I’ve long suspected the reason why many white people get bent out of shape over the TSA airport security measures is that it’s one of the few times white people get treated like black and brown people–they are presumed to be potential criminals. Which brings us to this story about the treatment of the bikers involved in the Waco riot-like thingee (boldface mine):
Matthew A. Clendennen, one of the nearly 180 bikers who were jailed after the deadly shootout here last month among rival biker gangs and the police, said he had one weapon on him during the melee — a pocketknife with a two-inch blade that was a Christmas gift from his parents that he uses as a screwdriver and box cutter at work.
Mr. Clendennen, 30, said he never pulled it out. When gunfire broke out in the parking lot of the Twin Peaks restaurant where hundreds of bikers had gathered, Mr. Clendennen said, he rushed from the restaurant’s patio area to a hallway inside. He said that he crouched as gunshots echoed and that he never left the hallway.
“They just collectively labeled everybody there as a vicious gang member,” Mr. Clendennen, a Baylor University graduate who owns a landscaping business in the Waco area, said Monday, days after his release from jail. “They arrested us because of what we were wearing and where we were at. Because I was wearing a certain color vest, automatically in their eyes I was guilty. So much for innocent until proven guilty.”
…some of the men and women caught up in the largest mass arrest of bikers in recent decades believe the justice system broke down here and officials delayed and mishandled their cases….
A former volunteer firefighter with no criminal record, Mr. Clendennen was charged with engaging in organized criminal activity. His bond was set at $1 million, as it was for dozens of other bikers, until his lawyer helped lower it to $100,000 and got him released.
He said he was arrested because of his clothes and his membership in a biker club — the Scimitars Motorcycle Club. He was wearing bluejeans, a black T-shirt and a leather vest with the group’s insignia on the back….
They say the police used a “fill- in-the-blank” criminal complaint to charge all 177 suspects, that they arrested several unarmed men and women who were “recreational motorcyclists” and that they determined who to take into custody based on whether they were wearing motorcycle-club jackets or had ties to a biker group.
And they said judicial officials had been slow to hear the cases, forcing defendants to remain in jail for weeks while waiting for bond-reduction hearings, routine proceedings that are typically heard within seven to 10 days of an arrest.
Jeepers. It’s almost like they were wearing baggy pants and listening to that hippetty-hoppetty music. (I can’t help but think that the article’s style is very deliberate).
Seriously, abuse of the justice system shouldn’t happen to white bikers who have committed no crimes any more than it should to innocent African-Americans. But this isn’t the system ‘breaking down’, but working as some people desire, even if the targets are atypical. One might even hope some white people would realize that many of our judicial system’s policies can be abused and used to ‘run off’ and harass supposed undesirables.
Once can hope anyway.