motorcycle Culture: The One Percenters - Tim King Salem-News.com
Oregon Motorcycle Riders Converge on Capitol - Bonnie King Salem-News.com




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Chuck July 29, 2014 8:01 pm (Pacific time)

My input is late on this, but as I read some of the comments, I see that lots of people do not mind having a light shined up there ass, I myself do not, and if I ride into any town In this country I shound not have hero cops that beat, rape, and murder checking to see if I,m ok! the percentage of cops to the general population that commit crime is a little higher on there side.


Gary August 18, 2011 12:00 pm (Pacific time)

But you said nobody was arrested? So what is the problem? I am sure they do that at a lot of events and you have no idea. You just didnt like it at yours. If your not doing anything wrong then you have nothing to worry about right??? I ride a Harley and never have been pulled over or followed. Never once felt like someone was wathing me. Sorry about your luck!

Editor: Interesting thoughts, all I can say is that harassment is one step away from arrest.  Glad you've had such spectacular luck with not being bothered, I wish it was a more common position.  Sadly some police won't let it be.


LawAbidingBiker December 15, 2010 10:32 pm (Pacific time)

Why draw all this attention to yourself by crying about the police doing their jobs? They gather intelligence on people that deal drugs, run prostitutes, sell stolen motorcycle parts, and commit murder. The local cops are probably reading your comments right now. And to respond to Douglas Benson's comment - the police have the legal right to run your plate. Your license plate belongs to the state. Have a nice day.


Bob November 4, 2010 7:31 pm (Pacific time)

I hear that the Motorcycle Club that put on the event made a Donation to the Pastega House, Like over $1500.00 from the Fund Raiser, Where were the police and cameras for that part of the event. This is Profiling period.


DANIEL November 1, 2010 1:46 pm (Pacific time)

IT SEEMS IF YOU WEAR PATCH, YOU BECOME A TARGET. IF YOU HANG OUT WITH SOMEONE WITH A PATCH, YOUR ALSO A TARGET. NO MATTER WHAT THE EVENT IS FOR, POLICE WILL USE THEIR POWERS (OF ABUSE) TO RUIN THE LIVES OF THOSE WEARING A PATCH. HERE IS AN INSIGHT. MAJORITY OF THOSE WHO ARE IN A CLUB, ARE LEGIT. THEY SERVED OUR COUNTRY AND FEEL THAT A CLUB IS A BETTER FORM OF BROTHERHOOD. THE ARMY ISN'T CONSIDERED A GANG. THE MARINES NOR THE AIR FORCE. AND THEY ALL WEAR PATCHES TELLING YOU WHO THEY ARE AND ALL THAT JAZZ. DAMNED IF YOU JOIN A CLUB. YOU LOSE YOUR SECURITY CLEARANCE, YOUR WATCHED CLOSELY AND DEMOTED OR THROWN OUT. I THINK THE GOVERNMENT SHOULD PAY MORE ATTENTION TO THE TERRORISTS, RAPISTS, AND KILLERS THEN WORRY ABOUT A GROUP OF CLUB BROTHERS WHO WANT NOTHING MORE THEN TO HAVE FUN AND DO GOOD THINGS FOR THEIR COMMUNITY. CLUBS PROTECT THEMSELVES JUST LIKE POLICE DO. IF YOU HIT A COP, THEY CALL FOR BACK UP. AND THEY MAY BEAT YOU. IF A CLUB BROTHER GETS HIT, HE DOES THE SAME. WE ALL HAVE THE RIGHT TO DEFEND OURSELVES. I DON'T WEAR PATCH. I DON'T WEAR A BADGE. I AM AN AMERICAN. WHO IS DONE HEARING ABOUT THE LAW MESSING WITH BIKERS. ONCE WE AMERICANS STAND UP AND PROTECT OUR RIGHTS, THEN WE WILL BE LEFT THE ALONE. SOON, IF YOU BELIEVE IN GOD, THEY WILL TAKE ACTION ON YOU AND YOUR FAMILY. WHY NOT? THEY TOOK OUR RIGHT TO PLEDGE IN OUR KIDS SCHOOLS.


Kevin October 30, 2010 4:58 pm (Pacific time)

What a great use of tax payer money, good job APD! if you got some good pictures of my bike I wouldn't mind getting a hold of some copies.


naruto October 29, 2010 11:34 pm (Pacific time)

Criminal Profiling is one of the police officer best tool when figuring out a criminal. Officer would put all their mind power into thinking like a criminal. The best resources is to sit in a room poking their heads in and out of a window, or standing on street corners taking picture of everyone, "sh*t.....!, i got my picture taken just texting on my phone". With all that effort and man power spent, what a waste just 4 "Criminal Profiling". But Wow really........the time that I spent at the benfit there was no criminal activity at all. the "Criminal Profiling" was sh*t it was a great time to see people and a welcome vibe.


