US Senate Condemns Motorcycle Profiling

The US Senate on Tuesday adopted a non-binding resolution that condemns police departments that single out motorcyclists for traffic stops. The mostly symbolic measure calls on state law enforcement officials to condemn the practice.

“The Senate promotes increased public awareness on the issue of motorcycle profiling; encourages collaboration and communication with the motorcycle community and law enforcement to engage in efforts to end motorcycle profiling; and urges state law enforcement officials to include statements condemning motorcycle profiling in written policies and training materials.”

Under US Supreme Court precedent, the subjective motivation of a police officer is irrelevant as long as he can come up with a justification for a traffic stop after the fact. It is up to individual states to enact laws to restrict profiling, as Maryland, Virginia and Washington have done. Virginia, for instance, bans “the establishment on any highway of police checkpoints where the only vehicles subject to inspection are motorcycles.”

The most famous use of roadblocks against two-wheelers was called “Operation 5060.” New York police used the initiative go after motorcyclists after a fellow officer crashed his Chevy Tahoe SUV into a tree and died while trying to chase a sportbike in 2006. Roadblocks were set up to ticket riders for minor infractions the following year.