Bikers Arrested for Wearing Bandanas
Louisiana motorcyclists in the Bossier/Shreveport area may be experiencing a mechanism of profiling that many are unaware of. It has been reported that 17 motorcyclists in the area have recently been arrested for wearing bandanas, scarves, and even a bubble shield while riding because it conceals their identities in public.
Local law enforcement contends that covering your face in public is a violation of Louisiana’s anti-mask law, LSA-R.S. 14:313, which carries a 6 month to 3 year term of imprisonment. Although every incident has not been confirmed, the MPP spoke to one motorcyclist directly and confirmed that he was arrested for concealing his identity on November 8, 2016.
The law used to justify targeting motorcyclists for wearing masks in Louisiana exists elsewhere. At least 15 states have what experts call “general anti-mask laws” that could be applied to motorcyclists. Applying anti-masking laws to motorcyclists covering their heads and faces with protective gear is an abuse of statute and demonstrative of motorcycle profiling. An exemption for public safety ought to be obvious.
Motorcyclist Arrested For Concealing Identity
While visiting Louisiana to attend and speak at a state Confederation of Clubs and Independents meeting in Alexandria, the MPP became aware of the alleged arrests for concealing identities in public. The MPP spoke to a member of a motorcycle club in the Bossier/Shreveport area that was able to confirm the validity of the rumors.
Although a traffic pretext was used to justify the stop, the MPP evaluated his citation and he was indeed arrested for concealing his identity, an alleged violation of state code LSA-R.S. 14:313.
This individual was on his way to vote in the 2016 National Election. He was denied this opportunity. He was forced to pay a bond in order to obtain his release and as of this writing the issue has not yet been resolved.
READ MORE at Motorcycle Profiling Project