"Sons of Hell" Bikers Claim Cops Treat Them Like Gangsters for Being Pals With Hells Angels

Categories: Hells Angels
sons-of-hell.jpg
Sons of Hell MC via Facebook


A motorcycle club called the "Sons of Hell" is suing several Arizona law enforcement agencies, alleging multiple violations of their constitutional rights.

The bikers claim in a federal lawsuit that cops treat them as a gang "based solely on their associations and friendships with the Hells Angels Motorcycle Club."

New Times has covered several incidents of Hells Angels high jinks over the years; their definition of "club" is a little different from the fellows who gather at your neighborhood Elks Lodge, but they too contest the "gang" label.

But the Sons of Hell have an incident that purportedly proves unfair treatment by law enforcement.

Back in the summer of 2011, the Sons of Hell and other clubs were at the "Too Broke for Sturgis" rally at a campground near Mormon Lake, south of Flagstaff.

During this, a man named Christian Tejada -- who wasn't related in any way to the Sons of Hell -- killed two people and himself at the campground.

The bikers allege that a couple of hours after this, officers from the Arizona Department of Public Safety, the Gang and Immigration Intelligence Team Enforcement Mission task force, and the Coconino County Sheriff's Office "forcibly removed Plaintiffs from their residences with assault rifles and other firearms" at their camping spots.

"During the invasion, Plaintiffs were handcuffed forced to lay on the cold ground, detained and imprisoned for longer than three hours (some partially or mostly naked), photographed, forced to answer questions in interrogation, forced to reveal their tattoos for further photography, mocked, otherwise humiliated, yelled at, and threatened with violence by Defendants, under color of their authority as police officers," the lawsuit alleges.

They allege multiple constitutional violations, including their First Amendment right to assembly, their Fourth Amendment right to be free from unwarranted searches and seizures, among other claims.

Each of the individual Sons of Hell members listed as a plaintiff in the lawsuit is seeking $75,000, in addition to attorneys' fees.

The Sons of Hell, a Yuma-based club, did attempt this lawsuit before, but a judge ordered it to be dismissed after it appeared that the previous attorney abandoned the case.

The club was also one of the groups that lobbied in favor of a bill at the state legislature to prevent cops from profiling bikers. That bill didn't pass.

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Follow Matthew Hendley on Twitter at @MatthewHendley.



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23 comments
D-day
D-day

 @RexR I can assure you that there is no such " motorcycle GANG fad" happening in or around the scooter community, nor would a 'B-budget' TV series be the motivating factor behind any respectable chartered organization or club brotherhood.

You see,..the real problem here is that most. like Rex here, are ignorant as to the reality that IS the MC community, A world where your word IS your bond, a hand-shake DOES seal a deal. All that common, everyday Americans know about such things are what they SEE ON TV,.. or READ about in publications or hear about from a fellow ignorant,....stories and persona's ( I'm chuckling,even now) forged in the fires of cliche' hell! Stories of sweaty mama's and bathtub crank, and every form of debauchery conceivable. Images strait from the archives of law enforcement/media 1960's-70's catalog of stereo-typical "profiles".

  And,.. one of the bigger attributes to this common condition?

 The fact that ,these are the only experiences afforded the armchair surfer to that world. Profiles, persona's,stereo-types and other assorted mythological creatures.

You see, one would actually have to , personally, come in contact with or at least within close proximity of, a person, thing or object to acquire any real first hand knowledge of it. So, proof being that we are even engaged in this scripted parlay,

that rhetoric replaces first hand knowledge in the absence of such, pose to you this question,.."How big a problem IS something you never encounter?"

So let it be stated and declared,..Profiling IS THE PROBLEM.

RexR
RexR

This is the big problem with Arizona - almost everyone pretending to be something they're not. The motorcycle gang fad is mostly due to 'Sons of Anarchy.'

A smaller problem is how loud the bikes are without mufflers. That's ok with me during daylight hours, really. But at 3am on a weeknight, that should end up as a thousand-dollar fine, minimum. Sorry, I'm not trying to impose a law or pretend like I'm from California, but it's just too fucking loud.

MandyMountain
MandyMountain

At the local mall for a hair cut today I saw three DPS motorcycles. Beautiful, late model BMW Motorrads, they were. I guess our state's budget woes are over?

JohnQ.Public
JohnQ.Public

Nothing says bad ass biker gang like a picture on a Facebook page.

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

The outlaw biker equivalent of Cub Scouts ... how cute.


stranger_than_camus
stranger_than_camus

@RexR agreed rex...and while i dont understand why police would treat such a disorganized, ragtag group of redneck motorcycle enthusiasts like gang members, the name of the group alone could warrant them being investigated as a psychotic cult branch off of satanists.

teknik
teknik

@RexR No sir, Motorcycle clubs come from the fact that those of us who ride on two wheels share a passion and because our passion involves moving pavement under our wheels getting together with like minded people to take advantage of doing something you all enjoy and share a common interest in sounds normal to me.


