Judge’s Ruling Allows Suit Against State Police To Go Forward For Allegedly Harassing Bikers
By Mark Abrams
NORRISTOWN (CBS) — A Norristown lawyer, who represents three members of two motorcycle clubs stopped in New Jersey by troopers who demanded they remove jackets bearing biker club colors and logos, says a federal judge’s recent decision in the case is a First Amendment victory.
Attorney Boyd Spencer says U.S. District Judge Jerome Simandle’s ruling allows a suit against the state police to go forward for allegedly harassing seven bikers who were riding in Burlington County in July 2009.
Spencer says troopers followed the bikers – some of whom were members of the Pagans Motorcycle Club and Tribe Motorcycle Club – for six miles before stopping them.
“They checked all their licenses and registrations and then came out and gave a speech that went something like this: ‘Take your jackets off, the jackets that had the logos or colors of their club, because the only colors allowed on this highway are the blue and gold of New Jersey state troopers.'”
Spencer says the video and audio from the stop was captured on a trooper’s car recording system and supports the bikers claim that their First Amendment rights were violated.
State officials asked the judge to dismiss the suit. Spencer says it’s likely they will appeal the Camden judge’s decision.