Motorcyclists' lives matter, says Rep. Steve Drazkowski (R-Mazeppa).
To demonstrate he's in the legislative sidecar of those constituents on two wheels, the state representative from Wabasha County has introduced a new anti-motorcycle profiling bill in the Minnesota House.
According to Drazkowski, police officers have gotten out of hand when it comes to stopping motocyclists. They habitually pull them over when no law has been broken simply because law enforcement officials think anyone on a bike has a high probability of malfeasance.
A draft of Drazkowski's bill, now in the hands of the Public Safety and Crime Prevention Policy and Finance Committee, contains language that at first glance would seem unnecessary: "No stop initiated by a peace officer" of a motorcyclist "should be made without a legitimate reason."
But Frank Ernst of Minnesota's American Bikers for Awareness, Training, and Education (ABATE), a motorcycling advocacy group, says the lawmaker's bill is spot-on.
"A lot of motorcyclists have had their travels interrupted by law enforcement only because they think an awful lot of motorcyclists are criminals," says Ernst. "In my 55 years of riding, I can remember three times when an officer pulled me over only to tell me they didn't have a legitimate reason. That's when they'd say, 'But now that you're here...'"
Email attempts to contact Drazkowski were unsuccessful.
His bill would require Minnesota law enforcement bosses to "develop a statewide model training policy designed to eliminate motorcycle profiling."
In addition, the proposed law would then have police officers undergo training in anti-motorcycle profiling policies, including "methods for peace officers and their supervisors to identify and respond to motorcycle profiling by other peace officers."
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