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BIKER NEWS: To biker lawyer, outlaw not the same as criminal

BN- To an outsider, it might not make much sense that a group of motorcycle riders can call themselves outlaws, yet be offended at bein...



BN- To an outsider, it might not make much sense that a group of motorcycle riders can call themselves outlaws, yet be offended at being called gangsters or criminals.

But the words have a world of difference contends a lawyer who has represented the Houston-born Bandidos Motorcycle Club, which law enforcement authorities consider a criminal gang that has an alleged hand in drug trafficking and other crimes.

"It is a slander, it is a word used by law enforcement to paint them as something they are not," said Las Vegas based lawyer Stephen Stubbs. "They are doing it in a way that says, 'These people are bad. Listen to us.'"

The Bandidos, which law enforcement says is among the largest Outlaw Motorcycle Gang in the United States, have been in the spotlight since some Bandidos were among 177 arrested following a Waco shootout that left nine people dead and 18 wounded.

Authorities have said the Waco incident was sparked by a gang rivalry between the Bandidos and a lesser known group, the Cossacks, and that they came to Waco to settle a score.

Stubbs has said repeatedly that the Bandidos were not the aggressors during a clash that broke out in the parking lot of a Twin Peaks restaurant, and is among many lawyers who have called on authorities to release surveillance videos that will let the facts be known to the public.

Stubbs said it is completely different for a person to refer to himself as an outlaw biker than it is to say he lives outside the law.

He said back when outlaw motorcycling began decades ago, it was a term used to describe riders who did not fit into the norms of society because they preferred long hair, piercings and tattoos and maybe not being as polite as some people might have preferred.

The Bandidos began in the Houston area in 1966 and have held a strong presence here ever since.

He pointed back to the American Motorcycle Association requiring riders joining its motorcycle runs to wear suits. Young veterans who were coming back from World War II wanted instead to wear blue jeans, white T-shirts and black leather jackets.

In separating himself from those who rode in T-shirts and jeans, the association's president said decades ago that 99 percent of the nation's motorcycle riders were law abiding.

"People made patches that said One Percenter," Stubbs said, "and afflictively gave the bird to the American Motorcycle Association and said, 'We are not you.'"

He said being an outlaw biker is not about breaking the law, but living free.

Source: http://www.houstonchronicle.com/news/houston-texas/houston/article/To-biker-lawyer-outlaw-not-the-same-as-criminal-6374053.php

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Outlaws Bikers News : BIKER NEWS: To biker lawyer, outlaw not the same as criminal
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