Inside Opinion

What's on the minds of Tacoma News Tribune editorial writers

NOTICE: Inside Opinion has moved.

With the launch of our new website, we've moved Inside Opinion.
Visit the new section.

It takes a big man to taunt an injured cop

Post by Brian O'Neill on Aug. 12, 2010 at 8:13 am with 5 Comments »
August 12, 2010 10:02 pm

In the world of Outlaw Motorcycle Groups (OMG’s), as police refer to clubs such as the Hell’s Angels, the actions on I-405 two days ago which led to a serious crash of a state trooper’s car were typical.

These groups can often be seen (and heard) riding together at high speed on one of our local highways or interstates, and it is the unfortunate lone cop that must decide what to do about it.

To be fair, I have yet to identify the group involved in Tuesday’s incident. Such bikers–who don’t get the outlaw tag undeservedly–don’t plan on slowing down for police. Instead, they deploy their recruits, also known as prospects, to deflect the police by either stopping and taking a ticket, or by a dangerously reckless maneuver similar to the one which caused Trooper Salyer’s crash.

They toyed with the cop, knowing he would swerve to avoid a deadly collision (deadly for the bikers, not him), and they intentionally put him in a ditch in a crushed car.

What has most people bewildered is the fact that they returned to taunt the injured trooper, when in fact these idiots were simply displaying to the group that they were bad enough dudes to join the gang. Literally.

OMG’s have been glorified on television; their leather riding gear has been copied by celebrities and mainstream riders alike; their motorcycle of choice, Harley Davidson, has been put on a pedestal as the coolest ride.

Outlaw Motorcycle Groups are gangs, pure and simple. They commit crime to advance their cause and make money. They hate the police and they don’t play by the rules.

Don’t be fooled by the leather and the cool bikes.

Update 8-12-10:

I recently learned that the bikers involved in the chase, crash and reprehensible taunting of the state trooper were riding sport bikes, rather than Harley-type motorcycles. I’m man enough to admit that I jumped to a conclusion on this issue.

While it turns out that the typical 1%’er outlaw rider (so-called because they claim to be worse than 99% of the population) was not involved, that does not change any of the opinion stated above. This information was based on personal experience, training and traumatic incidents involving other officers. Despite the fact that the Hell’s Angels do “Toys for Tots”, they also have been documented as an organized crime syndicate for drug and sex trafficking. The OMG’s simply have better public relation than the Hilltop Crips.

Most people, including myself, have nothing against the growing population of law-abiding motorcyclists.

My take
Leave a comment Comments → 5
  1. not all bikers r bad no matter what thay ride in or ride on .

  2. Brian- I am saddened by the provocation that Officer Salyer endured while performing his duty and pray for his speedy recovery. On the other hand, you have pulled a generalized judgment prior to any factual details. I actively work among large MC clubs, the members of which are neighbors and business patrons and fellow musicians, however , your hasty conjecture tends to ‘broad-brush’ anyone on two wheels wearing non-Nordstrom leather. A corporate administrator is the president of our condo association, she also rides a “black cycle”. Until all the facts are in, hold off on the “Cambridge Police acted stupidly” pronouncements. They were embarrassing for the president, too.

  3. BTW- Last month we held a major all-day concert series as a benefit for cancer research. One of our major sponsors was the Banditos. Can you identify YOUR

  4. dstraits says:

    Will the TNT leave this story as printed or do the right thing and publish his second letter..And how benevolent of him to not have anything against us that ride bikes. As if there is something inherently wrong with riding a bike.

  5. Brian O'Neill says:

    I find it mildly disturbing that the comments to this post centered on the perceived prejudice towards motorcycle enthusiasts. My guess is that, if you read it with a less jaundiced eye, you will note that any negative comments were directed at the outlaw motorcycle groups and not at law-abiding citizens who, like myself, enjoy riding motorcycles.

    It was telling that only one of the posts even mentioned the trooper who was injured chasing these heartless idiots, only to continue onto the more important topic of defending weekend riders. But I suppose you can choose to be offended by anything, if you put your mind to it.

We welcome comments. Please keep them civil, short and to the point. ALL CAPS, spam, obscene, profane, abusive and off topic comments will be deleted. Repeat offenders will be blocked. Thanks for taking part and abiding by these simple rules.

JavaScript is required to post comments.

Follow the comments on this post with RSS 2.0