B.A.D. Responds To Hells Angels & Biker Discrimination!

B.A.D. {Bikers Against Discrimination}

Henry McGrath, Exec. Director

PO Box 211 Caroga Lake, N.Y. 12032

(518) 773-0167

January 27, 2010

Times Journal

Jim Poole,President

PO Box 339 Cobleskill, N.Y. 12043

RE: Troop G Public Statement in response to “AM-JAM won’t be back” article – January 27,2010

Dear Mr. Poole : Letter To Editor & Public

It is unfortunate that the citizens of Schoharie County have had to experience the negative news regarding the move of the Am-Jam. It is a business decision privy only to the organizer, Jean Aldus, and not the thousands of licensed motorcyclists, club riders and american bikers who have throughout the years had the pleasure of creating memorable, good times and friendships not just at the Am-Jam but with local businesses. Many a “biker benefit run” to raise money for the disadvantaged, misfortuned and needy has been scheduled through Schoharie County areas as a yearly function coinciding with the Am-Jam . There is no doubt these will continue – as will the friendships and business relations between the licensed motorcyclist, club rider and american biker – with the citizens of Schoharie County.

It is unfortunate that the citizens of Schoharie County have had to experience the reality of how ignorant, unethical, unjust and just plain discriminatory the response of Major William Sprague, State Police-Troop G was. He not only defamed a legitimate entity (which motorcycle clubs/chapters/affiliations/groups are) such as the Hells Angels, he mislead the public to believe motorcycle clubs, riding clubs/groups and american bikers have criminal intent to their existence.

In other words, these motorcyclists and bikers are at the Am-Jam to commit crimes!?! The presence of the State Police would simply prevent whatever crime the public can conjure in their minds?

This, of course, is comming from the “States Angels” – that patch wearing, gun toting gang which has everyone sitting on the edge of their driver seat and good citizens weary about what charges will get trumped up on them.

Allow me to remind you of recent news: 1) 2009-Gov. Patterson insinuates the New York State Police are corrupt and orders Attny. General Cuomo to investigate, 2)former State Police superintendent, Preston Felton, is found to have created false documents and transmitted sensitive information to assist then Gov. Eliot Spitzer (in a conspiracy plot against Joseph Bruno). Instead of facing criminal charges, Felton was allowed to retire with of benefits! 3)The NYS Police Superintendant before Felton, Wayne Bennett, was also found to have altered police reports. He was not charged with the crime either, allowed to retire and took a leadership role at the Schenectady Police Department – where a number of officers have been arrested for assault, dwi, threats, drug possession, stealing drug evidence, damaging property, ripping off tax payers and essentially running drug operations under the protection of themselves and unions…like a criminal enterprise? 4) Just several months before State Attorney General Cuomo released the report essentially finding no absolute proof against the NYS Police to warrant charges, received a $5,000 campaign contribution from the PBA. 5)During this same period,Gary Veeder, a NYS State Police forensic scientist was found to have falsified data in criminal cases for over 15 years and had made allegations during the investigation that other lab employees had been committing simular crimes.

The tale dies with Veeder who, ironically, committed suicide…while the probability of innocense for someone unjustly convicted goes forgotten. 6)As you read this, proposals sit before Governor Patterson seeking pay raises and more state police positions at the tax payers expense. Keep in mind, the Governor has also expanded his detail from 24 to 80 state police officers to protect him and serve his purposes. Are you convinced yet that the State Police and aspects of the government are potentially corrupt and function like a criminal enterprise? Or would you, for the sake of sanity, say “there’s always a bad one in the crowd. People make mistakes”.

The Major’s matter of fact statement “The Hells Angels are an internationally known and recognized criminal enterprise” is as far stretching as my telling you the NYS Governor, Attorney General and State Police are ALL corrupt and ALL function as a criminal enterprise. The Major’s intent was to justify the discriminatory, unjust and unconstitutional profiling and harrassment of a culture of people (american biker,motorcyclist and rider) while feebly attempting to promote the cause for more manpower and raises simply by using the word “Hells Angels” and at the same time shedding more blame towards “other gangs” (ie.,motorcycle riders and clubs are NOT gangs). It should be noted to the public that motorcycle clubs are legitimately registered clubs/chapters/affiliations/groups in their respective jurisdictions. Why would the state respect the legitimate existence of an american culture as are the Hells Angels while attempting to dishonor, disrespect, disgrace and defame them with negative propoganda? Is not freedom of expression and association a constitutional right?

As quoted from “How The Hells Angels Motorcycle Club Works” by Akweli Parker at HowStuffWorks.com ,”the group holds the official position that it’s persecuted by police and federal agencies because of its members’ non-conformist lifestyles and beliefs.” He goes on to quote a popular phase relating to the Hells Angels: “When we do right nobody remembers, when we do wrong nobody forgets.”

In correlation, it’s not far fetched to see, as well, how the state permits you – Joe citizen – to license a business and then feeds off of you with excessive taxes, fees and charges. It is how the system is structured. But, to imply that you , the store owner, who has had a relative that has been arrested, or you,yourself, earned a DWI and now your business must be policed and harrassed because you are a criminal enterprise would be unjust behavior of public servants. That seems to be how the NYS Police system works to justify its existence according to Major Sprague. Reality is, who can take your liberty and freedom away – The Hells Angels or the New York State Police? Perhaps Major Sprague should REALLY clean up his own house before he campaigns to the public with promotion of bias, prejudice and discrimination toward American bikers.

Henry McGrath is Executive Director of Bikers Against Discrimination, an investigative reporter and civil rights activist.

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