SARALAND, Ala. (WKRG) — As many as half of all motorcycle riders say they’re unfairly profiled because of their passion for riding. That’s according to a 2016 National Motorcycle Profiling Project. Bikers have been pushing for a U.S. House of Representatives resolution to fight such profiling. Now, for the first time, an Alabama congress member says he’s going to back the resolution.
Members of Dixie ABATE (American Bikers Aimed Toward Education) met up with U.S. Congressman Bradley Byrne (R-Ala.) Thursday at a local BBQ Joint. He was there for a meet-and-greet. They were there to ask him why none of Alabama’s members of Congress have jumped in to support the resolution, “I’m already familiar with the resolution. We’ve talked about it in my office. I thought we’d already made the decision to co-sponsor it. Maybe with all that’s going on, we haven’t gotten down to the actual decision point. But, we’re certainly going to be in support of that,” Byrne told us. Everything that’s going on is that Byrne is in the middle of a run for the U.S. Senate against three other Republicans, one of whom will eventually face off with Democratic Sen. Doug Jones.
Michael Stieber with Dixie ABATE has been pushing for an Alabama member of Congress to throw their support behind the resolution, HR 255. “This is really just to bring it into awareness. Right now, there are 45 states that have co-sponsors, Alabama is one of the states that does not have a co-sponsor yet. “
ABATE says that riders are pulled over by police just for riding or wearing “biker” clothing and law enforcement aren’t the only people who profile them, “Maybe you walk into a restaurant, you might get some different service.”
The resolution would not be law, so it’s just to get the word out about profiling. “People come from all walks of life… Just because you ride a motorcycle or because of the clothes you wear, you just not be profiled for that,” Stieber said. Bikers say there have been such complaints of biker profiling in all 50 states. According to the resolution, both Washington state and Maryland have passed anti-profiling legislation. In Washington state, training for police has cut biker profiling cases by 90 percent.
Right now Byrne has only promised to sign on. The Biker Dad Blog will keep you posted for when that actually happens.
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Chris Best is the News Director for WKRG. He’s a husband and father of four. He’s also a motorcycle enthusiast.
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