Chaplain Fred October 29, 2010 8:20 am (Pacific time)

Where is the ACLU? Why arent' they filing lawsuits against this police department for civil rights violations? Oh yeah I forgot they are too busy trying to stop people from reading the Ten Commandments and praying...


Jake October 28, 2010 5:10 pm (Pacific time)

There is some kind of local "task force" that is targeting these law abiding citizens.  I have heard that the officer in charge was involved in the fatal shooting of a mentally handicapped person.


Brad October 29, 2010 12:43 pm (Pacific time)

I am one of the Club members that put on the event, its sad that the police have nothing better to do then harass people actually doing good in a town full of Meth, seriously it blows my mind the waste of time on their part, They tried many ways and times in advance to shut down our event.I appreciate Mr King for having the balls to publish this, Semper Fi Brother, Much Respect to U


Rev J R Zeke Whitelock October 29, 2010 12:02 pm (Pacific time)

... Some have posed the question of "probable cause" in the preceding comments... Bikers were targeted as a secondary focus of attention way back in 1973 with the RICO Act --- NO probable cause, warrants, due process, etc is needed... On a Federal level, the current "task forces" view the biker and veterans groups as "domestic terrorists --- because we stand FOR the Constitution and other patriotic principles that they have long ago forsaken... ... I'm founder and pres of one of the oldest Christian motorcycle clubs in America / I'm also a retired law enforcement officer (who saw this coming back in '73)... ... It's likely only going to get worse in the future... ... Ride Safe !


Fred October 28, 2010 5:19 pm (Pacific time)

I read your article and I too worry about government spying. However, I was at the Civic Theater and received a surprise when I arrived. I spotted several members of the Mongols MC, which according to most reputable sources is an outlaw motorcyle gang. Now, I noticed you did not reference any statements about Mongols or the people wearing what appeared to be "biker" gear. My only questions: Are you presenting "limited information" in order to make youself feel better about the event or to gain positive public perception while not telling the truth? Are you a politician?

Tim King: My simple answer is that what you reference has absolutely nothing to do with the story.  The group you reference is a 'club' which you apparently know by initially stating MC.  So, which is it?  Is your choice in language more important?  No, it is more misleading.  Is the Boy Scouts a gang?  Didn't think so. Why are guys like you so responsive to your fears anyway?  I suggest losing your prejudice and talking to the people you are so bothered by.  I will tell you for a fact that most of these club members are extremely decent individuals.  Most don't have any criminal records; they just belong to a club and take a large degree of abuse over it.  


tattoousa October 28, 2010 10:09 am (Pacific time)

happens in keizer/salem time and time again. salemtattoo.com


HD factory tech October 28, 2010 7:32 am (Pacific time)

Yes, the police in Wa State are doing the same. If you ride a Harley you are treated as a criminal.
The "police" need to do something about themselves. Police and their informants are the ones committing crimes.


Douglas Benson October 28, 2010 6:48 am (Pacific time)

As far as I know it is illegal to launch investigations run plates etc without probable cause and these people should file complaints . I know of at least one case that made case law in this regard ,the court ruled that it is unlawfull to pull this kind of thing without probable cause .The other question I have is why werent these officers asked to leave . Those involved should demand the files. Peace


Anonymous October 28, 2010 4:36 am (Pacific time)

Many do not know, the police are being federalized all over the country. This had nothing to do with bikers, or their cause. This was for one reason only, and it is happening all over the country. Basically, you will stay home, watch corporate manipulated tv, be quiet and do what you are told. This is happening to anti-war groups, anti- high tax groups, people selling raw milk, pro gun groups and so forth. This is only going to get worse. Better pay attention. This was nothing more than them saying "we will decide what is best for you, so be quiet, or we will make life difficult for you. Soon it might be tazers instead of cameras.


Jimmy October 27, 2010 9:52 pm (Pacific time)

Well, there could have been some domestic terrorists disguised as charitable bikers, you can never be too safe!


The Rev October 27, 2010 9:33 pm (Pacific time)

Perhaps the reason that, "no criminals were identified, no outstanding warrants were issued, and no DUIs were written" might be due to that there were no criminals there to identify, no outstanding warrants to issue and no one left intoxicated. Hell, I was there and I've never so much as payed my taxes a day late...not exactly a criminal element...yet I had to wonder if I was being 'profiled' somewhere and what might come of the info when all I did was attend? I have been to MANY biker nites and biker events and I saw less drinking than usually occurs at these events. That probably wasn't by accident as the event was well organized.


Sylvia October 27, 2010 6:29 pm (Pacific time)

I was at Bogey's that night, What a great time we all had, the 2nd Band was better than the 1st for sure, Everyone was very nice and I saw so many health care workers there that I work with. It was great... on the other hand two coppers, one in uniform, and the other in kinda street clothes.. minus the fashion, were taking pictures of everybody, and my car, and like everything... I feel sorry for the Fund Raisers, but I think they did ok, the cops were way strange that night... Could have been nerves. What great guys in the Bar, Nice and some were cute too! Sylvia Mary J +

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