State Capitol News
2:38 pm
Thu February 28, 2013

Motorcycle Profiling Measure Stalls Out

It doesn't look like motorcyclists are going to get special protection from police harassment. Arizona Public Radio's Howard Fischer reports.

The legislation sponsored by Senator Judy Burges would have required police officer training to include courses that, "emphasize the prohibition against motorcycle profiling." It would have included that officers learn that simply because someone rides a motorcycle or dresses a certain way is no basis by itself to stop, question or search that person. Burges said, "please support these people in their efforts. It's kind of frustrating when you are pulled over and someone points a gun at you. That's increasing these days, I am told. I have personally not seen that happen."

But Senator Steve Yarbrough said police officers are already taught what courts do and do not allow in terms of using profiles to stop someone for further questioning. And he said giving one group special recognition opens the door for laws requiring not to profile them. "How about persons who wear military uniforms? Certainly they ought to be included as a protected class," Yarbrough said. "What about young people? Or what about little old ladies with grey hair? I mean, all of those might be worthy of being a protected class so they're not profiled inappropriately."

In the end, the legislation died on a tie vote.