Should my dad be profiled because of the gun club he belongs to? He and his shooting buddies get together all the time to hang out, do their hobby, and then sit and talk about it.  


The only difference with us is we don't get to sit and have a drink together unless we are camping someplace or lodged up someplace together.    I don't know of anybody who has a beer and hops on their bikes.

anelson7206
anelson7206

@RexR Hey idiot, Number One: Motorcycle clubs are not GANGS. Number Two: Motorcycle Clubs were around for DECADES before Sons of Anarchy. And since people in cars don't seem to see us, loud pipes give us more visibility. Get the facts straight before you post stupid crap.

jeanjb
jeanjb

@MandyMountain I get a kick out of these cops that act like their ass hurt from sitting on the bike all day!

he would never make it to Sturgis like I did with a solo seat covered with 1/4 inch foam under a cheaply sewn vynal cover.

but I was to poor to afford anything better.......iff you don't like to ride,dont be a motor cop.

D-day
D-day

....Points of interest..... no probable cause to warrant looking into anything and in fact,doing such would be grounds for TWO lawsuits. Worshiping anything you want is a right protected by the Constitution and being investigated for merely being "psychotic" would be a Title II case and a violation of The Americans With Disabilities Act, Not to mention that you are toe testing the Slander, Libel and Deformation of Character  pool yourself. Word to the wise.

D-day
D-day

@stranger_than_camus @RexR ...disorganized,ragtag group of redneck motorcycle enthusiasts,...wow, talk about profiling. 

With all of the social progress we've made as a nation concerning prejudice and discrimination, it's a good thing that I have my beast to ride for fear I might be made to ride in the back of the bus!!...lol.

I'm considering changing the subject matter of my thesis!!

JohnQ.Public
JohnQ.Public

@anelson7206  You know what would save lives - bikers not behaving like assholes.  How about not putting yourself on my front bumper at 70 miles an hours as your weaving in and out of lanes with insufficient clearance between cars?  How about not taking off from a red light at 0-80 in 1.8 seconds with out any warning that you're coming at me at twice the speed limit?  How about the dude I saw last week running a wheelie down the HOV lane during rush hour?  Doesn't matter how loud your pipes are - if you put yourself in a dangerous position by riding like an asshole you increase the probability of getting yourself injured or killed  

Those of us in cars see you - we see you driving recklessly and putting both you and us at risk.  Of course, car drivers aren't completely blameless and not all bikers behave like assholes, but (pardon the pun) biker safety is a two way street and riders need to shoulder their share of the blame.

JohnQ.Public
JohnQ.Public

But the question is why didn't the driver see the rider. Was it because the rider slide into the drivers lane just a couple inches in front of the drivers car as the rider was weaving between lanes? Yes, I hear the riders loud pipes in the lane next to me and know the riders there. But what I'm not expecting is for the rider to slide over into my lane just a couple inches in front of me. Of course I didn't see the rider - he wasn't there until all of a sudden he was there.

Or when I'm making a right turn from a parking lot into a travel lane and I look down the road for oncoming traffic and see that the light a 1/4 mile away is just turning green. Under normal circumstances - plenty of time to make my turn and come up to speed. But with a rider coming off the light at full throttle all of a sudden that rider is on my like lightning. DId I not see him? No, I didn't expect him because at a normal travel rate he shouldn't have been on me yet.

Both of these scenarios happen - often.  My point was that the "I didn't see them" is often the result of a rider putting himself somewhere where he was never expected to be or shouldn't have been and loud pipes will do nothing to prevent that accident.

anelson7206
anelson7206

@JohnQ.Public I never indicated that was the "only source of motorcycle accidents". What I said was loud pipes give us more visibility because people are always saying, "I didn't see them" after they hit a motorcycle. And then they get a ticket for 'failure to yield' when a biker is dead.

JohnQ.Public
JohnQ.Public

@anelson720  I tried not to lump you all together. My last sentence was, "Of course, car drivers aren't completely blameless and not all bikers behave like assholes, but (pardon the pun) biker safety is a two way street and riders need to shoulder their share of the blame." I have no issues with riders in general - I have an issue with those that act stupid and put me at risk. Or put themselves at risk and then blame the driver for the ensuing accident. And yes, there are many drivers that drive like crap too which puts riders, and other drivers, at risk (don't get me started on the women putting on makeup in the car at 70 miles per hour or the 100 other things drivers seem to be doing other than actually driving). And I do the same thing on occassion - we all do. But I resent the implication that riders get injured because drivers "don't see them" as the only source of motorcycle accidents when there is plenty of blame to go around.

anelson7206
anelson7206

@JohnQ.Public OK, so clearly you have an issue with bikers. We're not all assholes. I've never done a wheelie in my life, and neither have any of the people I ride with. Don't group us all together please.

JohnQ.Public
JohnQ.Public

@DonkeyHotay   No.  But annoyed often.

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